Thursday, May 16, 2013


If you had asked me last Sunday what my next blog was going to be about? Well, I was out in the ocean swimming and kayaking with the family for Mother's Day, so never would I have imagined the topic of today's post...

I wish I had some glamorous story to share about fighting off a mountain lion or falling from a ledge on an awesome MTB ride. Nope. Monday I was rolling out of the driveway to continue on my long ride after a pitstop at mile ~32 to refill bottles (it was in the 90s and we started the ride midday, hot!).

I had a momentary lapse in balance and coordination. Right foot was clipped in and left foot was going in, but I fumbled and before I knew it I went down like a ton of bricks on my right side. I was unable to clip out in time on the right to stop the fall. My wrist took the impact on asphalt. The pain I felt was unlike any pain I've felt before. It's not that the pain was so much worse than past wipeouts, it was just different. F-bombs ensued like crazy as I cradled my wrist and everyone rushed to see what the hell just happened.

I sat on a chair waiting for the pain to die down with intentions of still continuing to ride. Seriously. That's the denial part of injury right there haha. After some waiting and icing the pain was just as bad if not worse and I couldn't even move my wrist. Eventually I gave into to accepting a car ride home. I still don't think I had cried at that point.

Got home and my first shower in my new state was a joke. Um, ouch? And how am I supposed to do THAT is THIS pain?!

I felt pretty helpless and didn't want to do too much to aggravate it. I was still thinking it was just a sprain and/or the wrist was just angry and it'd be fine soon... I've never broken a bone or had severe injury like that so I'm used to my body bouncing back relatively fast from spills and whatnot.

I figured a good night sleep would do the trick and I'd wake up sore but ok.


Even worse pain when I woke up.

People were throwing around the word X-ray, and I was secretly thinking, "ya right, I'm fine." But when I woke up Tuesday I knew then I was not fine. Thankfully I knew a local sports med doc friend of mine was going to be at my gym 6-7 a.m., so I rushed over there to have him take a look. By rush over, I mean: John drove me (he's been a lifesaver).

Doc took a look and said come in for X-rays asap.

The X-rays weren't the clearest and but they were telling enough with a good, hard look: A nondisplaced radial fracture.

My palm is facing up here, so that dark line on the bone on the right (my radius) is
the fracture. Of all fractures, this one is probably best-case scenario. A break in one
of the tiny wrist bones, like scaphoid, would usually require surgery.

A little closer in. See?

See now?

Fuck. (sorry.) So, yea, first broken bone for this girl! Thankfully it's not too severe in the world of broken bones and apparently I can still train, letting pain be my guide. Literally I was told I can swim, bike, run as soon as I want. Seriously?! Yup. It helps that I have a rad "cast" by Exos that was developed for athletes and active people (see photo at top of blog). It's waterproof, and you heat it up then mold it to your wrist -- kinda like certain shoes and sandals these days -- and once it's on, it's strong enough to support a bunch of activities, even swimming! (Crazy, but true.) Wednesday I tried out a bike (trainer) and run and it worked, whew. No swim yet, but we will see....
First trainer session as a gimp. Cool cast, eh?

Training is obviously still going to suffer a bit for the next ~6 weeks as I heal. A bummer, but what can you do? It could be a lot worse. I know many people are dealing with far worse issues than me and it doesn't feel right to get too whiny or upset over my situation.

Ocean swims at home. How could you not want to be in this water?
That said, I went through the pity party stage the first 24ish hours. I'd cry here and there, tears over the inevitable trainer sessions in my future (haha) and tears when I would try to do some everyday normal task... and it hurt... and I couldn't do it... and John had to do it... oh man. The other thing that made me sob pretty hard is the idea of not being able to ocean swim like we have been lately. I am obsessed with getting out there right now and I've never loved swimming more because of it.

On the flip side I'm already celebrating the small victories, like being able to type almost like normal again already. Doing a trainer session and run with no bad pain. Cooking food. Learning to be ambidextrous...

The last important thing to note here is that I have confirmed through bone density scans that my bones are in fact very strong and healthy, and no red flags there. I did NOT break my wrist because I'm weak. So many times you hear of endurance athletes with stress fractures, or worse, female athletes who are frail from training and low energy intake; it's a real issue and I don't to be in that category nor do I want to see anyone there. I try to be as strong as possible through my training, diet and lifestyle, and I also try to be proactive with my health -- getting a bone density scan is one way of doing that. Knowledge is power and the results of the scans show that what I'm doing daily is working for me and not against me. This break was just one of those things.

I still plan to kick ass... so stick with me here!


  1. bummer! I swam, biked (trainer), and ran with a cast a few years ago. The cast made me a lot more aware of where my arm was swimming and actually improved my stroke!

    Heal up!

  2. Hi Tawny, I'm an amateur cyclist (Cat 4) in northern California and am just coming off 2 months in a cast from a scaphoid fracture during a bike crash. It was also the first time I've ever broken anything or had a cast. (Got it off on Monday!!). So sorry to hear about your news. It's been hard to ride the trainer and see cyclists outside enjoying the weather. I hope you will continue to post about your experience, recovery, etc. Reading from others in the same boat was comforting to me during my injury, and now as I begin to rebuild fitness and confidence riding outdoors and in a pack. So sorry again. Stay positive and take care of yourself!

  3. bummed to hear it.... but you are right. It could be a lot worse!! I just hope it's not your beer drinking hand!!

  4. It's crazy how when people break bones, they don't even seem to notice at first. When Steve tipped over and broke his femur, he was convinced he was fine.

    Sucks, but that's a cool cast and yay you can do things!