Took my bike abroad recently and after unpacking it had a few issues felt like it was slipping out of gear. I wasn’t sure what was causing it. First thought was that I had damaged the derailleur when packing it in the bike box.
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I have struggled mentally as well as physically this season. It started out on a high, first three races were Duathlon’s and the winter training had paid off but straight after the St Neot’s Qualifier I started with a cold that went on to my chest. The course of antibiotics soon cleared that up and I finished my recovery period to return to training. But I was still having breathing issues weeks later. Had to pull out the Eton Sprints then Nottingham came round and again had to withdrawn my entry. I was getting so frustrated by this time it was back to the doctors. She thought it could be Hay Fever; apparently there is a form that mimics the flu symptom so gave me antihistamines.
It is always important to me that I come back 100 per cent when I have had an illness. So I don’t train or return to competition without the all clear. So why was it I was still suffering with what felt like a chest infection. I returned two weeks later after missing Blenheim Palace to take my place at the Southport Marine Qualifier but felt awful, from the swim to crossing the finish line was a struggle. Again, another visit to my doctor and she wasn’t sure what was causing it and told me to make an appointment with the Asthma nurse, apparently I had Asthma. They put me on an Asthma Management Plan and sent me home with Clenil Modulite and Ventoline Inhalers.
I cut right back on my training anyway, started to skip sessions because I would just struggle even at easy pace. A rough night at training made me feel even worse. I would be out of breath just jogging over to the group. The doctor said my chest was clear so just put it down to returning from illness, kept everything easy and slow when I did go but my running was off and my cycling, I just put it down to a rough patch.
Kept my place at the Liverpool Triathlon, looking back I wish I hadn’t. The run to the mount line with my bike was difficult, even before I got on the bike my chest was tight and my throat was dry and felt sore. I gave it my best and got through the race so this meant I had to miss the London Tri. I had paid for all the events anyway and booked hotels, some were booked in advance without cancellation so not only was I missing some great events and not been able to race all season but it was also costing us to do it. Then the cough started, it wasn’t a full on type just every now and then these little outbursts really dry and the wheezing got worse. I spoke with my coach and he said there must be an underlying issue and to demand a lung function test, if they’re saying my chest was clear something was causing it. My worse thought was if it is caused by pollen would it reoccur every summer.
Again I booked another appointment with my doctor but she was away on holiday so I had to see one of the other practice doctors. He diagnosed me having an infection in my lower respiratory tract, didn’t think it was a virus and explained that may be why I was phlegmy, as my airways would be producing mucus to try to protect itself, it could be bacterial. At this point I didn’t care what it was I just wanted it gone. All these weeks puffing on Asthma sprays and taking Antihistamines that I didn’t need. I explained I had already had two courses of antibiotics. He wanted to clear the infection quickly and wrote me another prescription, but I would need another course of different antibiotic Amoxicillin and a five-day course of Prednisolone. I was also advised to keep taking the inhalers, as they would help with any inflammation of my airways.
It wasn’t long after that I started to feel better, followed the course and stuck to my recovery plan. Time came I could go out for a steady run, no problems at all and I was not out of breath, felt bit unfit but the infection had gone. Had to make a choice weather to withdraw from the World Champ’s by this time as we were due to fly out in two weeks time. Because it was so expensive to stay and travel to Chicago and everything was booked I made the decision to keep my place regardless. I was not race-fit and not prepared but I was definitely ready to race again.
Had the time of my life, loved every minute of it. The team hotel was in a great location really close to the event. Bike arrived safely, unpacked it but had a few teething problems. Already had it booked in with Terry the Team GB Mechanic based in the hotel and he picked up an issue with my gearing/sprocket. Was I surprised, not with the season I’d had; I was starting to think I was jinxed anyway. I would have to take my bike in when I got home nothing I could do whilst out there.
My race was on the Thursday so had a few days before the event. I like to know where I’m going on race morning so took this time to check out the swim start area. I had a walk from the swim finish to transition entrance to the bike and walked the bike to run exit route so I knew the layout of transition. I was so excited to be racing here; I really do want to thank The Richard Weare Fund at Two Ridings Community Foundation for their generosity in providing me with the monetary donation. I used the funds to cover the cost of my flight ticket.
Race day came and the weather was in the 80’s they told me, nice and hot. The swim went well, I had no expectations just in ‘enjoy the race’ mode and think I forgot it was the grand final, had a good swim got out the water very happy. Long run to transition to pick up my bike. Not a smooth ride had some issues with the gearing, kept jumping. I remember thinking to myself “yep! Jinxed! But I would have carried the bike round the course if I had to, was so excited to take part nothing was going to stop me finishing.
The run went well as could be expected in the heat and considering the lack of preparation. I have to give a big shout out to Bulkpowders for keeping me hydrated and to my mum, dad and brother Gabriel who came to support me and shout me on. It was my chance to race in an amazing destination and any race is always better than no race. The best part of it all was crossing the finish line. No chest pain, no breathing difficulties or issues what so ever. Went out on the night with my family to celebrate, after our meal we made a toast and said, “to wheeze free training from now on” and all burst out laughing. It was a great end to a rough few months.
The event was brilliant, fantastic course, I was disappointed that I was not race fit but my luck must have changed as I got to take part in the end. Can’t forget to mention the great people you meet at these events and the GB girls were a great bunch. My season may have been tough but it did not end in disappointment.
Setting A New Personal Best Time: 18:12
Mega Happy To Take Overall Senior Female Winner For The Series On Thursday Night
This year hasn’t been the best for me so this is a massive positive, it was totally unexpected. I have been on and off swimming during the summer but most of the time I just felt awful.
Congratulations to all the winners and finishers
Thank you for a fantastic event I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great atmosphere, staff and safety crew did a fantastic job
My name is Whitney and I mainly participate in sprint triathlons, consisting of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run. I have just finished my second year with the Triathlon England Yorkshire & Humberside Region Talent Academy and was placed onto the GB Academy in October 2012