Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Back on the bike

So this happened this morning.


I'm not sure, but I suspect this is the first ride I have been on for around 3 months or so. The bike was certainly dusty before I headed out, which is never a good thing. Once it was out and rolling though it didn't miss a beat. In fact I think it might have been a bit excited to get back out on the road and get on with things.

Whilst it was great to be back on the bike, I did strongly resist the urge to overdo things. As I mentioned yesterday, the permission I got from my cardiologist to gradually increase my exercise was hardly license to go crazy. As such this morning was an easy 50 minutes of cycling with the Front Runner Triathlon Team. Well at least I was riding easy, the squad were all doing efforts and I sat back and watched and did a bit of coaching. I am keen to build the riding from there, but I am not sure how far I will try and build it, really it will it depend a bit on my body. I suspect the days of 200km rides out in the hills might be behind me. 

I have to say it was great to be back on the bike. My power meter wasn't playing along, but other than that it was like I had never left the bike. Even the riding didn't feel that hard, although it didn't take much of a hill to get my heart rate moving again. Fitness is certainly not on my side.

While the riding was great, I think for tomorrow I will be back down the river for a bit more paddling. Paddling the board is still a good match for what I can do at the moment, being quite time efficient and not that intensive, whilst also being fun. I may take the opportunity to paddle a bit further tomorrow than I have been, but once again, the intent will be to not over do things. 

I am certainly excited about the prospect of doing a bit more exercise again, but gently, gently is the phrase of the day.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Health Update

It has been a bit of quiet on the medical front for me of late. The lack of  news is mainly because not a lot has been happening,

For the last 4 months or so I have been busy 'detraining'. Basically this has meant doing no exercise, or at least very little and letting my heart recover a bit. Whilst detraining has been an adjustment it has been going pretty well. It took me a while to get used to the change in lifestyle, but over the past few months I have got the hang of it and even started to appreciate the extra time that I have gained by doing less exercise.

Of course detraining hasn't been all sunsets and roses though. Getting painfully unfit hasn't been much fun. You don't notice how unfit you have become until you are forced to exert yourself by running up some stairs or something like that. You then realise very quickly just how much conditioning you have lost. The other thing I have struggled with is weight. Once I stopped training I was aware that I was going to have to be careful around weight gain. It is the classic cliche, an athlete stops training but doesn't modify their eating habits and so as a result their weight sky rockets. Whilst my weight hasn't got out of control, I have gained much more than I was hoping, sitting about 10kg heavier than I was when I stopped exercise.

To be honest, the weight gain has been the hardest change to swallow. After all you only notice the lack of fitness when you try and use it, however, with the weight you are reminded every time you look in the mirror. It sounds conceited but one of the main reasons I would love to exercise more at the moment would be to help me control my weight a bit more.

Well the good news is that today I sort of got that wish. Today I had an appointment with Dr Stobie. This was my first appointment for nearly 4 months and so it was a bit of a status update. Other than losing fitness nothing has really happened over those 4 months, but that is just what Dr Stobie wanted to hear. Based on the lack of anything happening Dr Stobie is happy to let me do a bit more exercise. I need to be sensible obviously and keep the intensity down, but I can exercise for a bit more. That is great news for both my sanity and my waist line.

The toughest thing for me at the moment is figuring out what exercise to do. As you can imagine, my first instinct is to rush and out do heaps of training, but of course that would be silly and dangerous. Instead I need to be quite moderate in how I increase my training. Also I am keen to choose exercise that I enjoy, rather than doing exercise that I feel I 'should' be doing. I am not really sure what my exercise routine will look like as it will depend a bit on what I find fun, how much time I have and just how the body responds to increased loads, but I look forward to doing a bit more, no matter what it looks like.

Of course, the appointment today isn't the end of things with regard to the doctor and my health, more of a mid point, however the next step isn't for another 4 months, so I have a bit of time before that. The next step will actually be another stress test in the lab to see how my heart is going. That will be followed by an appointment to go through my results and the results of the genetic testing I had a couple of months ago. Following on form all that we might do a bit more imaging (MRI) if Dr Stobie things it will be useful. All that should give a good idea of how the heart is going. The journey continues.

I tell you what though, I am looking forward to getting back out on my bike.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Robyn Stanley

A bit of a sadder post today.

Robyn Stanley passed away last Thursday. Robyn was the wife of my coach Daryl Stanley as well as a whole lot of other things to an awful lot of other people. She will be sorely missed by the entire Australian Triathlon community.

Besides being a wife and mother, Robyn was a stalwart of the Darwin Triathlon scene, physically dragging Darwin Tri club through some of their tougher times when club committee numbers and motivation were low.. Always happy to let others take the lead when they wanted it, but always ready to help and if necessary pick up the pieces if things fell a part. One of the main driving forces behind so much of what works well at the Darwin Tri Club.

Whilst she was a gifted organiser and a driving force in the local club, where Robyn really shone in triathlon was a fierce competitor, getting to and completing Kona 4 times. That pretty much says all you need to know about her racing ability, multiple Kona finisher. However, leaving it there would be to sell Robyn short because as well as being a fierce competitor she also left a mark on everyone she met. I have traveled and raced quite a bit and it was always easy to find people who knew Robyn, no matter where you were people had met and remembered Robyn, such was the impression she left on people. Tough to race, kind and generous to know, impossible to forget.

To countless people in Darwin she was simply a very good friend, somebody to confide in and rely on. I have several good friends in Darwin for whom Robyn became a sort of surrogate Grandmother. Always ready for a walk or a swim or just a coffee. A generous spirit.

The people who's lives she has touched and the impacts she left on them are countless and the hole she is leaving behind is equally difficult to fathom. I only knew her for about 7 years but I won't forget any of those moments.

Rest in peace Robyn, you will be missed by us all.