Half Ironman Training week 8 – where to begin?

This week began with sickness, continued through “making the most” of my last few days in Madrid and celebrating being back in London, and ended with a bike accident. Yup.

Just over 8 hours of training managed though. Two short swims, one short cycle, one long cycle, one attempt at running and a lot of stretching and strength & conditioning work.

Monday and Tuesday I was still ill. I ate nothing for 24 hours on Monday and just hummus and dry toast on Tuesday. Wednesday I was feeling okay so had a little swim. On Thursday I had my work leaving lunch so spent all afternoon eating and drinking before going out for dinner and doing a little more eating and drinking!

On Friday I had the day off work to pack up to return to the UK. I caught the metro to the park and went for a little run – I ended up running for almost an hour, on a run/walk strategy of run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. It was so hard.

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My leg was slightly sore, but a lot better than it had been, and I hadn’t been limping at all when walking. It just felt as if I had lost all my running fitness and I have a long way to go before I can have a lovely slow easy run for an hour. Although maybe I am just kidding myself that it ever felt like that – who knows!

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Anyway the scenery was beautiful and I was just enjoying being out in Madrid for the last day and actually being able to run again. I had a little swim in the afternoon before heading out for a “last-night-in-Madrid dinner”.

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Saturday was spent flying back to the UK and unpacking. So much unpacking.

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James and I had a lovely dinner out and then it was early to bed. On Sunday we got up, had a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, and then slowly got ready to go out cycling about 11am.

It was pretty horrible from the start – the traffic in London is absolutely ridiculous on a Saturday, and I think much worse than at rush hour as there are less cyclists and more people weaving around between lanes. The whole way out to Richmond Park the traffic was just at a standstill and we were either standing still as well, or trying to make our way through when it was safe enough. We went through Richmond Park, stopping to enjoy the deer (spot the one with all the fern around its antlers, silly deer), and then set out towards Hampton. This was a new route we hadn’t done before but I was hoping it might have less traffic and less time in the city than our usual. I was very, very wrong.

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It continued being horrible with lots and lots of traffic. We were on a busy road with crawling traffic, about to turn right into a side road. James was up ahead and had missed the right turn through not knowing the route. I moved across the lanes to the middle of the road but couldn’t make the turn due to cars stopped still in the opposite direction, blocking the entrance to the road. I shouted up ahead to James and waved, and then waited in the space where you’re meant to wait to turn right, both feet down on the ground. I wasn’t moving anywhere.

All of a sudden, something hit the back of my bike and a lot of force went down my left leg – my bad leg anyway. A car had pulled out of the side road to turn right and had just driven straight into me. I turned round and said something like “what the fuck?!” To which he started shouting and gesturing at me that it was my fault, I was in the way… etc etc. I said “I wasn’t moving?!!”. Then a couple of other drivers stuck their heads out of the window and started shouting “I saw that! That was his fault!” etc etc etc. When I could, I moved on out of the middle of the road and stopped just on the corner. The car drove off. I hadn’t got his number plate. Another cyclist checked if I was okay and then James came over to check if I was okay. I started shaking and then burst into tears, only able to choke out “I don’t know why I’m crying, it doesn’t even hurt that much!”

At the time I really felt as if nothing serious had happened. My leg was a bit sore, but then it’s been a bit sore for a while and I was just pissed off that it had seemed to be getting better, and then I’d been put back a few steps. We checked the wheel and that seemed fine, so cycled on. We cut the cycle short as I really wasn’t feeling it, and even took a footpath rather than the road, freewheeling slowly past runners, dog-walkers and families and just chatting. We went back to Richmond Park to do a lap and I was just finding it SO difficult. My leg hurt a bit but nothing serious, but I felt as if I had absolutely no energy whatsoever. James was waiting for me at the top of one of the hills and when I got up there I said I had to stop and sit down. I had a bit of a strop about how worried I was about the half Ironman, how I felt being sick had sapped all my fitness, what on earth was wrong with me….. until James pointed out that I had probably had a rush of adrenaline when the car had driven into me and was now feeling a loss of all that adrenaline!

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We eventually got home and went round to Charlotte’s for the last barbecue of the summer. I was sat still with my leg up on a chair for ages as we ate and drank. Then when I got up to walk home, the pain came back with a vengeance. I could barely put any weight on the leg and kept getting shooting pains up my hip. It was the sorest my leg has ever been and was clearly more than just the standard overuse / muscle imbalance injury I get from time to time. I hobbled home very, very slowly, and then went to check my bike again. As James said, if that much force went through your leg, there’s got to be some damage to the bike.

And there was. A crack in the chainstay.

Having now spoken to my insurers, it looks as if whatever needs to be done, even if that’s a new frame, will be covered by the insurance. So that’s good. What’s not good is that I can’t really cycle the bike until its fixed. So that’s going to be a while without a bike… and I have a half Ironman in three weeks time…. And walking is pretty painful (although better than it was last night!). I am hoping to borrow bikes and may have to do the Ironman on my mum’s spare bike – it’s a pretty high-end Trek one, similar quality to my lovely Liv Envie so it will be fine – but you know, it’s not my bike!!!

So week 8 was a bit of a disaster!!!

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5 comments

  1. Oh no! I hope the extra damage to your leg heals without complications. What a terrible driver to hit and run. It’s unfortunately timely that I am just writing up a blog post on my bike crash! I’ve got 6 weeks until my Iron distance tri and I’m not sure what bike I’ll be able to ride.

    • Oh my god. Just read about your crash – the Wound is horrific! You poor thing and how scary. Best of luck in finding a bike for your Iron distance tri – and in being properly healed by then! Six weeks is a good amount of time, I’m sure you will be 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry it’s been such a tough week for you. That motorist makes me so angry, and it’s just disgusting how little respect motorists have for cyclists a lot of the time. I’m not surprised you were upset and I would have cried too just from shock and anger.

    Fingers crossed your leg/hip will settle down after the initial trauma, and that you can get a bike sorted ASAP. All the best and I’m willing week 9 to be a better one!

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