In 2010 I decided to use my boyfriend at the time’s private health insurance, to find out what was going on with my hip as it had been collapsing every so often and painful sometimes, for some years. I’m sitting in the waiting room & there is one other older man (approx 70’s) sitting there too. I see the specialist come out & say to the old man ‘don’t worry we can sort you out’, which I thought that sounds positive. When it was my turn to go in, the specialist looked at me, frowned, looked at the computer screen, looked at me again, and said ‘Jennie Jones’, ‘Yes’ I said, he looked at me again frowning. Then the bad news came……….. ‘You have arthritis & have the hip of a 60 plus year old (I was 39). He basically said there was nothing he could do for me and to just retire from the sport I loved so much (Triathlon) which I had already entered Ironman Austria for the following July 2011. He said that it was either caused from torn cartilage which over time had developed into arthritis and the fact that there was not a lot of room within my hip joint either didn’t help. So the old guy can get sorted but nothing they can do for a 39 year old!
I was devastated!!!! I’m not one to cry but the tears came flooding out! Triathlon was my world, I didn’t want to give it up!!! The emotions I went through might resignate with anyone who has gone through injury but denial – anger – depression – acceptance – positiviness!!! I went through all these emotions and it was a dark time for me but I finally did get to the positiviness stage and I did go on to do Ironman Austria in 14hrs 35, I did have to power walk most the run but I did it through shear determination, I wanted that tattoo and as soon as I was off the bike I knew it was now purely down to me to get to the finish line! Nothing went right from the start of it though, I swam off course as couldn’t see the blue buoys in the blue lake, I took painkillers on the bike and they made me drowsy for the first half & that was hard going fighting that & the run was always going to be tough but I did it and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!! That finishing shoot was the best feeling!
Now afterwards, when everyone was talking about their times, I got a bit depressed as mine was a lot longer than theirs & I did lose my euphoria for a little while. I did have to have a word with myself that I have an arthritic hip, I can’t run or train properly to run.
Anyway I decided I was going to do another one, I wanted to see if I could get a better time, so I booked Challenge Roth for July 2012. I did train run walk for this one – 3hrs being my longest run walk training down the canal which was tough going. I did manage to knock an hour off my time at Roth but again things did go wrong, I had a swimmer clamp themselves round my waist on the swim, again I went tired on the bike everytime I went on the tri-bars & the run was just hell on earth!!! I had runners trotts & didn’t find a portaloo for 20k!!! And my right leg (bad side) just felt heavier & heavier! When I got to the point when I only had 5k to go and if I could of done it in my usual 5k time I’d of got my target time but I just couldn’t get my legs to go any faster, the impact when I tried to run was just so painful, & I’d dug so deep I thought I was going to end up in Australia!!! But I made it to the finish & as I said earlier I did knock an hour off my last time to give me 13hrs 35 (I just wanted a time in the 12’s). I didn’t get the same euphoric feeling as I got with my first but I don’t think you ever get that feeling again!
Not long after this race I started seeing a physio to see if they could help with my hip & this guy referred me to a Movement Specialist called Bodyology based at the time in Bracknell. They took me on as a case study to get me painfree & it was the turning point for me. They got me moving correctly, using the right muscles & they did get me 80-85% painfree (I don’t take any painkillers), it has taken a few years & I do have to keep up with an Osteopath who was part of the team, to put me straight again when I destroy myself but between them they have kept me cycling, swimming & I took up climbing & mountain biking after I retired from Ironman. This was the reason I trained to become a Triathlon Coach, to enable me to still be apart of the sport I love so much, training other Triathletes to achieve their goals.
More blogs to come……. My Lands End to John O Groats Plus Climbing 3 Peaks Challenge