Ali’s Adventure – K2M: When Life Throws You Lemons Make a Gin & Tonic

Just when you think all your training is going well, life throws you a lemon or a few. However I can still remember a friend telling me that if life does throw you the odd lemon, well, make a gin and tonic.

I’ve been currently training around a torn left medial meniscus. Last week I had an MRI and I’m awaiting results and a date with the surgeon. Training has been going ok.  If I do everything in a straight line and no twisting I am reasonably asymptomatic. Swimming (no breaststroke) and road cycling are great. But I’m not coping with no running (the old grey matter is struggling here). Having been involved with running competitively all my life, it’s like telling you that you can’t breathe or something. My one outlet is a good raz on the mountain bike, however the old left knee doesn’t like right turns. So it’s fast one way and nana turns the other. This I can cope with.

Next lemon: travel. I was support crew for my partner who did Red Bull Defiance, sweet, road trip to Wanaka. Great riding here. But being stuck in a car for 10 hours and then trying to find a pool in Alexandra was tough going. I decided that instead of stressing I was going to miss a session.  Instead I would concentrate on some quality stretching and an easy 5min on 5min off jog/walk. The rest of the trip was tricky to fit in training as I had to fit it in around transitions and cooking up a storm for the hungry adventure racers. I’m a habitual morning trainer, and I realised my system struggles when trying to do the same sessions at later times of the day. All in all ok, just another 10 hour trip back to Nelson and a numb bum to report.

Add another lemon: stomach bug. 5 days of stomach cramp and vomiting. Although I survived it was the prolonged absence of structure to my training that I started to feel like time was ticking and I wasn’t getting in quality. A swift reminder from my partner to just relax set me on the right path. Could anything else go wrong.

The final lemon: I had made it to the pool, one kid in tow (the one that does squad swimming and nippers, and will let me do lengths). Awesome 50m pool, sunshine, lane to myself. I was 700m in, ticking over at 1:35/100m and then I got told the pool had to close early. Argggghhhhh.

So it was time to make that gin and tonic.  With all the bits that went wrong, I decided to just sign off on the Sunday. I reminded myself that at least the effort that I did put in was quality and Monday was a fresh start. Beating yourself up over bad days and things out of your own control are not going to win you any results. The 6 inches between your ears are the hardest to battle some days.  Taking a deep breath, re-focusing and making a positive plan of action going forward is the only solution.

This long weekend, I’m off to Wellington, with bike, swim gear and running shoes in tow. I have some friends to train with up there which is highly motivating and I’m feeling excited for another good weeks training block. It’s my old training ground, so I’m hunting down those favourite trails, spins round the bays, and coffee stops at the Maranui Surf Club.

– Ali

Ali is writing about her experience preparing for the K2M join her with her weekly article about her training and experience.

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