Tag Archive for mitch robins

Running.

It’s now been 5months since that sharp little piece of porcelain speared my foot and sawed through everything in it’s path. I have been walking without my crutches now for about 4 weeks and it’s been just unreal. I have also been doing some cycling and swimming and that has been even better. I have never enjoyed going to slowly, but just to be outside and active again is really great. The ER doctor and the surgeon who I have been consulting with in Australia both told me initially that my chances of running again were ‘unlikely’, due to the complete severance of two of  (arguably) the most important structures in the feet for running – plantar fascia and flexor hallicus longus (big toe tendon). I have been cycling without any problems now like I mentioned for about 3 weeks, but running has still been out of the question. Very luckily for me, the surgeons have done a great job and their sewing skills have managed to hold my foot together long enough for it to apparently heal correctly – so far. To say I’m stoked is an understatement. To have the possibility of no more running planted in my head was really hard to think about. Now, I’m certainly not trying to carry on about my hard luck story, because really it’s not a big deal. It wasn’t some crazy disease or injury that had me fighting for life, and when you look around in the world, there’s always someone worse off then you. I just have lots of enquiries to how I’ve been going, so I just thought I’d write about how I was feeling and my personal experience.

Anyway, after 5 months and many uncertainties, I was given the green light by the surgeon to go out and try a jog to see how I was progressing. I thought about running home from North Sydney (20kms) but the very small part of my brain that controls common sense over-ruled me. I was so nervous to even try running, so I left it a couple days and continued with my strengthening and functional exercises I have been doing. On Sunday though I decided to have a crack, and managed a 10min ‘jog’. Depending on how you define jogging, that could be debatable. I don’t really care though, the simple progression of my recovery has both surprised me and highly motivated me to keep at it. I am now into week 4 of uni and ever closer to finishing. I don’t like being in Sydney, but it’s great to be using my brain productively and I can see the light at the end of my degree which is keeping me going. So basically, life isn’t as bad as I thought while I was sitting on the couch everyday.

Lastly, I have been generously invited back up to Port Douglas for the annual Long Course Triathlon, thanks to Guy Besley and the Cairns Crocs Triathlon club. I obviously won’t be racing, but I’m taking my bike and I’ll try and complete the swim and cycle legs, and just see what happens. I will however, be going out deep sea fishing on one of the local charter boats – some of the best fishing in Australia up in far North QLD. This race has claimed many victims, myself included – it is seriously hot and windy, but very relaxed and a great weekend. I was speaking to Guy as I was writing this, and he informed me that there was a 30%  DNF rate last year. I would seriously recommend heading up for a hit out at the Half Iron distance race if you’re preparing for Kona or Vegas World Champs. If you’re interested, check out the website here!

I hope everyone is beginning to come out of their winter hibernation and get training again, the weather of late has been amazing, so get amongst it.

Hope to see some of you in Port Douglas and out enjoying the sunshine sometime soon.

Mitch.

 

 

 

No more crutches!

Pretty stoked to be writing this post to confirm I have officially ditched my crutches, after 13 weeks of FUN. I am now walking around (very slowly and unsteadily) with a limp that would rival even the fiercest pirate!  (A fat pirate – I’m 8kgs heavier then the day I tried to cut my foot off). I actually like pirates, so this is not such a bad thing for me, however considering that there is no pirate category at most triathlons, it is not so great for performing at an elite level again. If all else fails, I will steal Josh Crowes boat and a few barrels of rum and try my luck on the 7-seas.
Anyway, I’ve got a lot of work to do, starting with strengthening up my foot and regaining some functional movement. At present, I only have around 30% function of my left foot and toes, as compared to my right foot. Hopefully this will increase a little with rehab and time, however it’s never going to be the same. I have also done quite a bit of nerve damage which has taken away a lot of feeling in different parts of my foot, but hopefully that won’t affect things too much.
So for now, I’ll keep on trying to firstly walk properly and see how I progress from there. I will write again when something else interesting happens.
Thanks to all my awesome mates who have called me now and then, or come round and picked me up to get me out of the house – the small things make such a huge difference.

Later.

 

progress…

I haven’t actually felt like writing anything for the past 7 weeks since I tried to cut my foot off on some razor sharp porcelain in Southern Texas. This is for a few reasons…

- I hate writing about myself, and there is nothing interesting for me to write about.

- My brain has turned to mushy peas and I’m struggling to string 2 words together.

- I can’t think of any other reasons due to point number 2.

I have however had lots of kind messages of support and inquires about my health, which are very much appreciated and so for that reason I would just like to let anyone concerned that I have been playing lots of xbox (Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, if anyone is wondering) at home in Port Macquarie with my foot elevated and trying to let my foot heal as well as possible.

