Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This weekend I had a very interesting race at the Rev 3 Olyimpic Tri in Knoxville, Tn. See the race report for some of the details, http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=207629 but the key moment was on the bike leg. I was flying on a narrow 2 lane road with lots of traffic in the opposite direction and one truck in the lane with the cyclists, being in the 8th wave you get to pass alot of slower cyclists from the eariler waves which really boosts your confidence, but it worked against me in this case as the truck came up on one of these slower cyclists, could pass due to on coming traffic and hit the breaks hard. Next thing I know I am closing fast on his bumper and no room to pass on either side and I jumped out of the aerobars and mashed the breaks and ended up to getting the fronts first and found myself supermanning over the handbars at 24-25 mph. I took most of the impact on my hands, chest, and chin and rolled off the road. After taking my time on my hands and knees to catch my breath, I took inventory off my head and teeth, I got up and discovered my legs were ok and nothing seemed broken, then I looked at my hands which were a bloody mess as was my chin and nose. My bike was ok except the head set was twisted and I had to straighten that and the big ring shifter was snapped off so I kept it in the small ring. So I found my water bottle, took a drink ( which hurt like heck) tried torinse off my hands, (which hurt even worse), And then popped the chain back on and started walking my bike down the road.
Now comes the momement, someone running back from the aid station I had been approaching asks me if I was the biker who fell and told me an ambulance was in route. For some reason, right then I hopped on my bike and told him, "I'm OK" and started riding. I rode pretty conservatively since I wasn't too sure of my bike but soon I was actally passing people and besides for being limited to the small ring and not getting out of the saddle since my hands hurt like heck. Those last 14 or so miles went by pretty quick and I resolved to finish out the race. Long story short despite several discussions with race officials and medical folks I would not let anyone deny me from finishing this race.
After the race and after my trip and care at the medical tent (which was outstanding), I had a good number of people tell me how couragous I was for finishing and how much of a trooper or inspration I was to refuse to let my accident keep me from finishing the race. Later I visited the ER and got stitched up and took many x-rays and fortunately nothing was broken but I had some serious road rash in my hands, arms, chest, and some on my face, a sprained left wrist and a nicely bruised rib and serveral days off work since I can"t drive with my splint on.
I can't say why I made the choice I did. I know I thought about what a waste to come all the way to Knoxville from Philly only to crash out while I was on the ground, but when I hopped on the bike it was almost an involuntary response. Once I didn't think I would make things worse, I made up my mind to see it out. Many people I greatly admire (Julie Moss, Chris S, and Natasha Badman) have had that same responce to fight on and try and finish even when it doesn't make seanse to a rationale person.
So you judge, was I couragous or stupid. Either way I can tell you, there is a strange sense of pride seeing the race to its end, especially when things really go bad. I discover this at IM Arizona http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid... when the act of fighting though adversity gave me something fast more valuable that any medal. And it was 100x stronger at Rev 3.
(knoxville run 1a.jpg)