Monday, April 7, 2008

Not so bad considering...

The second attempt at my first world cup of the season went a little better then the first...I made it to the finish:-)  However, after a week of trying to get my wounds and such healed, I wasn't sure how the race fitness was going to be.  With not being able to train properly and having already taken a week recovery for Mooloolaba more rest may make me less sharp.  I just had to got out and see what would happen.

With my ribs still quite sore and my wrist possibly fractured I decided to have a go at getting my top 8 that I need as a part of my Olympic qualifying anyways.  I figured,I might have a fracture and may not be able to race after so I might as well suck up the pain and have a go.  

Thankfully I only got kicked twice in then hand while swimming (only small tears filling up my goggles, so I could still mostly see) and I exited the water in the thick of the main group just behind the lead group of 7-9 athletes.  After struggling to pull off my wetsuit (a few more tears) I leaped onto my bike (one more tear) and proceeded to work with a small group of guys in a bunch of 30 or so to reel in the leaders within a couple of laps.  A few attacks were launched but it wasn't until a group of 8 got a away that I thought "this one might stick and I should be a part of it."  So myself, Paul Tichelaar, Andrew Johns, Maik Petzold and a couple others worked for just over a lap to seperate from the main group and bridge across to the breakaway.  I could have sat in the main group and rested for the run but with all that I had gone through with my crash I was unsure of how my legs would perform on the run and decided the break was a good option.  

After building or lead to about a minute heading into transition I wanted to hit the run hard and at the front and hope the body was there to finish strong.  I worked hard to get there but within a km of so it became apparent that the crash had taken its toll on me.  I had struggled through the swim but put everything out there to position myself as best I could.  Once on the bike my legs were heavy and I felt like I never got comfortable and with my back seizing and quad going numb it was very apparent the body was struggling.  In the run this tightness in my back and quad lingered and I couldn't feel the run that I had been experiencing in training prior to my crash.  I stayed positive and encouraged myself to keep my head up and the legs turning over.  With our third country slot for Olympics resting on my personal ranking every position was important regardless of how I was feeling.  I had moments of fluid running throughout the 10k but not enough to put a whole solid run together.  I finished with all the strength I had and was happy to have gotten through the race.  I still managed an 18th place and actually moved our country ranking up to 5th out of 8 with three spots.

With the race completed and my muscles sore, wrist and ribs throbbing, I had to look forward to my xrays Monday morning that would possibly dictate the rest of my trip.  

After sneezing Sunday evening and feeling something pop or tear in my upper chest and my wrist more sore then ever my optimism had been deflated.  After a restless night and a painful roll out of bed I walked down to the clinic early Monday morning.  After the lady's at the clinic rushed me through the xray process it was immediately evident I had just raced on a fractured scaphoid and a badly bruised or torn muscle in my chest as there was no fracture of a rib.

With my xray's in hand I then consulted the emergency doctor as well as the Kiwi National team doc John Hellemon.  Both were clear that the best thing was not to Race Again on it next weekend in Ishigaki, Japan and have it plastered and head home.

So with half cast on and a complicated process of changing and canceling of plane tickets I am headed back to Victoria.  Current prognosis is 4-6 weeks in a cast and then rehab after.  I will consult with the medical team back home to look as expedited options and where to go from here.

I will still be running, riding the trainer and being creative in the pool with a waterproof cast.  So all is not lost but only changed.  I am frustrated but not disheartened.  This is just another hurdle in my career as an athlete and an opportunity to meet the challenge and rise to the occasion.  It will make me a stronger athlete and person.

Thanks to all those that continue to support me and I will be back at it in now time!


Anonymous said...


Well, it certainly is not the way you wanted to open the season. It is only April 8th and a few weeks from now, your wrist will be better, your energy will be renewed and you will be ready to hit "re-start". Use the time wisely and have some fun.

Jeff and Cindy

Eileen Swanson said...


You are so brave, so strong, so awesome! With all the pain, you made it through the race, not just any race, but a flippin' highly competitve World Cup. The mental toughness you gained here is tremendous. If you made it through this, you can make it through anything. Just think of all the lows you were able to overcome with thinking so positive and how your mind pushed your body through it all. Amazing! Once you are healed, you are going to be flying and kicking butt, no one will be able to stop you.

Keep your chin up, think positive, think strong, you are a stud!

Still thinking about the awesome training in Oz ;-)


Anonymous said...

Hat's off.
You're impressive. Just being on the start line in your physical condition is something you can be proud of.
A hurdle in your career that your positive attitude will wipe away and you'll be stronger.
Take care


BreeWee said...

I think you should come to Hawaii and sit on the beach. Then when you feel refreshed time to get back on the horse! Your fitness is totally there (I saw you run 5 min. mile repeats on a grass track). Hoping for a SPEEDY recovery for you... keep your positive attitude!

jessica rae kirkwood said...

Brenty boy,

Carolyn and I are sitting here in Hawaii and reading your blog. It is so good. You'll be laughing in a few weeks when you get your spot.