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Tue 5th Jul 2022
Tej: from hospital bed to Ironman
Posted by: Tej Thaker
Posted on: Friday 26th September 2014

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We recently introduced recent triathlete convert Tej Thaker, who caught the triathlon 'bug' in the last 18 months. After a few Super Sprints - and a painful trip to hospital, Tej bounced back to fitness - something her will certainly need this weekend, as he is racing at Ironman Mallorca...

PB PB PB across all 3 disciplines.
Training hard had paid off.

Up at 5am, with very swollen eyes, I got ready for the Blenheim Palace Triathlon. I looked more Oriental than Indian.

Despite not feeling 100%, I went to Blenheim, raced hard in the cold and wet British summer and placed 6th of 420.

The next 24 hours were rough and I ended up bed-ridden on my return to London. Unable to eat or drink, my temperature soared and I got very weak. After a useless doctors appointment, where I was prescribed antibiotics for a mild sore throat, I ended up in A&E and then admitted to hospital. Diagnosis: Glandular fever.

All I could think about was my Olympic distance race at Dorney within a week, where I was keen to hit another PB. (I actually asked the doctor if I'd be able to race by then, to which he responded with a disgusted face as if he'd just been given a surprise colonic irrigation. I took that as a no).

Depressed is the only word I can use to describe how I felt!

I'd worked so hard throughout winter & spring and now I'd be out for nearly a month! All those early morning training sessions before work, late night runs and hardcore turbo sessions felt like they'd been somewhat wasted.

I spent a day sulking in my hospital bed, connected to an IV bag, reliant on morphine, codeine and unable to eat anything but ice cream (hospital life had its pros & cons).

Tej Thacker

Screw it! Challenge accepted, I'll come back fighting!

I did a couple of core exercises in bed, and then sneaked to the bathroom to attempt a few push-ups when nurses weren't around. I got dealt my cards and wasn't going to fold!

Being discharged felt like I'd been released from prison and I was raring to go. However, nearly a month out of training, my times across all disciplines were awful! I'd lost muscle mass, gained weight and felt very tired after short sessions. (Plus I had a constant craving for ice cream). It could only go up from there.

I slowly got back into my routine, listened to my body, and progressively hit training hard. I had the Virgin Super Sprint Triathlon coming up and was going to perform as best I could.

Race day came around and I went for it!

Third place! My first podium finish in the sport came after being in hospital just over a month ago.

Whatever happens, there's only one thing that'll stop you from achieving your goals, and that's you and your determination!

Tej Thacker

Now, I'm just a week away from my first Ironman! I've never run a marathon, swam more than 1.5km or cycled even 100km.

I've been through some of the longest and mentally challenging training sessions I've experienced, but can't wait to complete this challenge and become an Ironman!

(Obviously once that's done, my priority is to get back on track for that GB vest!)

Moral of the story?

  • Quitters never win, winners never quit!
  • Don't get Glandular fever!

Raising money for Cancer Research for my Ironman Mallorca

Twitter: @th4ker

Inspired? Please click here to find out more about taking part in a Human Race Triathlon.

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