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Going Back In Time to 2006

Sorry I haven’t been in touch lately – things have got a little complicated – mmm where shall I start, let’s go back to  2006 where things start to change.  I had been training for Ironman since February 2006 every six days and doing the odd event to see how I was progressing.  I will start this blog at November 2006 when I entered the Wattle Lake Taupo Bike ride.  This event the cyclist rides around Lake Taupo, New Zealand which is 160kms (roughly 100 miles).

I did the first 80kms of the Wattle Lake Taupo Bike ride on the 26th (or somewhere around there) – that was the pits really, if it was only the hills I think I would have accepted it, but to compound this, it was blowing 40 ba*****ds and I felt like that chic on the Hanover Finance tv add, where she is cycling forward, but the wind is blowing her backwards !  I so relate to that add sometimes!  But yeah, it was crap and I wasn’t a happy camper. However a few days later I felt that it had made me stronger, and anything less that would be a ‘walk in the park’, so retrospectively it kind of gave me more confidence.  I did this sodding ride in 4 hours 10m 🙂

The following week I decided on impulse to do the Tinman triathlon at the Mt Maunganui – purely to gain experience in a group swim.  Well, once again it was terribly windy and was at least gusting up to 15 knots with a reasonable chop and it was a cold 16 deg water temperature.  (I decided to do the sprint category which was a 750m swim, 20k cycle, 5k run (walk in my case) ) Well god damn, the first leg was actually o.k. having been assisted by the current which was a nice bonus and my yachting experience helped me with laying the line – all nice at this point.  Unfortunately when I rounded the buoy I had trouble seeing the second buoy to go round and ended up drifting some ungodly amount of distance down from the course, so in effect I swam a course something in the shape of an ice-cream cone!! God, I think I ended up doing a good 900m swim – the distance didn’t really worry me, it was more the current I was fighting against on the way back.  I ended up ticking off the trees on the side of the road so I knew I was going forward.  I finally got out of the water last – this didn’t really worry me – and yup, freezing cold and was assisted by the medics to change into my cycling gear – yahoo I finished this triathlon (the only one to date).

Tinman Triathlon, Mt Maunganui November 2006

The following weekend was my Half Ironman – the ‘check point charlie’ of my training leading into Ironman in March 2007, and here the saga begins …….

I have R. Arthritis (Diagnosed 1997). and I have been suffering a swollen wrist for the past 8 weeks and i figured it was poxy arthritis being a *********** and of course ignored it and carried on training.  However when my first big test to do the Taupo Half Ironman came round I decided on a quick trip to Taupo hospital trying to sneak in a cortisone on the 8th (event on the 9th 6.30am swim and drove down on the Friday to Taupo) never succeeded.

Saturday 4.00am dawned to have breaky and head down to transition to set out my gear for each transition at 5.30, it was dark and only the lights around Lake Taupo twinkled on the water.  I sat on a nearby rock and thought about things for a while and most of them that I was mad doing this with a sore arthritic wrist.

Wondering back up from the lake edge I went to transition and made sure I had all the things I needed for todays event.  People started arriving and as soon as I saw my friend I asked him to help me into my wetsuit as my arm was in quite unbearable pain.  During my 2k swim I thought this is just no fun, I really am kidding myself to do 3.8km!!!  What a joke!  but with the belief it was just arthritis, told myself to “get over it”.  The water was a horrible 13 deg C and I finally got out of the water 2nd to last and being escorted by a bloke on a surfboard and a bloke in a kyack (if I hadn’t I think I might have ended up at Mt Ruapehu as I was swimming the wrong way at the turn around – bit of a giggle really )  …  a walking “ice-block” and was directed into the tent where the first aid ambulance chappies were, and the rest of the day was history.  Firstly as I was really cold, secondly my arm was really, really sore and thirdly as I was feeling very sick (figured I had just taken a tad too many pain killers etc) so then ended up cheering everyone else home.  The drive home was horrific – basically drove home with one arm and found 5th gear really difficult (anyone following would have thought I was drunk!)

By Sunday morning I was horribly unwell with an obscene swollen wrist and off to Waikato Hospital I went.  Then to find it was an infected bone which in effect, was like a tree with a rotten branch.  The call was made that osteomyelitis was the verdict. ( I had broken two bones while swimming the 2k as it was basically rotten bone)

However it was all very weird having a chest x-ray and a ct x-ray of my stomach area, then MRI scans on two separate days as well as a full body scan – they were leaving no stone unturned, also, what was weird, they stopped my antibiotics after three days (you are on them longer with a sore throat !)

Got the weekend pass, drove down to Rotorua to support my good friend Lauren Roche in her Half I.M before she did IM in March 07, that I was meant to do.

                                                Murray, Lauren and I

checked back in on the 18th at Waikato for the Biopsy on 19th. On the 20th I questioned the poor young doctor being left to tell me some odd news.  I asked of course, how much bone did they cut out to test.  He said “none”. This confused me and then said what did you cut out.  he said “tissue around the bone”.  Confused I let him leave.  After a phone call to Mum or someone – can’t remember, made me request to see this poor doctor again (10m later – as you always remember those questions when they are gone).

I then asked what tissue did you cut, he said “a tumor”.

Crap it all.  He then said it was the size of an old 20 cent coin piece.  Result will be on 28th Dec – i will be at that hospital at 7am to be sure i don’t miss the entourageof doctors who will be present to tell me all.

This makes sense now, the tumor has been a parasite and is why my bones broke being a fragile shell of a bone.

The GOOD news is, all my x-rays are clean and ok, they obviously were checking for growths in abdomen lymph nodes, lungs and vital organs, which all got the all clear.

I am now going to be a Helper at the next Ironman in March 2007, so this will be a lot of fun and still be able to go into tents that “Joe Public” is unable to and will familiarise myself with all of it so all going well when I do this event (now looking at 2008, but with not 12 months training this time) next year, it won’t be so scary.

That is about all the news from me, I am using Gmail at the moment because I don’t know when I am going to be at work, but will e-mail everyone when all this nuisance with my wrist is over. I have everything one needs with regards to triathlon now, so no more expenses there – cripes, I now have it all and can’t train.

        Old photo of me in 2006



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