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Archive for September, 2012

How it feels to be at a race and don’t race

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Last weekend I joined Jo Spindler and the IronCouple at Challenge Henley on Thames. After my crash in Copenhagen I wished I could have been able to race but no chance at all – still hanging around not being able to move properly. So I decided to watch the race from the side. And I promise you – it was harder than any other race in my life.

I got up at 4 in the morning and went to the start with Jo and Egoitz Zalakain (another Pro staying with us). I felt the same like in any other race: I was nervous and needed a loo a few times. Then the starting gun was fired and everything was gone. From that moment on it was exciting and sometimes really boring to wait and wait and wait (therefore I took some animal pics;-)…then suddenly Stephen came 1st out of water with a 5mins lead! Wow…. Bella had a good swim but another girl took her changing bag. Then I waited again: but no Jo wanted to come – it lasted 16mins!

After the swim I had to walk 3ks to the bike course. I sat down at the turn around and was waiting again. Meanwhile all the Age Groupers were passing me and it was a nightmare! The few marshals weren’t able to lead the traffic and a few times it happened that cars blocked the traffic circle and the cyclists had to do a really hard break down!!! Although it was intended that the course is closed for cars – I was going mad and the nightmare from Copenhagen came up again. But nothing helped – I had to give up and understand that the marshals weren’t capable enough!

After a while I realized that the turn around marked in the map is no turn around… I went up the street and after a few corners I saw a lonely marshal standing on it = that was the turn around! Wow – no people there, even the signs were a joke. A few cyclists were already coming and missed the silent standing marshal with the flag and crossed arms! I was shouting but almost every athlete realized it too late! Then after a long time Bella and Jo were passing me – they both looked good but the gaps towards the leaders were too big.

This turn around was a disaster – the athletes were missing it and then it was so narrow to turn that a few people got of their bikes and carried it around the pins while all others had to stop and wait for them! A few others athletes were crashed while they weren’t able to handle their bike, others crashed into the crowd and so on… Then the first athletes were on their last lap and had to leave it but there was no space for them because of the growing crowd. It lasted a long time till the street was free and the athletes got through. Once it was open all athletes were going this way but they were only on their 1st lap – so the crowd – except the silent marshal!!! -  was screaming and the cyclists had to get back on the course and were really surprised what is going on.

And the best thing of all: no marshals on the course: everybody was drafting! Only a few of the athletes were on their own – have never seen such an unfair race! If the 1st person stopped paddling the drafting one crashed!

Finally on the run course: Stepehen was still leading (he was one of the 4 Pros who didn’t draft!) Jo was in 9th position after the bike and very far behind the others because of his bad swim and the very good drafting skills of the other cyclists. It was an exciting marathon: Stephen had a perfect day and was leading till the end! Jo was catching up a few places and on the last lap he had the fastest split time but it was only the 6th place with a marathon in 2:45! Stephen luckily won, Bella became 2nd in the women field – Gina made a great race – Jo 6th and our companion Egoitz became 8th! All the waiting time on the course was a horror to me. I was sprinting next to them when they passing me at the aid station – running over bridges and join them for a while to tell how everything is going. This part I liked most. During all that time I ate nothing (was nervous and had no real time) and didn’t go to the loo;-) I had a few ups and downs because of this unfair but thrilling race. And when you stand by the side you always think that you would do it better! But you know that it is not that easy. All in all it was a good experience to me but I’m not sure if I do it again… a love racing more than standing at the side! Next time you see me on the course!

Best wishes,

Yours Diana

Hospital feeling

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Within seconds I was sent from a 30hours training week to a zero hours training week. The hardest time of all was the hospital stay: there were the pre-operation meetings on Monday for the operation on Tuesday. There I arrived early in the morning without eating anything – that was easy because I’m used to it. But then there were so many patients in front of me that I’ve to wait till the afternoon for the surgery. It last a few hours and the anesthesia was the hardest part of all: the nurses were running to change the painkiller infusion with the stomach smoothing infusions – it last the whole night – in the morning I was done. The doc told me that everything went fine, except that there was more broken than we’ve thought and that the training break will be longer than expected but I’ll be able to swim and bike and run again. A few hours later they made some radiograms and everybody was shocked: a screw was broken and moved away from its original place! The world broke down around me: that means I’ve to do this fucking anesthesia again! I was scared of the feeling afterwards but they promised me that they put something in my cocktail where I won’t have this problems. The next early morning I was the 1st person in the operation halls and this time everything went well: the radiogram was perfect, I didn’t feel like vomiting and could get up straight after the operation. I was happy. The day after my friend, my Mum and my nephew were visiting me and they were hungry – I felt fine and we left the hospital for a small snack. I still wore my nightdress and they chose a restaurant where at the entrance a very famous German TV chef let us in and excused himself that they don’t have enough staff. It was a very classy restaurant and I felt like Cinderella in my clothes which didn’t suited at all!!! I wanted to be back in my bed but now we had to wait for the food… and it was delicious!

One day later I was allowed to leave the hospital and I was the happiest person you can imagine. Back home the recovery goes much quicker and my Mum helped me with the household. Still 4 weeks in front of me where I’m not allowed to move my arm higher than my shoulder and sometimes I’d love to put my arms in the air and jump around – no chance at all but the thought of doing it again is wonderful! Now I can only train 1 arm but studies showed that the nerves of the other arm know what’s going on and that they strengthen at the same time. We’ll see;-)

That are all news from the invalid station south of Munich… normally after such a break one is much stronger than beforehand – that’s the straw I catch and which helped me to get over this time with a lot of reading. Unfortunately it’s my left arm and so I’m not able to draw or do any other writing things:-(

Best wishes and always cheer up!!! Yours Diana

PS: Before I went to hospital I wished to make a very long walk through the mountains: 6 hours of one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen! I loved it:-)