I need a new belt! Out of interest I thought I’d chart my average weight (in kilos) over the years (see end post). I first started recording my weight on almost a daily basis from 2003. Of course this doesn’t tell the whole story as it doesn’t take account of % body fat or lean muscle tissue. But it gives you a rough idea. You can see how my weight had dropped in the initial period, due to a huge drop in body fat, and a (smaller) increase in muscle tissue. I needed this to optimise my Ironman performance. Weight dropped further from 2011 as I ventured into the world of Ultra Ironman and then Ultra running, and upper body muscle was no longer quite so important.
The recent increase in weight (from Sept 2016) to 74kg is quite simply the inability to adapt my ‘diet’ to compensate for fatherhood (!) and the ankle operation, and lack of (no) training. Usually I’m very good when it comes to weight management. It’s almost an obsession of mine, and I’ve conducted many nutritional analysis. But as a new parent it’s those evening treats that get you through the day when you’re exhausted through sleep deprivation. Gone are the days when I could barely keep up with my calorie expenditure, despite any form of snacking.
Getting back to the ankle, I am starting to wonder whether I made the right decision to go ahead with the removal of the Haglunds bump bone growth. I had spent the first 2 weeks post Op (9 March) in a cast, and boot. Then the next 6 weeks limping. The past week has seen some improvements in that the ankle can occasionally free up enough to allow a walk. But the mornings and evening are very stiff indeed.
I have had two follow-up physio sessions to check the Op site, and test my flexibility and strength. My ankle flexibility has never been great relatively speaking, and the strength in all muscles is fine. The achilles tendon is untroubled, which is important. There is a fair amount of atrophy in the calf muscle (very obvious to the eye) and a little in the hamstring. The ankle is also still very weak, and will require a lot more rehab. It feels a little like recovering from a bad ankle sprain.
Difficult to put a time scale on it but after a discussion with the physio I could be looking at 2-4 months before I’m able to run again. Even 2mins on the turbo trainer is painful at the moment. So I have decided to introduce myself back to swimming and resistance work to keep myself sane. How serious I take it we’ll have to wait and see. My Dad was a body builder, but I’d prefer not to bulk up too much at this stage. I was a reasonable open-water endurance swimmer and could go
Whether I can come back from this is another question. For about five years now I’ve been coming back from one health and injury after another. It’s been frustrating, particularly in the first couple of years, but more so for someone very competitive like myself who realises time is running out. I am venturing into my mid 40s and although I’ve met and raced against some very fast 40 year olds in Ironman and 50 year olds in Ultra running, you definitely need the time, energy and a clean bill of health to achieve great things. I don’t have either of these at the moment. As an athlete I’m not as keen and hungry as I used to be, possibly as a result of the set-backs, but I will always look ahead and hopefully THIS could be the last of the issues that are stopping me from doing what I do best.