After a couple of weeks I wasn’t making any improvement and my sinuses were very painful, so much so that wearing my goggles during swimming sessions was painful. Our sports medicine doctor prescribed me some antibiotics although I wasn’t showing all the usual signs of infection.
I’ve been to the Pharmacy so frequently that the Pharmacist and I are now on first name terms......never good! There’s always an awkward moment when you’re stood in the Pharmacy waiting for your medication when the next person walks to the counter. In order to appear as though you’re not watching or listening so the person doesn’t feel uncomfortable, you have to either; a) turn away and look interested in the products on the shelf, or b) walk around the shop trying to find the most overpriced product in there. Last time I was there I turned around and found I was faced with men’s hair regrowth....’yep, definitely don’t need any of this, but I’m going to pretend to look interested anyway.’
Obviously I’m not eavesdropping but sometimes it’s difficult not to hear conversations. So the first question this young girl is asked, ‘Do you normally pay for your prescriptions,’ to which she replied, ‘No, I have bronchitis.’ Yikes! Next person walks up to get a prescription for her husband and is asked the same question. Her reply... ’No, we’re waiting for the form to go through for cancer exemption. Christ! And why am I there.....because I have a runny nose. Jeez, I need to grow a pair. So I turned to the Pharmacist and said, ’yeah, I’ll come back for my tissues.’ Obviously I didn’t say that but next time I might come bursting through the door, push my way to the front, ‘out of my way people, I, have a runny nose.’ Then again, I’m not sure that humour would go down so well.
I joke, but after seeing an ear, nose and throat consultant and having a CT scan, it turns out I have chronic sinusitis. I was prescribed a 6 week course of antibiotics, which made me feel very drained and not motivated to train. During the first 2 weeks I was able to do some training, but I was feeling tired around it and I wasn’t able to do any high intensity work. I missed out on open water swim sessions due to the risk of making the infection worse, and now only had 3 weeks till I raced with Alison in France.
I kept myself busy during this horrible period of illness by dog sitting, watching Smallville (again!) and after writing my last blog, I rediscovered science. I finally (wrote a paper to publish some data from my PhD, woohoo, but I won’t bore you with the details or even the title. I’d like to say that’s what led to this delayed blog, but actually it might have been something to do with the ridiculous amount of sport that has been on TV over the past couple of months. Sorry!
It was the final ITU race of the season in Besançon, and the last opportunity for some athletes to impress before selection. Unfortunately due to storms and a strong river current, the race format changed to a duathlon (2.5km run, 22km cycle, 5km run). Our race plan was mainly technically focussed working on getting out the saddle after turns and performing a flying dismount. For non-triathletes - this involves taking your feet out of your shoes and then swinging one leg round the back of the saddle or over the top tube to then step onto the ground whilst this bike is still moving. As you can imagine this requires A LOT of co-ordination with 2 people on a tandem.
Alison and I had a great race and led from the start, nailing almost all of the turns (luckily Alison didn’t see the wall we nearly brushed when I messed up the first turn...whoops!) and technical skills. Unfortunately we had to pull out of the last run as Alison is vulnerable to achilles problems and was not entirely comfortable. However, this wasn’t an important race and with Rio only 3 months away it wasn’t worth the risk, so a good decision made. We had the fastest run, T1, bike and T2. You can’t ask for more than that, but it was still a bit gutting for both of us not to be on the podium and have a DNF.