Since I last wrote, I have returned to Australia to consult with a orthopaedic surgeon of the foot and ankle and see what needs to be done for me to make a complete recovery and return to competition. The progress has been very slow, however my last visit to Doctor Wines in Sydney yesterday was positive, with the general outcome being that the wound is healing nicely, with no long term structural damage to ligaments and tendons in my foot. I will still be on crutches for another 3 weeks, although I have been given the OK to swim and begin to do some partial weightbearing, such as walking in the pool at chest height. The doc also said yesterday that I could potentially start running in 2-3months, which is exciting and something to work towards.

I have also decided to finish my uni degree in Sydney, so I’ll be studying during semester 2 starting in 4 weeks time. Injuries such as this have reinforced that when things go bad in a sporting career, it is essential to have other options.

Lastly, thanks as always to my loyal sponsors and supporters – it is great to know you’ve still got my back and motivates me to get back to business as soon as I can. To everyone who has wished me well or helped me out lately – it is very much appreciated, even if I haven’t showed it so much.

Have a good weekend my people

 

Injury update

Hello

First thing, I hope this all makes sense because I’m under the influence of some heavy painkillers and they’re doing a very good job.

So just a quick note to let everyone know that firstly I’m OK, but I was in a very unfortunate accident on Sunday, which has temporarily put a stop to most things. After the 1500m swim at the Kemah Triathlon (south of Houston, Texas – on the Gulf of Mexico) on Sunday I was about 20m from the swim exit ramp when I stepped on something in the dirty brown water (I couldn’t see anything). It felt nasty, but I continued to the shore are when I got out of the water and looked at my foot it was clear that what I saw was not good – before the bleeding started I got a complete view of the anatomy of my foot including thin white tendons, bones and lots of red stuff. I was very uncomfortable after seeing this, but I was treated really well and a pressure bandage was applied. It was then another 8rs until I made it to the hospital and I sat in the ER until a doctor finally saw me at 8pm. Firstly he inspected it and the look on his face did not fill me with confidence – I think he’s words were “Oh $h!t, that doesn’t look good.” He informed me that I had severed some major tendons (basically the arch of the foot) and the plantar fascia. So he began to sew the tendons back together internally, and then finished off by sewing the incision back together externally, and I reached a new record of stitches as the surgeon told me he lost count at 40 stitches. It was not very enjoyable, and I had lost quite a bit of blood because it had now been 15hrs since I cut myself. I subsequently have learned that it was broken porcelain that I stepped on, which explains why there was so much damage.

I have been strictly informed about what I must do to make sure that this heals 100%, because of the tendon damage it’s imperative that it heals properly otherwise there can be problems with the way I run or walk in the future.  So it looks like this is going to take a while, but it is what it is, so I’ve just gotta deal with it and hopefully I’ll be fine. It can always be worse…

Thanks again to everyone who is still in my corner, the constant support I receive from SO many people inspires me to get back to it as soon as I can.

After these drugs wear off I’m going to have to make a few decisions about how and where I’m going to recover and start my rehab, but I’ll be sure to let you know my plans.

Cheers,

Mitch

This is my foot, with 14 stitches. There is another 25+ internal stitches (doctor lost count)

January/February 2012

Good morning friends,

It’s been a while since I last wrote, and to be honest there hasn’t been much to write about, so be thankful I haven’t wasted your time with a boring email about training or something else. Thankfully, the last month has been very productive and I am finally getting back to an acceptable fitness level, and most importantly I’ve been enjoying myself.
My 2012 season started off in late January with a win at the Camden Haven Triathlon. No world records were broken, however I believe it is important to get a win early in the year and set a high standard. The following weekend I raced again at the Newcastle Foreshore Sprint Triathlon, and managed to make it 2 wins from 2 weekends. It was another really fun weekend with some fast racing from some of the juniors. These smaller profile races are also a great opportunity to try out some new equipment so I could make any necessary adjustments and ensure everything is working perfectly.

On Sunday I toed the start line of the Huskisson Long Course Triathlon, alongside World #2 Pete Jacobs, World #9 Luke McKenzie, Ollie Whistler, plus a bunch of other Aussie athletes. I haven’t raced over this distance since winning the Port Macquarie Half IM in late 2010, so I was a little anxious and unsure how the race was going to unfold. A year of training for ITU racing had eroded my aerobic fitness and left me weaker and vulnerable on the bike, so my race came down to swimming with a group and keeping in contact on the 83km bike ride. I have been living and training with my idol Chris McCormack at his home in Cronulla for the past month, and his knowledge and experience is second to none. I met Chris while on the Australian team camp in France in 2011, and when he invited me to come and train with him in Sydney, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Training with Chris is great fun and very motivating, and combined with Gilesy’s continual support and training structure I was confident to race anyone.

The race started as planned, swimming behind Luke McKenzie for the entire 2km, exiting the water at the front of the group and 30seconds behind Jacobs. I was using a new wetsuit given to me very generously from the nice people at Speedo Australia which was very comfortable and fast through the water. We picked up Jacobs 5km into the bike ride and rode together in a group of about 8. I was feeling comfortable and under control, but as the pace increased I was fatiguing, I think Pete sensed this and kept the pressure on in the last 20kms and snuck away to a 75second lead by the end of the 83kms.

