Week 24: Then I Got Hit By A Car

There are three weeks left until Ironman Mont Tremblant. As of today. It’ll be my first pro Ironman, which is basically the same as other Ironmans (I think) but completely different. You can read all my weekly recaps of being a pro triathlete here.

Yesterday I got hit by a car. Or I hit a car, technically. After biking up to Ironman Santa Rosa, I was riding near the course when an overwhelmed (by the road closures) and confused driver made a right turn suddenly in front of me. I slammed the brakes on, turned and skidded, almost made it — for a second I thought I’d avoid the impact — and then hit on my side and went down.

Turns out my gut instinct, before you even consciously think about what you’re doing, is to jump right up from the ground and start screaming swear words. So that was interesting.

The driver was actually really really apologetic and freaked out, gave me his contact info too. And I was actually completely fine, except for a handful of bruises and sore spots. And the Dimond crew was at the expo (hallelujah!), so they took the bike totally apart to check for damage and put the handlebars back in place — and, except for a couple scratches, it’s more race-ready than it was before.

But none of that made the 1:15 I still had to ride after getting hit enjoyable. After I checked myself and my bike over, I got back on and rolled on, because I only have maybe three super-long rides in this IM Mont Tremblant build, and I’m already winging the run, I can not lose any of the bike training. It wasn’t a question; I had to ride a minimum of six hours. So I did. But, it was not pretty. I was shaky and weepy and freaked out and the traffic was getting nastier. And I was handling it worse.

I may have yelled at a woman who asked if I had dropped out of the race.

Before that this week was actually fairly solid. My foot is much improved — fingers crossed — and I got the OK from the sports doc to race on it. (When she said, “Sure, you can try an Ironman,” I think she meant, “It’s going to go amazing.”) Micro-tears in the muscle and a minor strain, which was already improving from the rest and just needs some more rehab and babying.

This week, I got in a couple long hard runs. I got my life moderately under control. I had no meltdowns. I’ve trained more for this Ironman than I’ve ever trained for anything. Basically, I felt fairly strong and solid all week. And that was still mostly true after I got hit by the car.

One of those “two years ago on this day” things popped up on Facebook because Facebook cares about me and my memories. The picture was from a long run I did during the family reunion in Florida when I had just started with Hillary and was getting ready for Ironman Wisconsin. I remember that week I had to do the hardest swim workout I had ever done to that point: 30 x 100 on 1:30. I remember Hillary giving me advice to get through it and I remember pounding it out in the Florida sun and staring at the giant digital clock as I struggled to come in on 1:27/28 towards the end. It was hard, but it got done and I was so proud of myself.

This Tuesday I did 30 x 100 again, because it’s a regular workout we do all the time now. Only it’s usually on 1:25 now, and I haven’t struggled, not really struggled, with it in a long time. It was tough this week, though, because of the hard run the day before. I was kicking huge waves to keep my legs from sinking and I even missed one interval, #6 maybe, and had to touch-and-go and swim faster to make up the lost second. The whole thing was completely tough and shitty.

But there was never a point while I was swimming that I thought I couldn’t do it — even if realistically maybe I couldn’t. I never felt like crying or giving up. I just went on with doing it.

Some days that’s not easy, but some days it is. Some days you suddenly realize exactly how much you’ve improved in the last two years, how the ups and downs even out and you keep moving you forward. Some days it all comes together and you feel like you’ll be able to do anything. And then some days you get hit by a car.

7 thoughts on “Week 24: Then I Got Hit By A Car

  1. TRAINING!!! It works, bitches.

    (Also, geez, that is terrifying. I’ve had some close calls running but never actually made contact with a vehicle before. Though I have been hit by incompetent cyclists like three times.)

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