Every cloud has a silver lining…

Some of you may know others may not, that eight weeks ago I was told that I had a pulmonary embolism.

Several small blood clots in my right lung and scar tissue from exposure to asbestos were discovered after several weeks of feeling off colour and an aching right side. Several more C.T. scans and a consolation with a specialist; I had to start using a blood thinning drug – Apixaban.

After the initial shock and the panic of what will I be able to do?? A few weeks of light training and a pre-arranged family holiday, the soreness on my right side and the restricted breathing improved.

After a couple of telephone calls with my coach Matt Clinton it was decided to start doing some races and harder training sessions just to see how my body reacted.

My first race back was on a very cold and wet Wednesday evening over 21 hilly miles, organised by Halifax Imps. Although placed 3rd this was a massive shock to the system and took several days to recover. I knew this was just the beginning and hopefully things would improve.

My next race was on the super-fast V718 but this was abandoned following a car crash on the course, after 60 riders had started….

The following week was the YCF 15 mile on V728 again a renowned fast course. I arrived early and managed to get in a good warm up on my rollers before going to the start, 10:50. The conditions were very good and the fast times had started rolling in. Now it was my turn, I started like a scared hare and completely made a mess of the first left turn, (some very strong verbal words to myself to get my act together) and I was off again, working as hard as I could watching both my power and heartrate. I was soon at the turn and feeling o.k., I’d been lucky enough to pass one or two riders so I knew things were going well. Working just as hard on the return leg and finishing in 30:13, I was very pleased with my time knowing that I had performed as well as possible, with just a few speed sessions under my belt. I had made it round the course in one piece, able to fight another day.

With the result in and my overall position being 8th, I had just managed to set an age group record 51 years young and 30:13, even if for only 43 minutes. Thanks Michael Ellerton, great ride mate.

Onwards and hopefully upwards to the next race this weekend and more hard training. I’m still having good days and bad days, but I’m still able to race at quite a reasonable level. With time it should get a lot better.

blair I would also like to take this opportunity to say a massive thankyou for all the kind messages and the fantastic support from my team members and sponsors.    

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