Monday, August 16, 2010

The bumpy road to Ironman

We have been training for months, without injury or incident. Trevor and I were pretty proud of ourselves for getting this far, pushing our bodies this far and feeling stronger than ever before.

We have put in the long rides, the long runs, the long swims. It has been emotionally, mentally and physically draining. We made it to our last long workout before our taper and we were SO happy.

We got up Tuesday morning and got our gear together. Our friend Doug was planning to ride with us, but got called to work and couldn't go. Our friend Jo was going to meet us after our ride for a run. I texted another friend to get Jo's cellphone number. That way I would have it ready.

We got started about 90 minutes later than planned, but we didn't care. We headed out and were just so glad this was it. The last long day out on the road. I had planned out a great two loop route that would take us down by the river. We headed down that way. We were zipping right along, Trevor was behind me and I didn't want to slow him down. I told him he could pass and he did. I was feeling good, singing a song in my head ("Shoop" by Salt and Peppa, if you must know). Trevor was a ways ahead of me. All of a sudden, I hit something and completely lost control of my bike. I screamed. My bike hit the curb and then turned sideways. I knew I was going to crash and I knew there was no stopping it.

Down I went. BAM. My left arm took most of the weight of the fall. The stuff in my bento box spilled into the road. I heard Trevor slamming on his breaks and running back to me. He kept saying "stay down". I got up and wanted him to know I was okay. He checked me out to see where I hurt. I had a torn up left side, my lip was a little busted, my gloves were totally torn off and my left elbow was throbbing.

We moved everything to the sidewalk and then I realized that I was not okay. As the shock wore off, the pain started. Trevor was going to ride home and get the car, but I didn't want to be left alone. I told him to call Jo. He did and she came to get us. Several cars pulled over to see if we were okay. Many of them said they had crashed their bikes before and were sorry that I had too.

During the time we were waiting, alot of thoughts went through my mind. I was hurting more and more. I was realizing that something was really not right and a trip to the ER was in my future. I kept apologizing to Trevor, which I know he hates. I felt so stupid. He found the rock I hit and it was HUGE. How did I not see it?

All my Ironman dreams went out the window. I thought of all the time I had trained. Honestly, there was a second where I felt this was my way out. That thought was quickly squashed because I didn't want a way out. Not this time.

Jo dropped us at home and we headed to the hospital.

The hospital is where I really started to fall apart. I was in an increasing amount of pain. I knew they were going to want to touch my arm and move my arm. Just thinking about that made me cry. Then I thought about Trevor doing Ironman without me and I started crying more. Nurses would come in and ask if I was okay. I'd say yes and then keep crying.

Trevor kept saying he thought it would be okay. I kept thinking "but you don't know how badly it hurts".

They took me for xrays and every time they told me how they wanted me to move it, I cried. Looking back now...I was pretty pathetic. But it hurt.

It didn't look so bad at first...

The dr came in and said nothing was broken, just a sprain. I said "good. We have an Ironman triathlon in three weeks". I don't know if he really understood what all is involved in that and he said "just listen to your body". Right.

The nurse came back in to clean my scrapes. One of our running group friends is a nurse there and saw my name on the list when she got to work. She came in and visited with us. That was a nice surprise.

We got home and Trevor put me on a regimine of supplements. Let the healing begin.

Here is the progression in pictures:
Tuesday afternoon:

Wednesday: you can see my hip and chest have a little road rash

Thursday: yowee
Friday: I saw Dr Jake and he went to town on it. He taped it all up to help with the swelling

My hand looked like a sausage, the swelling moved down.

Monday: amazing how much better it is. Still hurts.

When I saw Dr Jake on Thursday, I asked him what the healing time would be. He said normal people - 6 weeks, for me 3 to 4 weeks. I said "We have Ironman in 2 and a half weeks". He was ultrasounding my arm and at that point he started to hum. I told him that we didn't have time for him to screw around, he needed to bring his A game. Jake has fixed us before, brought us back from injury to run marathons and do triathlons, so he can't fail me now.

I have been doing all the things he told me to do - icing it multiple times per day, taking advil, not using it (its in a sling). I am also taking a store full of supplements: liquid collagen protein for soft tissue repair, beta-alanine & MSM for inflammation, Omega 3/6/9 for joint lubrication and inflammation reduction, glutamine for recovery, calcium & vitamin D for bone health (just in case), in addition to all my usual repair and recovery things. If it is possible to heal this injury faster, we will do it.

I am going to finish Ironman Canada in two weeks. I have ordered a compression sleeve for some extra support. I will take it easy until the event. I will be careful that day, but I will finish. It may change my race strategy, but I will still finish.

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to
do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell
apart, that's true strength."

The ride just got more interesting...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

OMG, I am soo glad that this is something that can heal, and so grateful you didn't hurt yourself any more seriously. Thinking about you!!