Laura and Sockmine
A guest post from Laura Siddall, Laura is a professional triathlete and has been part of the Sockmine family for many years. Born in Mansfield, just up the road from us here in Sutton in Ashfield, Laura has developed her love for sport into a full-time career and now competes all around the world! We wish Laura the best of luck with her upcoming races.
Laura’s 2019 so far
Arriving in Europe, I was all set and focused on Challenge Roth, one of my favourite races and one of the best events, if not the best triathlon in the world. Unfortunately, six weeks out, as I went out on my first ride back after a short break, all set and focused on being in great shape in Roth, I came off my bike and broke my right collar bone. Don’t worry the bike came away pretty much unscathed, and to be honest so did I considering, sadly just my shoulder took the impact and I broke the clavicle pretty much in the centre.
I won’t bore you with the details of the incident and getting to and from the hospitals and navigating things when in a foreign country, that will all be coming out in a blog post shortly. But I will say I’m grateful to some very good friends in Girona, who went over and above to support and help me. Living abroad and flying solo when training and life, is great whilst everything is going well, but you suddenly realise how important a support network is when in somewhere foreign.
What was amazing was, that the incident happened on a Sunday, and on Wednesday I was having surgery and my collar bone plated. On Thursday I was out of the hospital and starting my rehab and recovery. I guess the benefit of living in a very cycling active community, with a fantastic surgeon who was used to athletes coming off bikes!
Whilst I touch wood, as still a long way to go, I will say I think the rehab has gone well and it’s been a new experience and opportunity for me. I’ve been lucky in my life and sporting career to never have a serious injury or even a broken bone. With all the riding, travel and racing I do, I’ve been so lucky, and I guess it was going to happen sooner or later.
I feel I’ve been immensely positive about the whole experience. It’s been an opportunity to explore alternatives. It’s also been great as I’ve been able to see real progress and development of the shoulder day today. Right from the start, each day, more strength, more movement and more flexibility.
It’s forced me to be good and conscientious of the little things, such as my daily rehab exercises, and those exercises and stretches in the gum that we normally probably ignore in favour of the bigger workouts.
What was also important I think was to take race pressure off, and whilst I was incredibly disappointed, I had to withdraw from Challenge Roth this year. Could I have been back to race in six weeks? Quite possibly but I know it wouldn't likely have been at the level I would have wanted to be, to be competitive on the day.
Also, it would have made the six weeks post-surgery, stressful as I would have been, rushing to get back to training and particularly the swimming. I think whilst gutted to not race, it was important for my recovery to remove this pressure. Having never been injured, it was a new experience and I had no idea how my body was going to respond. How was I going to heal?
However, the surgeon has been extremely happy with the progress and healing, as well as the physio and my strength trainer. I think the important things here was that I was quickly able to build a fantastic team around me to get me on the right track again, either with progression, or holding me back at the right time. Thank you to all my partners for showing their support through this period.
Just a day after surgery I flew to Slovakia and Challenge Family The Championship to be part of the live commentary team for the race. It was a fantastic experience to be able to see, watch and of course talk about the race from a different perspective as well as be exposed to a live broadcast, where I was on the ground commentating as well as in the studio, and even down at the finish line to interview the podium athletes after the race.
I took so much learning from the opportunity and gained some good and valuable feedback. It was an honour to work with the legendary (and 34 Emmy Award nominee and 16-time winner), Peter Henning and the team. A highlight for me was the opportunity to interview Sebastian Kienle for the live stream after his win. A few people have already said it’s the interview of the year! Check out the coverage, at 3:58:40in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TquQaEZI14M
Whilst I wasn’t able to race Challenge Roth, I was still able to go and be part of the team working with Challenge Roth and Challenge Family, as well as Witsup, to provide significant content leading up to the event, as well as reporting on Twitter the Pro Men’s race and feeding back information to the live studio and Challenge Roth social media centre.
Also, during this week, I acted in support of the Pro Liaison working with the Pro athletes and Challenge Roth to ensure everything was smooth and the athletes were supported where needed. I was also interviewed by the main radio station in Bavaria, with my homestay family, and attended a local tri club running session.
On the commentary front, I have been asked by Ironman to call into their Facebook Now live coverage of two of their races. Ironman Ireland and Ironman Lake Placid. It’s an honour to be asked to call in and add my thoughts about the races and athletes, as well as be able to answer questions about my rehab and racing.
As mentioned in my last update, I had booked a session at The Boardman Wind Tunnel, and due to my collarbone, had to reschedule this by a month. However, I was able to attend a session in July and had a fantastic experience (as an engineer and athlete) testing out my position, and equipment. More details to come on the learnings I took away here, but also the confidence that my bike coach Paul Buick had to get me into a pretty good set up already. It was also great to have Dov, From Parcours, my wheel partner there for the duration as well.
Now looking forward and it’s just over six weeks till Ironman Wales. Ironman Wales has always been a big goal for me this year. Having been inspired by the race last year, and never having raced in the UK myself as a Professional (and only once as an Age Grouper) I was keen to race Wales this year. I’m now head down in the process to make sure I’m in the best shape heading into that race. Then onwards to Kona and the Ironman World Championships, and the second half of racing for the year.
I have a few changes coming up too on the partnership front, which I’m excited to announce in my next update.
See more from Laura here: https://laurasiddall.com/
Laura’s favourite socks
When training and competing, Laura likes to wear our Sockmine Performance Quarter. The combination of COOLMAX® and TACTEL® wicks moisture away from the skin so that even after BIG runs, you won't have to wring them out! Now with an added reinforced toe to stop those nasty big toes from breaking loose and spoiling your run (and socks)! Leaving you to run and run as far as your legs will carry you.
Shop them here: https://sockmine.co.uk/collections/running/Performance