For every up there is a down I suppose. On the way home from Carlingford, I popped in to Loughboy in Kilkenny to get something to soothe the mouth ulcers I had developed. When I walked out of the pharmacy I saw my mum sat on a chair outside the neighbouring cafe, she had fallen. Dad had managed to half catch her to prevent her from the full impact, but she was shaken, at 87 any fall is not to be taken lightly, and her left wrist was very sore. Between Dad and I, we managed to persuade to go to the A&E at St. Lukes to have the wrist X-rayed, good job we did as a bone in the wrist was broken and had become displaced. The doctors had to apply some traction to the wrist to return the bone before applying the cast, and then check the alignment with another X-ray. Thankfully we were in on a Monday night but it all still took around three hours.
Tuesday night we were back in to the A&E due to Mum’s hand swelling, the medics removed the original caste and tried to make the next one slightly less tight. I missed my regular Tuesday night session in the pool and I have been going in to visit as much as possible which does make fitting in training, especially if I want to eat, a little more difficult. I’m not complaining, I am so lucky to be able to to spend time with both my parents and we do love to put the world to right – unfortunately no one is listening.
My training since Christmas has involved a brilliant strength and conditioning class by Matt Zielinski (organised by Kilkenny Triathlon Club) on a Monday night, Swim session run by The Watershed (sessions set by Mikey and Jamie) on a Tuesday night, Pilates with Imelda Norris), swimming on Thursday with my own sets and Friday nights with Kilkenny Swimming Club Masters, Saturday or Sunday started with a sea swim, I also included at least one rest day per week. I then signed up for the VHI women’s mini marathon so I also added a couch to 10k training plan into the mix. Needless to say, the odd late session at work, sore muscles or illness meant that the odd session didn’t happen. With respect to the swimming, I am not a great believer in just swimming 2-5k with no break; sessions were mixed, some long sets, some sprints, drill sets, slow sets really concentrating on technique and how adjusting it felt and did it help with niggles in the neck and shoulders and also including other strokes. I did a Total Immersion session in February which I found useful and got me back to doing a stroke that felt right for me. Mikey, Jamie and Marie, at the Watershed, also provided technique feedback and suggestions, I am also not one for thinking that there is only one right way to swim front crawl. At 55 my body has picked up a few niggles (particularly in my neck and shoulders) so I try different bits of technique and adjust my stoke if it works for me and discard the tweek if it doesn’t. Some drills I just don’t do, for instance the dreaded ‘shark-fin’ and ‘zip-up’ which pinch my shoulder and are painful or uncomfortable; in my opinion neither drill is good because the shoulder is really not designed to move like that. I have not had a coach and time will tell whether this was a huge oversight.
Not having a defined training plan or coach does mean that things like spending two nights in a row in A&E with Mum probably disrupts my training more than it should, but then I had just returned from a fairly intense weekend so I would have had a bit of a recovery week anyway. The weekend following HITtheWALL was the weekend of the VHI mini marathon. I have done this last couple of years, it is a great atmosphere and Sandra and I have a little celebration afterwards and a great chat. This year I did the 10k in 1:26:22 which is not fast but okay considering I had not finished the C210k program and this year I was not in agony and exhausted when I finished; with a result like that we just had to celebrate.
To round off the weekend, I met Heather for a swim at Dunmore East, as she had done a 4 hour cycle it was a pleasant shake down swim of a couple of circuits of the bay. It was a beautiful day for a quick swim and a lovely way to round off the long weekend.