It's time for you to know what I've been up to over the last few weeks and what I have in store for the next month or so. INJURY UPDATE
Let's get this injury business out of the way. I haven't run for 8 weeks. There I said it. Its been tough! I love running and I've been seeing people on the streets running feeling more jealous than ever. Thankfully, things have begun to get better with the help of my great physio Gary, at Excel Physiotherapy. With extensive physio, strengthening and an injection on Tuesday I'm hoping I shall be pain free very soon. Yes, you read correctly .. injection. It's an anti-inflammatory injection which should get rid of the pain temporarily, but then it will mean 7 days at least of no exercise. Outrageous right, but if it means zero pain afterwards, let's do it and let's get racing. Anyway, onto the more positive things.
I podiumed at a criterium race. I then came 9th in another. I moved up to 3rd category racing. And then I did a triathlon.
Wait a second, isn't he injured? He hasn't run for 8 weeks. Just a few things that may have popped into your mind and both are very true, but I did enter a SuperSprint triathlon at Dorney Lake, Eton. Only a 400m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km, just a little sprint to get the legs going. My physio said with only a 2.5km run I should be strong enough to get round and it would be a good test to see how the strength work has been coming along. So with no running in the legs I rocked up to F3 Events SuperSprint on Saturday morning feeling confident and ready to race the first two disciplines, at least.
I got there early, registered quickly, took the best racking spot (in my opinion) and went to warm up. I got my Zone3 Vanquish on as well as the extra thick and warm neoprene hat (which was a lifesaver) and headed to swim start. I was feeling confident after some promising training splits in swimming and cycling recently so I was really excited to see what I could do. I overcame the 13C water and got myself into a starting position. GO! I was off. I set off pretty hard aiming for first out of the water. I was for most of the swim, but always had a fellow swimmer next to me. Unfortunately, he got the inside line at the turn and took over the lead, but I stuck right on his heels until the swim exit. I climbed out of the lake in a time of 4:44 in 2nd place and headed to my bike. Choosing that spot in transition proved crucial as I took the lead and was first coming out of transition and onto the bike with 2nd right behind. I opened up around a 60-70m gap and powered round the flat, fast and windy bike course. At the turn around point I could not see 3rd at all so knew it was just me and him. That 70m gap never closed or extended as I entered transition for the second time with a bike split of 14:38, good enough for 2nd fastest on the day. I sprinted out of transition into the unknown, but leading. The legs felt weird I'll admit, not sure how to describe it but they felt odd. They were working and so far without pain which was good. I kept pushing and never looked back. Only at the turnaround point did I look behind and that was when he came past me. I tried my hardest to stay with him which I did for a little, but then the lack of running started to come through. He opened up a gap and took the win. I was pleasantly shocked to see a run split of 8:40 and a total time of 29 mins, a PB by a long way on that course! 2nd overall.
Personally I was gutted not to take the win. I was happy opening my season on the podium don't get me wrong, but I knew at full running fitness I would've had it and that would always play on my mind. But let's talk positives. 4:44 for a 400m swim. Very pleased. 2nd fastest bike split. So happy. 8:40 run. Almost stunned. And I cannot forget the trophy, Getting a little trophy is always a nice way to start the season.
I think what I can gather from that race is that these last 8 weeks have been amazing for my swimming and cycling, they have improved massively with the extra swim training and the criterium racing. And over those weeks it seems that I haven't lost too much run fitness, maybe a bit of top end speed but nothing too substantial that I should be overly concerned about.
So, whats to come?
First up, the injection. Then I'm not quite sure. A few days after I should be clear to exercise. I have a qualifier for the World Championships. My gut feeling at the moment is to swim and bike it and maybe not run, but that's something I shall decide and talk to Gary about later.
My next race?
Ah, now that will be Saturday 28th May for sure. The European Aquathlon Championships in Slovakia. I will be flying out on the Thursday and am looking forward to going somewhere I've never been before. It'll be interesting as I would hopefully have run beforehand, but only a handful of times so we shall see what I can do over there when the time comes.
I know I mention these people a lot, but I really couldn't do all this without their support. Pedal Potential, Sam Farmer, Swim Canary Wharf, Excel Physiotherapy, The Body Therapy Company, Zone 3 and Max Curle. I know I have a great team around me and am proud to represent my sponsors at every event I go to. Thank you for your continued support. Big thanks to iPrintStuff for printing all my trisuits for 2017! Need some logos on your suit, check out their website for some top quality printing!
Oh! I almost forgot, I should tell you all I will be starting my A Level exams very soon. Scary, I know. Therefore I'm not sure if I will be positing my next blog at the start of June as that's right in the middle of exams. If I can, I will, but otherwise you will be hearing from me towards the end of June. You can still follow me on Twitter @sammileham for regular little updates about races, training or any other tweetable things. I'm also on Facebook, Instagram and everyones favourite, Snapchat - sammymileham.
Thanks everyone for reading and please enjoy the slideshow below of pictures from the last few weeks of racing.