Monday, September 1, 2014

Cotswold 113 middle distance 2014 injured but not out!!!!

Right where do I start.... The day before this middle distance I had to stop a crazed fight between 2 of my dogs and got bitten in the process.  I did go to A and E, didn't have stitches but strips and was advised not to do the race.  My forearm and wrist were pretty swollen but I was in denial and travelled up with a bag of frozen peas to meet team mendip for the second year. 
After some strong painkillers I was a lot happier and there was no doubt that I wouldn't compete in the race.  I did have a few concerns but what the hell, I wasn't going to lose my entry fee. 
After having problems pulling my jeans back up I knew the wetsuit would cause a few problems.  
The morning of the race I was helped into my wetsuit... I felt like a baby in one of those bouncer things as I couldn't really grip very well. But wetsuit on and ready to go.........
Last year I had an asthma attack due to the sting bomb smell that the pond weed pollinating gave off but this yr the smell wasn't very strong.  I did feel anxiety before the race so made sure that I started at the back and had my own space.  I tried to eliminate all the fears and factors that would set me off.  I started off really slowly but within the first 200 m I was struggling for breath.  My hand at this point didn't  hurt too much, I think the cold water did help. 
I tried to compose my self resting on a boat and decided to go again.  I could see the rest of my wave getting further ahead.  I tried again and managed to go a little way before panic set in again. 
I had to have a proper word with myself and the only way I mentally got through it was by telling myself I was swimming at vobster and I wasn't even in a race.  This worked and off I went.  Now when I wasnt worried about how I couldn't breathe, my hand started to hurt... I thought I just needed to get through the swim and the bike would be easy.  I thought I was doing really well until the water got so shallow that I had to stand up and a Marshall was telling me I had gone the wrong way. Oh god what a disaster. So back to course I swam and got engulfed by the blue wave.  I finally made it to shore as the guys tried to help me out the water I hide my right hand from them, I didn't want them pulling on it at all.  Wetsuit removal was quite entertaining and one handed was quite good I thought.  I knew I had been last out the water same as last year but I was determined to pull it back on the bike.  

The bike leg which I thought would be ok actually turned out to be the worse.  Yes I could rest my wrist on the aero bars very light grip and no pain but every little bump on the road set shocks waves through my wrist making me wince.  I tried to change gear and that little movement was causing so much pain I decided to change gear with my left hand.  I couldn't use the brake on that side either.  Oh boy was I having fun!!!!! I resorted to holding my hand up and off the bike and cycled one handed whilst trying to push it as fast as I can.  Cornering was well dodgey and I slowed right down.  Not trusting my own balance, drinking and eating was ruled out completely and I was just going to get it over and done with. The first lap seemed quickish, I couldn't get out of the saddle , cycling one handed is good on a flat but not a good idea on the hill.  I did actually think about pulling out and at one point when I jarred my wrist and nearly choked on my own tears I seriously thought what the hell am I doing.   I went into survival mode..... I was going to finish..... I knew that if I made it to the run it would be ok. 

I was so glad to be off the bike and out on the run.  I had some catching up to do and just got into that pace and mind set.  Although my wrist was throbbing that was more bearable than the sudden spasms of pain I was getting on the bike.  I found some of the run unbearably hot and enjoyed the wooded areas.  The run course is three laps and I knew I was slowing down each lap but pushed through to the end. 
Overall my swim was slower and my bike was slower by 1 minute and my run was was quicker than last year, making me slower by 5 mins compared to last year.  I can take that, I knew how difficult some of that race was for me.  I can spend ages considering what I could have done on the bike and swim if I had use of my whole body and hadn't stopped on the swim, but I did the best I could do under unusual conditions and still placed 10th in my age cat. Total time 5.44 
Wandering around after the race with ice wrapped around my wrist, I used the medal as a sling.... People were concerned I had injured myself on the race but seemed shocked that I had the injury before hand. Now I will pay the consequences of what I did and my hand is really swollen but at the end of the day I was never going to give up, that's not what I am about. 
Meschee 1 injury 0 

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