Oxman Aquabike: racing again after 9 years off for injury

Lets just say the preparation on the run up to this race was very far from ideal. What with the impromptu unplanned extended stay on the Gold Coast, to the left leg injury and nerve pain which has still not been tested (due to the aforementioned Gold Coast drama) I have done a LOT less cycling that I was hoping for. I almost did not start this race at all.

How did it go? Hmmmmmm.

All was going well at first. Then I started upping the cycling miles. Then the problems started. First with numb left foot, then calf pain, then full blown nerve pain which was,at one stage, even preventing me from walking.

So yep, I was not able to cycle at all for around 6 weeks. this really messed with my 12 week run up to this race. I really feared for the fact that I might not be able to even complete this race. I almost pulled out.

I managed to limp through a few weeks of cycling and got it back to 60km, but I quite simply ran out of time. Should I or shouldn’t I? I decided, despite the real possibility that I would not be able to finish the race, that I owed it to myself to at least try.

So, road trip to Christchurch with the bike in the back and a huge race bag: just like old times.

Mark had found some cute accomodation and we drove the bike course in attempt to reassure me that this might not be as bad as I feared. Farm stay in rural Christchurch, warm weather and the local village was called ‘Oxford’ which I thought was cute! They steal our place names all over New Zealand and half the time cannot even say them right.

The province (county) is called Canterbury. But the locals pronounce it Canter-BERRY. !!

I knew that a lot of people in a lot of locations around the world were following me to see how I went: most had also followed my knee replacement journey from the start. It meant that I started to put a lot of pressure on myself and actually so much so I began to feel physically sick. So I thought it was time for a public declaration and a slight change of mind set.

My pre-race declaration!

Mark was listening and simply remarked ‘well, I hope you stick to what you just said!’ I have to admit this is a giant mind shift for me and the start of a little realisation that perhaps I set a goal that was a little too giant. But, lets look at the positives. Despite almost all (except Joel my private physio) the health professionals I have dealt with along the way saying that I could not do this, I had multiple opportunities to give up but didn’t. And I am here giving it a go (even if it was a struggle to get back into the ten year old wetsuit!!)

How did it actually go?

Post race thoughts

So, in theory it is a deliberate DNF (did not finish) on the results table because I failed to complete the full race distance. In fact, it is the first time that I have ever recorded a DNF. BUT…. lets summarise all the things that I DID manage to achieve…

  • I got back on the start line of a race. When this whole knee thing started I seriously ever thought that I would ever be able to do that again.
  • I gave it a go.
  • I was realistic, adjusted my goals and did not get upset
  • I still crossed the finish line a very proud knee replacement warrior
  • I achieved all this only 14 months post TKR.
  • I could confidently say no one else out there that day had a 14 month old knee replacement.