Out onto the run course I was conscious of the fact that this was going to be double as far as any race I had run in 18months, and I tried to set an even tempo and get some time back on Pete. I was confident but also aware that Pete is a phenomenal marathon runner (he has had the fastest run split for the previous 2 years at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships). At 10kms into the run I had reduced his lead to 18seconds and I felt I had another good 10kms left in me, however Pete also wasn’t finished yet. He increased the time gap by the 15km turnaround, but I fought hard in the last 5km and finished just 10seconds behind to take 2nd place. I had the fasted run of the day with a 1:06:58 for the 20kms which is a big personal improvement and most importantly confirms that my training is leading me in the right direction.

I’m so glad that I played a part in such a close and exciting race, and I really appreciate all the kind messages and love hearing how much everyone enjoyed watching the race unfold. Pete is a very classy athlete and full credit to him for taking a well deserved win.

I am now preparing to head to the Northern Hemisphere again as the weather starts to cool down here in Australia. I have a huge year coming up filled with a diverse range of events including Ironman 70.3 and 5i50 non-drafting Olympic Distance races. Hopefully I can sneak in another race or 2 here at home before I head off.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch

   

Huskisson Long Course Triathlon

Newcastle Foreshore Triathlon

Camden Haven Triathlon

Recent adventures

Hello to all,
I won’t waste too much of your time writing about my (mis)adventures lately, just a quick update on where I’m at and briefly whats been going on since I’ve returned from the USA in late October.
I had a very productive month in Colorado, and was looked after very generously by Dave and Annie Morton. I planned on racing in South Carolina but I decided I need to put my head down and train properly to set myself up for the end of year races in Australia. I flew home at the end of October and was down to race in Noosa, however I was caught in the Qantas disaster and my flights were cancelled, leaving me stranded in Sydney and no way of getting up North. To make matters worse, my bike and luggage had missed a connection in America, and were lost in an airport, somewhere. My luggage turned up on Saturday morning, so I drove down to Jervis Bay at the last minute to race a smaller Olympic Distance race put on by Emmo and his crew from Elite Energy, who always create a fun and relaxed atmosphere at their events. I started the race on Sunday morning and all was going well until about 5kms into the bike where my rear tyre decided to go flat. The walk back to town was not how I wanted to end my day, but I decided to forget about it and focus on the following weekend – the Port Macquarie 70.3 which I won in 2010.
I headed home during the week and prepared my usual way, and was really excited to race at home again, especially on my new Cervelo P3 time trial machine. Sunday morning rolled around and the race kicked off at 6.30am with a very impressive line up of Australia’s best long course professional athletes. I swam towards the front and was 5th out of the water, before jumping onto my new bike and preparing for 90kms of hard riding. I only managed to get 10kms out of town (twice as far as the previous weekend – thats progression…No?) before my front tyre (last weekend was the rear tyre) went flat as I was rounding a particularly fast corner. Luckily I kept upright on my brand new bicycle, however it was still disappointing to walk my bike home for the 2nd time in as many weekends. Congrats to Clayton Fettell, Tim Reed and Joey Lampe who had awesome days to finish 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively.
I had one last race that I wanted to really nail in 2011 – Australia’s oldest triathlon, the Nepean Triathlon. I avoided the mischief after Sunday’s race at home as I really wanted to finish the year on a good note, however my run of bad luck hadn’t finished quite yet as I woke up on Tuesday morning with a cold that left me flattened in bed for the week. I actually felt OK on Friday so I headed down to Sydney to just see what I could manage, even though there was a pretty hot field racing. My suspicions were quickly confirmed, and I really battled hard during the 1km swim, 30km bike and 10km run to eventually finish in 2nd to Tim Reed, who is in super good form at the moment. It got pretty close in the end, I just couldn’t quite catch him on the run and Tim totally deserved the win. I was just happy that I gave it everything I could manage on the day, and I can finish the year on a good note.
I have learnt a lot in 2011, with some success and a lot of disappointments. I can’t wait to work on a few areas over summer, I’ve got big hopes for 2012 and I’m full of confidence after everything that happened this year. None of what I am lucky enough to do would be possible without the support of my sponsors and family/friends. A few thank you’s…
 - Grant Giles, the man behind the magic at Aeromax Coaching.
 - Cervelo and Gemini Bicycles Australia, for the recent bike sponsorship.
 - Science in Sport Nutrition
 - Scody Clothing
 - Oakley Australia
 - Graham Seers Cyclery
 - Mike McElligott, for all your advice and input.
 - Triathlon Australia
 - Mum and Dad, and everyone who sends me messages of support or cheers for me at a race somewhere.
Thanks for reading,
Mitch
  

Nepean Triathlon