Exploding eyeball

Eye blood
If this is the only injury I get this year, I’ll take it. Check out my eye. How did I do that?
I’m in a maximum strength development lifting phase in the gym at the moment and I’m in the last week of an 8 week block. Last week I was struggling a bit in a good session, so I think I probably burst a blood vessel in between the sclera and conjunctiva of my eye when starting off a deadlift. I’m careful not to hold my breath when I lift (a Valsalva manoeuvre when squatting a heavy weight would not be cool) but when starting these things off I probably raise my intra-thoracic pressure quite a bit and this extends into my head. *Pop* go all the little blood vessels.
I can now say that I train so hard that my eyes bleed.

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Mid-winter testing

Early morning cycling
Mid-winter testing sucks. I know I’m heavy, I know intellectually that I’ve lost last summer’s fitness, and I know I’ve got a lot of work to do to be ready to race, but measuring it sucks. I’m sure it hurts more than when you’re fitter, and the numbers can be depressing. My functional threshold power is down on the bike and my threshold run pace is down (but it feels great to run fast – for the first few minutes anyway). Swimming is feeling nice again after a Christmas break but it ain’t speedy.
The main point of testing at this time of year is to set a baseline to improve from. It’ll feel good in 4 weeks’ time, or 8 weeks, or 12 weeks, when I measure again and see that I’m getting faster. That feels good. If I’m not getting faster I need to change something in my training. Numbers guide training and motivation. And being a scientist I love graphs. I can make graphs about myself! I am my own experiment!

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The new year has hit, and I’ve been doing my usual winter jobs of repairing, replacing and renewing triathlon kit and getting some plans together. Who needs New Year’s resolutions when you have plans? I’ve qualified for the European Triathlon Age-Group Championships in Austria in June, and I decided to enter Xterra England in August for a bit of a shift in focus. I’ve been enjoying mountain biking and cross country running this winter so I thought I’d push on with that. A change is as good as a rest. Or, if it’s not fun you’re doing it wrong.
This year I’ll be registered as a veteran class athlete in triathlon for the first time, which is a bit of a weird thought. A new age group (another very fast, strong one), but the challenge kind of remains the same. In local races I’ll be racing for the vet 1st place as much as for the overall win, I think.

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