I had a little tumble on my bike on Sunday. I was doing a tempo segment followed by a nice longish aerobic portion and the 12 minute tempo reps had gone really well. Lots of power coming out of my legs and I was having a nice easy spin around Tewkesbury to warm down. It started to spit with rain so I put my arm warmers on, and pulled my gilet out of my back pocket. The sort of thing we do week in week out, which we pay attention to but don’t really think about. Riding none handed I guess I was looking at my gilet rather than the road, but I wasn’t doing anything weird or tricky, when my front wheel hit a pothole and I guess it careened left straight into the curb. I’ve never stopped so quickly or crashed so hard in my life. Bang!
I went to pick myself up off the floor and couldn’t. Ah. I recognise that symptom, I thought. I reached out to touch my right clavicle and yes, there was a bump that shouldn’t be there. The driver of the car that stopped behind me pulled over to park and helped pick me and my stuff up off the floor. Thanks, mate.
“I don’t know what happened there”, I said, “but I’ve broken my clavicle”.
“You were all over the road”, he said, just referring to the crash part, I hope. “Do you want me to give you a hand over there?”
It turned out that I’d crashed right outside Tewkesbury General Hospital. Very handy. I had a look around and worked out what had happened. A pot hole was clear marked with blue paint. I guess I was still feeling a little stunned. My front wheel and forks were bent. There wasn’t any pain after the crash, that took a little while to develop. The hospital is very small and quiet and it took a little while to find out where the minor incidents unit was. I was glad it was very close and very quiet because a nurse and a healthcare assistant took very good, very quick care of me. They checked me over, cleaned my grazes, confirmed what I thought I knew and fed me some great painkillers and a cup of sweet tea before trying to take off my jersey. Wow, that was fun.
I needed to go to a hospital in Cheltenham for x-rays, and Kim and her dad and the kids came to pick me up. Lots of pain. Don’t move, lots of pain. Cheltenham General Hospital was nice and quiet and pretty quickly the x-ray radiographs confirmed what I thought. I prescription for painkillers, and I went off to see mum and dad in a sling. Putting the sling on that last time was a whole new impressive level of ow. An appointment at Swansea Morriston fracture clinic later in the week had my shoulder reassessed and we chatted about options given my triathlon training and race season. The fracture was not displaced so it seemed most sensible to me to end my season there and take a six week break from training now and have a long winter preparing for 2013. Everything else in the shoulder seems pretty much okay. I don’t really fancy surgery on my shoulder and if I’m careful it should heal well. I had two races left this year: the club championships and a European championships qualifying race, but I have pre-qualified for the European champs next year already. I don’t fancy the idea of trying to get my arm into a wetsuit in three weeks time at the club champs but I might pop down to watch.
Everyday since the pain has been a little different and five days into repairing my shoulder feels like it’s starting to get a little more solid. It’ll be a good couple weeks before I even think about moving it though I should think. Any movement is not good right now. Really not good.
Anyhoo, so a lot of sitting around has helped me think about what I need to do for next year in terms of swimming, biking and running. And the Olympics on the telly with lots of swimming and biking, and next week running, is helping. And I’ve got to fix my training bike. It might be time for that respray. I’ve been in a fixed position on the sofa all week to keep the pain down. Even using a computer is no fun (right shoulder, right?) and this blog entry has been written (spoken) using the dictation button on my iPad 3’s keyboard. Kim is, as always, looking after me.
It’s not the end of the world; it goes with the territory really. After such a great season it’s not even that bad a time to break a bone. I need a big winter to do what I want to do next year and I was wondering how I was going to organise myself. Well, decision made for me.