UltraHumps: A Game Of Two Halves

Hi Blog Followers

I thought I’d aptly call this blog “A Game Of Two Halves”!

As reported in previous blogs I trained whilst on holiday in the USA, but primarily trained using gym equipment to avoid the heat, particularly in the Nevada Desert of Las Vegas.  But once I returned I found the belt driven equipment of a treadmill and utilising an exercycle is not the same as hitting the roads, and I found my first week back on the roads leaving me wondering what the point was of using gym equipment as I struggled to find form in the outdoors.

I was glad to report that this week, being a few days after settling into the outside, my form had returned, so utilising gym equipment paid off after all.  Don’t get me wrong, you simply can’t beat getting out and doing it on the roads, whether that be pounding the feet or spinning the wheels, but I soon realised that the gym equipment did work after all, as opposed to not training at all.  It just took a bit of adjustment.

So how does “A Game Of Two Halves” come into it?  I was really stoked that I ditched my American diet and disciplined myself to eat properly back in New Zealand, and really stoked that I was training on the roads by beating the feet in the correct zones and spinning the wheels in the correct zones.  So everything was looking up with Coach Ray’s schedule, except for swimming.

A doctor’s review suggested I have a ‘Left Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injury – Pain and Weakness on Stressing the Supraspinatus’.  Not sure what that meant, but I knew Coach Ray would and he knew I had to continue to stay out of the pool until it is sorted.  The embarrassing part is how the injury came about – through a simple trip when I got out of bed.  The even more embarrassing part is I don’t even drink alcohol to have an excuse.

So I am managing it, and being stubborn enough, if it doesn’t come right by my next event being the Iron Maori Quarter Ironman in the Cameron Brown Award and Iron Maori/Port of Tauranga Legend Series I’ll just swim with one arm.  This event is at the start of November so there are a few weeks for the Rehab and Physio (through work in the Army) to do their magic.

So the First Half of “A Game Of Two halves” is the training, which I got right.  The second half of “A Game Of Two Halves” is I was struck down by illness at the end of this week’s training.  Just when I was back in to the full swing of training and everything (apart from my shoulder was coming right) I was taken out.

I was the sober driver at a function and got home at 0300 in the morning on Saturday, at 0430 I woke and didn’t feel well.  Eventually I made a dash for the toilet and you can imagine the result.  On Saturday Mel took me for a walk to get some fresh air and stop for breakfast.  This is my non-training day or rest / recovery day where Coach Ray has me like his other athletes completing stretching, so I thought it would blow over and I’d be able to do my long bike ride still on Sunday.  When I got to our favourite Cafe for breakfast I ordered only their porridge off the menu.  Mel said “gee you are sick”, and once home I slept most of the day.  This is completely unusual for me being an insomniac at the best of times.

On the Sunday Mel suggested I go for a bike ride with her to see how it went. I only managed 20 kms and was completely stuffed.  So having already given Coach Ray a heads-up I wasn’t too flash, he understood when it was the only time I have ‘not completed a training session I had started’ that he had scheduled.  Over the 4 to 5 years Coach Ray has trained me, I have only missed about a dozen sessions due to other commitments where I couldn’t start those sessions, but never called it quits on one.  I was completely gutted when things were coming right with training after my trip to the USA.

I was trying to work out how I got sick.  I mean I never get sick.  Well not since I stopped drinking about 4 years ago lol.  Others at the function ate the same as me and they were all fine.  Another guy was sick and him and I were drinking the same brand of non-alcohol drink, from the same shop.  The only thing I can think of is it was a bad batch, which is pretty rare,  Maybe it was just a fluke that we were both sick and may not be connected for any reason at all.

I was just more annoyed I couldn’t train properly than anything else.  I mean if I have a headache I push through it and train, because if you have one on event day you have to push through it.  After all there is normally a free T-Shirt at the finish line of major events, so who wants to miss out on that lol.

So the “Game Of Two Halves” was getting seriously back to within the zones for training, then getting kicked over with illness, which still has me rebuilding my energy levels as this blog goes to air.

Take care team and I’ll keep you posted weekly as I continue my journey of the eight events that make up the Cameron Brown Award and Iron Maori/Port of Tauranga Legend Series.

Regards John Humphries (Aka UltraHumps).

Humps will be writing weekly as he continues his journey raising funds for the Fallen Hero’s Trust

Read Humps’ article from last week here:

UltraHumps: Burgers To Die For

And all his previous articles are stored here:


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