Before I get into this story, I'd just like to say that until I get a college degree in managing my blog, I'll let blogger do it for me. So, I'm not really moving afterall...and now, here's the rest of the story.
Today I partnered up with Deb, aka Ultra Marathon Girl, to run/bike the Dirty Dauset Duathlon. Because I've never done a duathlon, and because I don't read instructions well, I thought the bike portion would be first. When I was sadly told that I would have to wait until Deb finished her run portion, and hand off the magic pipe cleaner baton, I decided that it would be a good idea to run with her...so I wouldn't have to stand around and wait. And I needed to get a 5 mile run today anyway, so it all just really made sense.
I ran approximately 2 of the 5 miles with Deb but after having some pseudo-ITB pain, I decided to pick my pace up and finish the mileage solo. I was trying to determine if the ITB pain was coming from run/walking because when I don't do that, I am fine. So, off I ran. And felt great. And ITB pain went away, so I guess I was right in my diagnosis.
Finished up the run in enough time to transition to my bike and have the pipe cleaner handed off. Since we were in last place (or I thought we were) I decided to really pick up the speed on my bike. I knew because of the rain we had been having over the last two days that some parts of the trails would be trashed and I would have to go slower in those areas. So, I figured while it looked like no one had ridden ahead of me (aka the trails weren't shredded) I would pick it up and maybe, just maybe, catch someone.
About a mile into it I was headed up a slippery slope. I knew I was about to come off of my bike, so I clipped out on the left...but for some reason I couldn't get clipped out on the right fast enough. I knew I was going down, but I wasn't going that fast (uphill...) so I wasn't risking getting any injuries...
Except that I didn't factor in the part about possibly coming STRAIGHT down on my left KNEECAP...right into a tree stump.
My kneecap made a cracking noise as I flatly hit the stump. And I started to bleed. Which was totally cool with me, because at least the blood would make me look like I put some effort into it. Hoorah for bloody knees!
I continue on the ride for another few minutes and noticed that the top of my knee just kept getting tighter and tighter. I stopped a few times to analyze the damage...see if I could figure out what I did, because it didn't hurt where the blood was coming from...nope...just a few inches higher than that. Probably at the same point where my knee went *crack* I'm guessing.
I just kept telling myself "I don't quit. Ever. Period."
And as I kept telling myself that, the pain just kept getting worse and worse. At some point I realized that if I just don't pedal with that leg it didn't hurt as bad. So, for a couple of miles I just pedaled with one foot. Wow my right leg is strong!
I had passed Adventure Andi earlier and she made the comment "it's muddy up there!" and she was right. Once I got to the Huff 'n Puff leg of the trail I knew I was going to be in trouble. The trail was so trashed from all the racers WAY ahead of me that I couldn't manage through the mud and the uphills on just one leg. So I walked. Or hobbled. And pushed my bike.
For some reason I thought the race was two loops so at this point I figured I should be coming back to the race start/finish and I'd just forgo the second loop and take my first DNF. I was wrong again. Yes, the race did cross back near the start/finish. But not until about a mile out. So, I ended up walking/pushing/hobbling/riding on one leg for more than 5 miles before I found a place to veer off and take my big fat DNF.
I couldn't decide if my pride hurt more than my knee.
My knee is swollen and starting to turn different shades of blue.
I'm supposed to run 15 miles tomorrow and that makes the whole thing that much worse.
I hate getting injured. Especially when it's not running related.
I know this post is skipping around a bit, but I think I'm still sortof of in la-la land about the whole incident. But, I have one other thing to say about it: I had 6 mountain bikers fly past me as I was hobbling up a hill, clearly looking injured, and not ONE of them even yelled to see if I was ok. Nothing. Nada. I was really disappointed in the mountain bike community for a little while. I just kept thinking "a runner would have stopped many times over to check on me by now!"
And then this knight in shining armour (actually he was a Pakistani on a dirty mountain bike) came barreling down the hill in the opposite direction. He was lost. And in the race. He quickly realized that I was hurt and offered me some medical tape to wrap my knee. He even pushed my bike for another half a mile or so. Despite the fact that he had been lost for an hour or so and really had to finish the race and get back to Atlanta. I have no idea how to spell his name and I'd hate to butcher it, but Racer 156 you were my hero today!
While I still love my mountain bike, I think this may be my last event racing with it.
Ok, ask me that in another week and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune.
Have a great rest of your weekend. I'll be nursing my knee back to health.