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Saturday the 13th…

Sitting in my car outside Tullamore hospital and I’m on the verge of tears. I’ve just been told that I need immediate surgery on a ruptured pec tendon. The operation was scheduled for the next day (26th April). With restricted movement for an initial 12 weeks and an estimated 6 months to full recovery, I know instantly that all my plans for the year are up in smoke; a planned cycle training camp in Marbella the following weekend, Scafell Sky Race in the UK on 8th June, a crack at the Rankin Round in July and of course my main aim…..Quest 24.

Since my last blog training had been flying. My training plan was to increase the quantity and intensity of training during February, March and April. With some long cycles in the freezing cold and wet of early Spring, I could feel the bike legs returning. One of the spins was 105km in the freezing cold and lashing rain which turned to snow by the end. When I got home, I had to get into the shower with my gear on to thaw out! It’s those tough days that harden you up for tough races.

Living in Meath there’s a bit of a shortage of hills so laps of Tara have to do and then head for the mountains for longer days as much as possible. Getting out into the mountains of Connemara and then on Paddy’s weekend a 7-hour session in the Mournes gave me the idea that I should give Quest Glendalough Expert Race a shot to get back into race mode. The race was great and leaving Laragh I had additional resolve to crank up my training and tear into the summer (Expert race Kayathlon blog).

So, with a renewed vigour, myself and two of the lads headed for the Mournes at 4am on the 13th of April. The plan was to complete a route of 30km with lots of climbing. On one of the descents I had a small slip, both my feet went from under me and I slid just a few feet on my tail end. My right arm was stretched out and got caught behind me. I heard a snap and was in pretty severe pain in my biceps / shoulder area. We had to abandon and hike/jog back to the car. Though in severe pain for a few days and with restricted movement I could still cycle and run, so continued to train. I was advised to get a scan to rule out something sinister. With it being Easter I had to wait until the following Tuesday to get an MRI scan.  So even though it had been ten days since the injury, the fact I was training away meant I had convinced myself that it was just a bit of a pulled muscle. So, the news I got in Tullamore hit me fairly hard.

While the operation was a success and recovery is going well, it is really frustrating. I know that come race day it will be hard to feel anything but a real longing to be there.

There are a few days still left to sign up so if you’re still on the fence stop prevaricating and get on it quick!

I wish everyone who has signed up the very best in getting to the start line in August. It is often said that that is hardest part. For me on this occasion it is not to be, but I will be there in 2021….

All the best, Andy.