Hotspots, Challenge Henley and injury

Hi all,

Hoping that this latest instalment for 10MillionMetres finds you well?  I have had an interesting couple of weeks. The first big news that put a smile on my face was the news that I don’t have a stress fracture of my right tibia.  It was the waiting that got to me.  I don’t mind admitting that I approached my MRI scan with some trepidation.

I needn’t have worried as the MRI process was really straight forward.  I’d had one before, when the good doctors were assessing me to ascertain why I had a tremor. Apparently, notwithstanding rumour and the efforts of my Parkinson’s to kill my neurones, I do have a brain.  The huge machine surrounded the bed that I was lying on. Straps holding my legs in place made me feel more of a prisoner that a patient.  However, after quite some time of listing to various noises I was just on the verge of falling asleep when the nice nurse abruptly woke me!  Typical when one is getting comfy!!

The news was fantastic.  I can explain the relief I felt which was then followed by the realisation that I had little is no time to do any run training for the Ironman distance Challenge Henley Triathlon!  Not what I had intended.  This has been coupled with my personal battle against my fear of water.  Last year I completed the swim at the London Triathlon in 38 min which, for a bloke who doesn’t swim very comfortably, was a real success.  In fact, I’d like to think of it as a watershed moment.  Nonetheless, that feeling of triumph faded in January when I discovered that I was still afraid of water.  Since that date I have been working on my swimming with Russ Cox; a very dedicated coach and talented Ironman competitor. You can check him out at

The difference and improvement in my technique for swimming is remarkable (even if I do say so myself) and according to Russ, I’ve come a long way.  Personally, I agree as well as acknowledge that there is still a lot more to learn and plenty to improve.  However, am I good enough for a 3.8KM swim?  I’d like to think that I can do it but I am scared.  Getting in the river and swimming has really helped but has that come too late?  Well, I’ll find out on Sunday morning at 6:30 AM when my wave starts.  I will of course be wearing my Orca 3.8 wetsuit.  I have to say this is a really great piece of kit (honestly).  It certainly gives me more buoyancy than my last 3.8, which for me is a huge boost.

All the excitement of the forthcoming event has been tempered by the news I received last night from my physio Paul Martin (a top bloke and an exceptional physio – who has never been wrong regarding the various races I enter and the physical issues that manifest as a consequence of participation).  Paul examined my foot; the same one that you may have read about in my Facebook updates. He quickly diagnosed that the pain that I felt, both, on the instep and across the top left side of the right hand foot was due to an agitated nerve.  But the nerve was not the culprit. Oh no, that honour goes to the wonderful hotspot on my tibia.  This angry bit of bone is causing the trouble and presents a new worry; the risk of stress fracture.  I was gutted!  Paul’s initial opinion was that I should not run the marathon part of the Challenge Henley Tri.  I did not sleep well last night and after a few calls to some good friends, and subsequent agreement from Paul (thanks mate) I have decided to walk the marathon part of the course. This means that I will swim the 3.8km in the Thames (it’s cold I can tell you!) and cycle the 180km of the bike course as best I can but I will have to resist the urge to run the marathon!  If can do this and keep a steady pace then I’ll make it.   This is my first long (Ironman) distance Triathlon and I it certainly will not be my last.

So, I have registered and am sporting the shiny red band around my right wrist with the words “Challenge Henley-on-Thames Athlete” emblazoned around the band in white.  Am I really going to do this? Holy crap!

Time to raise the positive vibes as another piece of good news is that my baby-to-be is perfect according to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.   This is a massive boost and lifts the weight of the concerns  off of mine and Aurélie’s shoulders.  Certainly brings a big smile to the face but also the realisation that in 12 weeks my third son will be born. There is so much going on and the little guy isn’t even born yet.

Speaking of which, the Otter Trail ( is fast approaching. Both myself and Johnny Ultra fly out very shortly to compete in the Holy Grail of trail races. This also raises the issue of my lack of run training. However there is a short time to get the body back to some familiarity with running and with time I have opportunity and if I have opportunity, I can succeed.  So I am going to use the Challenge Henley tri to improve (hotspots aside). I’ll keep you posted!

On the subject of success, the successful deVere Group have run a four-page article in the Investor Insight magazine ( ) about my 10MillionMetres challenge, and running to Rome.  Thank you guys!  As ever, your support, help and encouragement are first class.  I’d also like to thank those who have been so kind for the messages of encouragement and occasional concern.  You know who you are and it means a lot to me!

So what are you waiting for? Challenge your fears, push beyond your norm and make change happen!

Keep moving!

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