Injurious Thoughts

One of my goals this year is to run the Hood to Coast, and part of that goal is to remain uninjured. Whenever I think about injury, I am always most worried about my ankles and my back.

Whenever I think about injury… that was the problem right there.

Yesterday I was riding home from the day job, reaching the top of the first big hill on my route. Terwilliger Boulevard is a magnificent route for running and cycling, and it’s much easier to deal with the traffic on that road than the other options I have for getting home (which, it has to be said, are not numerous).

I was thinking idly about how I had managed to avoid being injured this year, when I lost focus for a moment and rode into the kerb.

This was a really good example of object fixation: that phenomenon where you go where you are looking but what you are looking at is something you are not really supposed to be going towards. Hence in my top-of-hill slowness I scuffed the kerb and fell over, landing pretty heavily on the grass with the bike on top of me.

Well, I leapt back to my feet immediately, and started to do the necessary inventory: no blood, no apparently broken bones, bike still in one piece. I had to straighten up the lock mount and put the chain back onto its sprockets, but there was no apparent damage. My right hand felt a bit weak, though, which was not encouraging.

I was very pleased to find that several people stopped to check on me, drivers and cyclists alike. Portland is a friendly town and I’m glad to be riding here.

Setting off again I found that my right hand was indeed protesting if I pulled on it: standing on the pedals going up the next hill was uncomfortable because of the stress on my hand, but braking was normal thank goodness. By the time I got home the adrenaline had worn off and my hand was definitely hurting.

The good news is that ice and ibuprofen have helped a lot. The bad news is that I seem to have bumped a rib as well as my wrist. I’m glad I fell so that I landed on my elbow and hip rather than putting my hand out, but still: things are a bit tender.

Today is a non-cycling day for other reasons, but I probably would have taken a day away from the bike just to give my body time to stabilise. I will try running on Thursday, most likely.

So, that portion of my goals has been blown, but hopefully I will still be able to get the running going. It’s really time to be working on that.

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