A few weeks ago I took part in the last race of my 2015 season, the Braveheart triathlon up in Scotland. It's a half ironman distance event that starts with a (freezing, well okay 12 degrees but cold enough) swim in the sea, goes on to an out and back lumpy bike course and finishes with a nice run up Ben Nevis and back down. It's pretty challenging.
Happily for me I won! Yaay! However, it also put a slightly early end to my season. Just after I summited Ben Nevis I went over on my ankle. Nooo. I could tell it was pretty bad but managed to hobble down the hill and maintain my lead. I went to the local hospital for an x-ray as the ankle had swollen up pretty badly - I hadn't broken anything but had torn a load of ligaments and some muscle. Double nooo.
It was a great race though; well organised and lots of awesome people taking part. It was also filmed by Dream Team TV and you can see when it'll be airing on TV over on the Braveheart website. The first showing was on Channel 4 at the weekend - I thought I'd give it a view before sharing the link with you guys in case I said something I shouldn't have in my post race delirium. You can also watch it online over on the Channel 4 website if you're in the UK.
Season round up
I raced quite a lot in the final 4 week build up to the Ben Nevis Braveheart and there is a summary of those races here.
I was planning several more 70.3 races in the Southern Hemisphere before the end of the season but the healing time for ligaments is pretty much the same as bone so I doubt I'm going to be racing fit again before the end of the year. I'm not too bothered, but it would have been nice to get some more races in as my fitness was good before the ankle situation and I always seem to go better at this time of year than in the middle of the season.
As it is I'm enjoying some much needed recovery, eating lots and have just started getting out on the bike in the past few days. I am also filling my time with prepping coaching plans for my athletes for next season which always throws up some diverse challenges with peoples varying goals. Keeps life interesting.
Looking back over 2015 it's difficult to be too disappointed. Although I'd like to be world champion like, right now, considering where I was in 2014 (for those of you who don't keep up to date with my website I was in a halo brace with 9 smashed vertebrae) I couldn't have asked for a much better come back and the win at the end of the season just topped it off. I'm still not exactly where I'd like to be but I'm on the road towards it and that's all I can ask at the moment. The important thing now is to rest and go into the 2016 season fresh and ready to race.
As this has turned into my unofficial end of season write up it seems like a good opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me through 2015. Big shout out to all my partners who can be found here. Also to all the people who have been in touch with messages of encouragement and support in my comeback year and last but not least to my close friends and family who remain behind my crazy dream despite the bumps in the road.
Happy winter training.
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Hi, I'm Ali. I like riding bikes and coaching people to achieve their athletic goals. I've been coaching for more than 10 years now and have never failed to make an athlete faster (I can't quite believe this myself either). I used to race bikes, triathlon and in 2014 I broke 9 vertebrae and my skull. Follow my journey here and on Twitter.