Five weeks ago on a Friday evening at around 7pm (05 June 2015) I was flying over my bike handle bars on my way to breaking my left arm. I was knocked off my bike at the end of a bike ride organised by the local school. Not great preparation for the European Triathlon Championships.A day later I was in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary having an x-ray to be told I had a double fracture of the head of my radius. That was it, I thought, game over. There would no chance of racing in Geneva. A bit of bummer as I had been focusing on this as my ‘A’ race since training started back in October 2014.
The first 7 days after the crash were very painful and sleeping was difficult. I consumed a lot of paracetamol and ibuprofen. I had very limited range of movement, maybe 10-15 degrees. But it got me out of doing the dishes.After 10 days the swelling had reduced and I managed to touch my nose for the first time since the accident - marginal gains.
Around the sametime, I visited the orthopedic consultant and had another x-ray. The doc was very happy. The bone was healing nicely and he gave me the nod to start swimming again. I couldn’t believe it.
Swimming was painful. I could do 50m or 100m but would have to stop when the pain was unbearable and my arm was throbbing. After about a week there was less pain and I started swimming faster.
I could also do running on my treadmill and one-armed cycling on my turbo.
Throughout the 5 weeks before the race, mentally I was all over the place, not knowing if I could race. Some days were really hard and depressing other days were good. I think I pulled out of the race (in my head) several times.
Fast forward to 10 July 2015, I crossed the finish line in 36th place (out of 61 in my AG). Not as good as the 8th place finish last year, but I was a happy man. Happy to make it to the start line and finish mid pack in a very competitive field. Happy to beat 25 people who didn’t have a broken arm. Happy to race for GBR again. Note: Before heading off for Geneva my Physio warned me that the arm had still not healed properly and to take it easy.
The swim was choppy and uncomfortable and I couldn’t really get into a rythym. I was nervous on the bike on the down hill sections. But my run went quite well overtaking quite a few people.
I think I surprised a few people, including myself and perhaps Blair Davies (coach-excellence). I certainly surprised my swimming training partners and probably a few of my work mates too.
I’d like to thank Gavin Curry at Ellon Physiotherapy for helping repair my arm and Blair for re-jigging my training to suit my needs. And to Elivar and Reactiv Bodycare for their continued support, really appreciated. Thanks also to my wife Jane for doing the house choirs and the dishes. Especially as I know she hates doing the dishes.
Lesson learned: Next time you have a serious injury before a big race, don’t give in too easily. The likelihood is you will make the start line.