Ironman Canada 2012: The Crashtermath
I did Ironman Canada again, crashed at mile 30, and managed to mostly keep it together to finish. I was hurting pretty bad during the race but went through a Rollercoaster of Ouch afterwards–some days I’d feel fine, other days I’d be in a lot of pain again. The day after the race I was stiff but not feeling too terrible until I got home that night and realized I had shoved my sore and bruised body into a car for five hours.
And then Tuesday rolled around. I’ve often told people that when you do an endurance race, you hit “max soreness.” I’ve felt about as sore after a marathon as I have after a full Ironman, so I figure that my body had hit maximum soreness. It’s uncomfortable but manageable, so after this most recent Ironman, I anticipated hitting “max soreness” like I always have and being able to deal with it fine.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. “Max soreness” isn’t when you finish a marathon or an Ironman, it’s when you finish an Ironman race where you also happened to eat pavement. I was hurting bad on Tuesday. Not only did I have the standard post-race soreness, I was still in a considerable amount of pain from the accident. Just walking from my car to the office left me panting and wincing while holding my ribs. I was mostly useless at work and resorted to pained weight shifts and whimpers during our company meeting while the CMO looked at me like I was a dog that needed to get put down.
On Wednesday I felt better, but my ribs and the left side of my head would continue to ache on and off for the next month or so. A couple weeks after the race, I showed up to the team track workout to do an easy 30 minute run but had to bail after about 20 when my head started throbbing like crazy. When Jason passed me on the track and asked how I was feeling, I pouted and responded with “My concussion hurts!” like a four-year old.
But the human body is a resilient beast and eventually I healed up. Here’s a little photo journey of the nastiness:
Naturally, since I wiped out at mile 32.4 of a 140.6 mile race and continued on for several hours before I tended to my wounds, my scrapes quickly evolved into “Nasty Mode” and got angry and red before switching over to liquid-y and disgusting:
My most shameful moment was when I was at work talking to my boss, and his eyes flickered over to my left shoulder. I followed suit and glance down, realizing that my shoulder grossness had seeped through my shirt. He looked thoroughly disgusted as I apologized profusely for looking like the thing that emerged from the barrel in Return of the Living Dead.
When it finally dried out, my left shoulder started to resemble one of those geode rock thingies you play with in third grade:
The scabs are gone now, thankfully. My right hand scars are angry and purplish. The left knee is fading pretty decently, but the left shoulder is a ridiculously hue of “new skin” pink. (My gobstopper tan lines aren’t helping with the contrast.) I’ve been slathering it with lotion as well as sunscreen whenever it’s exposed to sunshine, so hopefully it’ll fade to a less horrific shade soon. Annoyingly enough, everyone who sees it (including a couple of nurses at my allergy clinic) thinks it’s a sunburn that I managed to get only in one concentrated area on my left shoulder, as if I were some sort of long-haul trucker who enjoys wearing cut-out t-shirts.
I’m pretty thankful the crash didn’t do worse damage and feel as if I got off lucky (I could have emerged looking like my boyfriend the Human Scab after he bit it in Lake Stevens). Still, hopefully I won’t be crashing again any time soon, especially at an Ironman race.