It’s been two months since I’ve posted on this blog and to be honest it’s a period that I’m glad to put behind me – a particularly tough time from several perspectives, most of which I’m not going to go into on a public forum. But hey, life is about dealing with the hard times and coming out the other side stronger. Injury is something I can talk about and it is particularly tough to deal when close to a big target race. The recent back-butt issue is my first ‘serious’ injury in about 5 years, so I am thankful, but the timing was far from ideal.
Simultaneously losing the endorphin buzz and perhaps more importantly focus takes its toll. Immediately focus switched on getting back, going to several physios and experts in the hope of a swift recovery. The days and weeks passed without progress and with it any hope of maintaining form for the Paris marathon. It was particularly bad luck – I knew within that I was in the best endurance shape of my life and never got to demonstrate my training and altitude high in a race. The New York 4 mile wasn’t a true test – icy hilly conditions, poor competition and difficult preparations. The national club cross country was the interim test I was preparing for and looking forward to, but unfortunately all I could do is limp around the course to cheers other on.
I have been referred to as bulletproof by club-mate Eoin Flynn, but that reputation is tarnished now. I did live and train as though I was invincible and that was my downfall. My injury wasn’t an overuse injury, so it would be easy to simply put it down to bad luck. A slip on a wet road could happen to anyone at any time (well, most of the time in Ireland). The reality is if my core and flexibility were better I probably would have been able to handle the slip. Perhaps more importantly the recovery period would have been substantially shorter. It’s a little ironic as I had started to work on those areas in Colombia. The combination of therapy that eventually worked for me was fortnightly visits to Anthony Geoghegan in Carlow and weekly visits to Vinny Mulvey (www.vinnymulveyfitness.com). Anthony certainly knows his stuff and helped identify and resolve the core issue, while Vinny came in on remedial massage therapy side. I would certainly recommend Vinny – he’s great at explaining reasons for particular treatment, how the athletic body works and at recommending core and flexibility exercises to resolve imbalances. For a light guy he packs a punch and gets stuck in. As a bonus, it's great to get training tips from an athlete who has achieved. Anthony is one of a few top level physios in Ireland – certainly one to attend if you’ve tried others without progress. Only problem is that he’s in such demand there is often a long queue to enjoy the privilege of his company.
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That’s it from me this time – won’t leave it so long to post again! Final shout out to those running big marathons over the next week – in particularly I’m expecting something a little special from Sean Connolly – training seems to have gone well, so fingers crossed for a big performance tomorrow!