Brick Sessions: Learn From Others’ Mistakes
No swim this morning - I took the extra hour in bed. But I did finally got around to my first brick session of the season - a 25k bike trip (work related), which I felt so zingy at the end of that I thought I really should go for a run too - just 5k, but out along the footpath, and back along the sandy beach. So I’m not a complete wuss.
Anyway, this also gives me the opportunity to come clean about something that I alluded to on the Run Happy Blog a couple of weeks ago. Treat this as yet another in my long list of confessions about the stupid things I’ve done. If you can visualise what happened, it might even make you laugh. . . . alternatively, it may make you realise that you’re reading a complete eejut’s blog, and should find some nice sensible reading matter instead. That’s just a risk I’m going to have to take. . .
. . . OK, here’s what happened to me a couple of years ago in my first triathlon season. I’d been out for an early morning bike ride - a couple of circuits from home, to the lighthouse (see the island on the map when you zoom in) and back. The sun was shining, and it was a really perfect day for training, apart from being a little cool. So I’d gone out with two layers on top.
When I got back, I felt so bouncy, that I just had to top the session off with a run. A quick change of shoes later, and I was off.
The trouble with running is that you don’t get the wind chill you do on a bike. So within a few hundred yards, I was really starting to feel the sun. As I passed the harbour (heading South East), I just had to do something about this - I hate being hot when I run. Now a more sensible person would have STOPPED to take off the top layer.
Um . . . not me. I’m really keen. So I slowed down to a jog, and took my microfleece off over my head. It’s quite a struggle to take off, because it’s a snug fit. This meant that I was running along with a jumper wraped around my head, totally unable to see where I was going. And I ran off the path, and straight over some handy wooden bollards, which were conveniently at knee height.
I hit the first one with both legs, and (I think) the second with my right arm, shoulder, and hip, before landing on top of my head on the grass. Luckily, I missed a “cushion” that a helpful dog owner had left by a couple of inches. More luckily still, this was pretty early in the morning, so there were no witnesses to fall about the place laughting their heads off.
So I could just rip the fleece off my head, stand up, and make like nothing had happened, leaving no more than a small trail of blood to mark the rest of the run route. I went home, showered, dressed my wounds, and set off for the days’ meetings.
I started to feel a bit vague and unusual by about mid-morning, and presented myself to casualty just after lunch time. A few hours later, after X-rays, and barely-suppressed laughs from the doctors and nurses I saw, I was sent home again, with confirmed concussion and whiplash strain to my neck. The pain in my neck is still somewhat of a problem, though there was nothing to show on the X-rays. Two years after the event, it still hurts me to yawn (strange).
So there you go. Think before you do stoopid stuff during your training, and you might just keep yourself out of hospital.
Oh, and I made a short film about what happened when I was out for today’s brick. It would have been a longer film, but after years and years, I still can’t get the hang of this sort of technology. Here it is: