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A recap of my season!

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I have just come back from the USA and it was real eye opener for me actually as I performed way better than I expected to after a long year of injury and lack of running due to my role as a domestique for Al and Jonny at the Olympic Games in August.

Stu bike Olympic Games 

 You see my season started off very average, when I was in Australia doing all my base work I couldn’t run because I had a stress fracture in my knee. So those moments of doubt crept in and I started to ask all the questions, will I race this season, how long is this injury going to take to heal, can I still swim and bike and so on.

The answers were simple, I was told not to do anything that would hurt my knee, at first that was kicking in the pool, so basically had to swim with a pull bouy in between my legs, and riding my bike hurt too especially going uphill. So I was very limited on what training I could do, at one point I wondered if it was even worth doing those things as I was around a squad of athletes training really hard and it was tough for me to see everyone swim, bike and running everyday and I felt down.

Luckily for me Michelle my wife & coach was staying really positive about it and tried to persaude me to do as much as I could. She said it will be easier in the long run because I will at least hold onto some swim and bike fitness and the running will come back quickly. Its hard to believe this at the time when you are in pain and you feel so low, but I took her advice which is usually the right advice on board, she knows me too well and continued on with the swim and bike. 

I rolled up in Sydney for the first WCS race, at that point in April I had about 2 weeks of jogging under my belt and knew I needed a race before I headed off to the US to try to keep my points high enough to still qualify for Hyvee 5150. To cut a long story short, I think I finished 2nd from last in Sydney coming off the bike in the lead pack and trying to get away to jogging around at the back a bit embarrassed. Once over in the US I was still struggling with run form and to a point still had to be careful how much running I was doing so couldn’t just go all out and train super hard, I had to take it slow. I raced St Antony’s and had a solid race finishing 7th place.

St Anthonys 5150 2012

I had all my tickets booked to the next race but then I heard that the British Team might be taking a Domestique to the Games if no one could podium in San Diego WCS. There were several guys in the running and if I was interested I had to put in an application just like everyone else and then back that up with a race in a WCS which for me was Madrid. I lost my money on my USA races and flights and took a risk to head back over to Madrid hoping I might have a chance to prove myself for this role. I had a good swim and a solid bike and left Madrid like everyone not knowing if that would be enough. When I got the call up to say I was selected I was shocked, happy, and speechless all at the same time.

It was from that point that a full commitment from me as a swim/biker to Al and Jonny would begin. So I was back to not running again which for me at that point was not a problem because I thought to myself, well I haven’t really run much and I know this is a great opportunity for me going to the Olympics in London, my hometown and helping these guys win medals. 

Olympic Games team 2012!

I was allowed to jog 3 times per week for up to 30-40mins which really isnt that much but allowed me to have enough run fitness to run to my bike and finish the 10km at the end of the Olympics without harming my swim and bike strength. You all know the outcome GOLD and BRONZE by Al and Jonny and we were a very happy and successful team. I would do it all again tomorrow!

 I had literally 2 weeks until Chicago and 3 weeks to Hyvee 5150 final to get some sort of running under my belt. Luckily the training wasnt left up to me because I would have overtrained on the run trying to cram too much in. Michelle Knows me too well and gave me what she thought was enough running to make sure I could improve but not make me too tired. 

We thought it was a good idea to do Chicago the week before to help get one full race under my belt. I had a great race and felt unbelievely strong there finishing 2nd with a great swim and bike and my run wasn’t too bad either. I pulled up pretty tired from Chicago and again I wanted to run more than coach wanted to me too. After a few discussions coach convinced me that less was more and I was only allowed to run every 2nd day which thankfully worked and ended up feeling good in the race finishing a solid 6th place.

Chicago 2012 

I felt better in Chicago but happy with the way I backed up the race and feeling confident about next year when I get a free run of training in over the winter. Fingers crossed next year is a good year.

I want to thank my family and friends and my sponsors for sticking by me and supporting me this year through thick and thin. I couldnt have really had the  kind of year I had without the support. See all of my sponsors here sponsors page.

 

Stu

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