Howard's Way

Is Team CPlus's Howie the unluckiest rider around? He's gone all Beckham on us and broken his foot!

Happy New Year? Well for some maybe but not  me. Feeling sorry for myself a little at the moment. Just when you think things are looking up, after a number of highs and lows last year, another set back. Not my old war wound ankle, which has healed up nicely, but my right foot now. And a stress fracture....

How……oh that’s easy. My girlfriend and I had a holiday in Budapest, and we did a considerable amount of walking in the cold –  very cold actually  -11C on the hottest days! On the penultimate day, we walked about 12 miles, and halfway through my foot was sore, but you have to press on. Fuelled by copious amounts of mulled wine and paprika laced sausage, I arrived back at the hotel to find my foot very swollen, and some big  blisters, oh they were corkers.

Following day was a tortuous flight home from Budapest to Paris. And guess what? The gate I landed at, and the gate I needed to be at to get the flight back to Blighty, were at the two extreme points of the airport. Good job I had two hours get there, because I needed them. I was walking like an old man, every step was purgatory.

I eventually arrived home and started some self treatment with super strength painkillers. Then another old friend pops up to say hello. My gout!  Now I would never wish this on my worst enemy. So off to the doctors and  he confirms the gout, but isn’t  sure why it seems to have spread to the rest of my foot. So an X-Ray is arranged and the confirmation is a stress fracture of 2nd metatarsal. Treatment is eight weeks of rest. You’re having a laugh!!!

After a chat with Team CPlus coach Joe Beer we have decided that it will be okay to try some very light spinning on the turbo once the pain and swelling has reduced. At least this will raise the heart rate and spin the legs, which is better than nothing.

Since my return from Hungary, and the shock of weighing myself on the scales, I have got back to my strict (well sort of) diet. No more nuts, crisps, choccie, fizzy drinks in the car, wine, spirits and snacks. In comes 2 litres of water a day, more fruit and smaller portions, as well as a multi vitamin, Glucosamine Sulphate and Milk Thistle Extract. This year’s focus is now going to be weight; I know I can haul the body over the hills, even if it means walking, so in order to reduce the likelihood of having to climb off, any weight loss will only help in my climbing. Also I am going to be fitting a new groupset to the bike - a triple. This too will help me over the steeper hills and should knock hours of some of the longer and hillier sportives.

Now I am in the pink, and a member of CC Giro. The more I meet the guys at the club at different socials, the more I am convinced I have made the right choice. I am planning this year's events. One of them is the Midland Monster, and rather than ride the event, I am helping as a volunteer – it'll be interesting to see the sportive scene from the other side for once. 

My sportive calendar for the year is almost full, I just need to nail down some rides and try and fit in two holidays, which will be fun.

As I sit here now, with the tender foot, my head is in gear. I am supercharged and ready to go. I want to be back out riding, I want the weight loss down on a steady regime, and I want the new bling on the bike ready to help me get up those hills faster without walking.

2009 here I come !!!

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