Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Mallorca 70.3 2014 - not a race report

(There's an actual race report here at Mr TOTKat's blog, if you're looking for one.)

After the Rotterdam Marathon, I made my right knee quite cross. Under orders from my coach, I was not to race at Mallorca 70.3 2 weeks after that happened.

So, the plan was to fly out to Mallorca the Monday before the race, ride the course and swim a bit and then ride a bit more. but no race for me.  As the week progressed, somewhat predictably, I decided that I would at least do the swim and bike legs on race day, but not the run.  Then I thought I'd see how I felt at the beginning of the run and stop if anything felt funny/wrong.

Friday, the day before the race, we went to rack our bikes and hang up our transition bags at race transition.  I found my bike racking point and noted the land-marks so I could find it again when I came barrelling in from the swim course the following day.  Then I headed back through to hang up my red and blue bags and then meet up again with Mr TOTKat on the way out of transition and back to the hotel.  As I walked through the women's changing tent I realised I still had my bike computer in the blue bag, so decided to hang up my bag and then jog back to my bike to leave it on my bike ready in the morning.  My bike was a long way out from the transition tent, and on the jog back again to the tent I saw that Mr TOTKat was looking for me - probably wondering what was taking so long.

I jogged onwards towards the tent and in a sudden blur of confusion, tripped on the carpet and went flying (apparently in quite a balletic manner) forwards, with speed.  Landing on my right knee first, I somehow landed even more heavily on the left and I heard a popping sound.  I rolled onto my back, pain radiating out from my left kneecap, and started to bawl my eyes out.  I was convinced I'd broken my knee.

As the volunteers came to assist, I looked at my knee and, in the same way an ink drop spreads in a glass of water, I could see dark purple/black spreading out fast from a point on the front of my knee.  I watched in horror as it spread and my immediate thought was I needed ice right away.  The volunteers helped me up and into the tent, gave me water and some ice appeared.  A volunteer pressed it against my knee and I tried to sit up a bit rather than lie flat.  It felt OK for a few moments, but then I felt really sick.  The blue/black colouration started to recede almost as miraculously appeared and a medically trained volunteer made sure I could bend it.  I had waves of nausea still, so they were keen to make sure I hadn't banged my head (I hadn't).

But, this was it.  Race over.  Both knees were swollen quite a bit, grazed from the carpet, and the left was really difficult.  Mr TOTKat helped me to hobble back to the hotel.  I felt so stupid.  The over-riding feeling was that I'd been a complete idiot. I could have left the bike computer until the morning as we would have full access to bikes in the morning to put water on them and check tyres etc. but for some reason I decided that Garmin needed to go on there right then.

So.  Coach got his desire that I didn't race, but I also only got to ride once that week instead of 3-4 times.  I swam a few times, but only one proper swim set.  And I got to pay for a race where I didn't even cross the start line.  On the plus side, I didn't have to run in 32C.  Which was brutal even just supporting on the day.

On the other plus side; we got to meet a whole bunch of new people, Mr TOTKat had his best 70.3 swim time ever, and we had a week away from work.

For anyone who runs...

You need to read this:- #TP100 – Race Report

An honest, real-life account of what it's like to run through some really painful physical troubles with gritty determination.  And coming through it with the journey in mind rather than the final destination - a real triumph.

Thursday, 1 May 2014


Trainers are the easiest bit of sports equipment to own and maintain. Once you've selected ones that fit and suit, you just wear them and maybe chuck them in the washing machine occasionally if they get awful.


I'm pretty sure that getting this wrong has resulted in a high likelihood of me not racing Mallorca 70.3 in just over a week's time.

I've run in these pink trainers for over 600km, including a couple of Ultra marathons both on and off-road. They've been comfy, I've had no blisters or injuries and they've been great.  I wore them for the Rotterdam Marathon a couple of weeks ago and got baaad blisters. I put that down to running hard, in heat and on the road.  Until today.

Yesterday we ran home; 15km at a reasonable clip, and my feet got sore.  The little toe joint on the left and the ball and toes on the right and a *huge* blister formed on my left arch.  My right knee niggled and niggled.  I decided to throw away the shoes when I got home.

This morning, my right knee was swollen, sore and I could only just bend it a bit.  I'm elevating, cooling and compressing it along with taking Ibuprofen and I'm fairly sure the main contributor to this problem is the knackered state of those shoes.

So perhaps it's not quite that straight-forward, that there trainers management. And it can have some unpleasant results if you get it wrong.