Down….

Well, my plans to peak for the winter indoor track season with some good performances at the British Masters Indoors came to nothing. By the last weekend of March, I was still ill, and good for nothing physical. I trailed through the weekend behind the camera, and actually took quite a few good pictures. But my heart wasn’t into watching my regular race-mates competing without me. I was touched by the kindness of many there who noticed I was low. It must have been that obvious.

Easter drifted by. Family matters had meant that we’d postponed plans to go away for a week for a while. I was glad. It was cold, and I felt like death warmed up, but only just warmed up. Not having the motivation (or the ability, come to that) to train was devilish hard. I lost almost all routine, not just the training-related routine. And then, in the middle of it all, I hurt my back.

Something a bit over 25 years ago, I damaged my back badly and permanently. I spent years of rehab working with some very, very good osteopaths and after a long time, regained enough stability to manage a regular training programme. This was still some time before my return to the track as a Master. I do regret that, although the osteo treatment was ultimately a success, I hadn’t discovered the care of a chiropractor at that time, and didn’t do so until about three years ago. Take a bow, Southcote Chiropractic – you’re the best there is.

In all, I missed five weeks of training. No, I actually had five weeks without any significant physical activity. My tentative re-start came in mid April, with the odd hour here and there at the gym. For once, I felt (and probably looked) my age. There’s a lot of folk-lore about how fast you lose fitness. Some say you lose in a week what it took two to gain. Personally, I side with those who think that fitness is so damned hard to achieve, it’s not going to slink away that fast. Whatever, any thoughts I might have harboured about being ready to race for the normal start of the summer track season went very quickly out of the window. I could breathe. I could run. Trouble is, I couldn’t manage the two simultaneously! Glad to say, at time of writing this, I’m past that point, and have managed several quite good work-outs, though I’ve not yet ventured out on to the track for any sessions. That’s a bit of a psychological hurdle right now.

I team-managed my Club’s Masters squad at the first Kent Masters League match of the year towards the end of the month. This was the first League match with sprints in it that I’d not taken part in for about nine years. It was a rather disembodied sensation watching from the sidelines.

I’m aiming at a return to racing at the beginning of June. Wish me luck!

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