Monday, June 13, 2016

The dreaded DNF

I've been racing triathlons for 5 years now. Yesterday was my first DNF. Here's how it all went down.

I'm not going to lie. The Victoria 70.3 has never been kind to me. 

Last year I over hydrated and got up in the night to pee and broke my toe. It's a story too ridiculous to be true. It did actually happen and I still showed up race morning to give it my all. 
I thought this year would be different. I had a ton of support from my family and friends. My bestie was showing up bright and early just to do body marking (Thank you Colette). I had lots of great friends racing this as their first 70.3, my coach was going to be there. I had great intentions, except there was a nagging feeling in me that I just wasn't excited about this race. 
This was my first big race of the year. Doing long distance triathlon we tend to not race as frequently as shorter distances. I remember when I first got into triathlon I'd do a triathlon every month for 6 months. This year I did a quick little sprint in March and that's been it. Victoria was my big chance to see where my fitness was at.
We arrived Friday with our trailer in tow. I prefer going to races this way so I have my home away from home. Sure I only live an hour away but who the hell wants to get up at 3am to get to a race? Did I say I'm not much if a morning person?
The bestie and I met up for a quick little swim at Elk Lake. I probably should have tested the waters at Beaver but I knew the dirty Beaver was questionable and I didn't need any extra stress. Lets just say there was more chatting than swimming and it was awesome!!!

I woke up Saturday with a splitting headache and feeling a little off. I decided to do my last taper workout and then I could take it easy the rest of the day.

I headed over to the race site to connect with my awesome Soas Sisters and get my package and check my bike into transition. 

 Once I got all my tasks done I also met up with C and her buddy who was also racing. 

Spirits were high and the Ironman village was bustling. 
Lots of the pro's were hanging out mingling with the rest of us too. 

Both my girls did the kids race which was a blast to watch. 

After all of the festivities we were all done and needed to get back to the trailer for some RnR.

Some of us didn't even make it.

Once I got back to the trailer I got all of my race day gear sorted out. I was still torn on what to wear on the bike. The weather was calling for 12* I would make the final decision in the morning.
I was feeling hangry so I got right to work on putting some food together. 
I can not go wrong with rice bowls. It's got a little bit of everything.

The fan and I went for a nice post dinner walk down to the beach. The kids got a chance to run around and burn whatever energy they still had. We needed to get everyone to bed for our early morning start. 4am was approaching fast.

Race morning was chaos. Even though I gave us lots of time to get to transition I still ended up walking a good 4 km due to ridiculously heavy traffic. 
Got my transition all set up and decided on a cycling jacket. I was feeling chilled and coming out of the water was not going to help. 
My rack mate was a fellow B78 athlete. Notice our matching visors??? 

Catching up with my buddies who were racing was so much fun. Definitely the best part of the race.
Once I was settled I headed over to the swim start and had Super awesome Jasper Blake (head coach of B78) help us into our wetsuits. With little time left I had to go seed myself into our super awesome rolling swim start.
For those who oppose these swim starts, I just can't figure out why. You get awesome drafting benefits because if seeded correctly you are swimming with people who are about the same speed. I loved it!
The swim ended up being only 1600m due to the dirty beaver weed issue. My time was 26' I was happy with that. 
I got into tradition feeling fantastic. Good swim, fairly quick transition and then bam. I went down right before the mount line. Not sure what I did but I went down hard and my bike joined me. It took a big bite out of my leg. I was mortified. I picked up my bike and just hoped on and was on my way. The first 30km I was feeling pretty good. I averaged a 31km/h pace and then I could feel a burning sensation in my right lower leg. I tried to brush it aside as nothing and gave another push to get past some more athletes. Again, more burning and I can feel weakness setting in.
I got to the 40km mark and knew something was not right. My pace was slowing and I was in pain. I took a look down around my ankle and there was blood. I tried to push it off as nothing more than a scrape and tried to push again. I had nothing. I was now relying solely on my left leg to do all of the work. I came to terms that I was not going to be able to run if it hurt this much on the bike. I knew my bestie wasn't far at that point on the course. I just had to make it to about the 50km mark, then I could decide what to do. I'm not going to lie, I cried, actually I sobbed of quite a while. I pulled myself together for when I got to their spot but as soon as I saw Colette I bawled some more. My leg hurt like you wouldn't believe but I was about to get my first DNF. 
They pulled me off of my bike, got all of my gear off, wrapped me in some blankets and tended to the wound. They called my husband to come and get me. Seriously, they were awesome. There was a reason I rode 50km to them.
My husband came and got me, took me back to race site where I had to go to medical. 
I think they were a little bored...
After I was seen by a doctor on site he advised me to go to hospital. I need to get the wound cleaned up because of all the dirt and bike grease in there. They were concerned of a fracture too even though I was pretty sure it was all soft tissue damage.

So off to the hospital I go!
After 3 hours in the ER I got x-rays to rule out fracture, a tetanus shot to help with all the grossness that entered my leg and a super hot nurse who also cycles. He must of thought I was badd ass because he spent a lot of time in the room with me. 

He cleaned things up a bit for me before his shift ended at 3.
So what's the verdict? Well I guess the punctures were substantial enough to warrant sutures however because of all the grossness they needed to leave the wounds open in case infection sets in. So now I am oozing all over the place. We are now over 36 hours later and I am still bleeding. So I have been instructed to keep leg up and keep still. They obviously don't know me very well. 

This is blood starting to soak through after trying to walk on it. So now I hobble around with crutches. The good news is as soon as the wounds clot and no longer bleed when I move I can get right back to training. 
I'm starting to think a shark bite story would have been a much better story here.
Anyways, moral of the story is I don't think I should be doing Victoria 70.3 anymore.
My chin is up and my head held high. Calgary 70.3 is 41 days away and I am so excited for this one!