Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sam Warriner's close call!

Sam wrote to us about her recent race in California - the 70.3 in Oceanside. She had an unfortunate event the afternoon before her race which made a huge impact on the following day. Here she tells what happened...

"Hi there,

Well, I’m sitting here writing this very disappointed and I’m annoyed with
what should have been a great race. However the acts of nature prevented
that. Today I raced in the California 70.3 (Half Ironman) in Oceanside.
I’ve just completed an absolutely amazing block of training in California,
and I’d had a full taper for this race too as it was my last race in the
base phase of my season.

I thought the race was a great way to end a great block. I did everything
right in my taper over the past 6 days.

Yesterday afternoon I had just finished my normal pre-race day 15 minute
swim on the course, I was just thinking ‘well done sam’ there’s nothing
more you can do now when suddenly I collapsed in the water, not being able
to feel my whole right leg. I thought something had bitten me at first,
maybe a crab? But then the most agonizing pain hit me, paralyzing my leg
and making it difficult to move. I thought perhaps I’d cut a tendon or
ligament, it was excruciating. I was in agony and could not walk, I had
to crawl out onto the beach and the lifeguards came racing over with
lights and sirens blaring. That was when I noticed the blood in the
water and realized it was my blood!!!

I was in a state of panic, my first thought was ‘dam I can’t race
tomorrow’, I think this was because it dawned on me just how much work I’d
put into getting ready for Oceanside 70.3.

Luckily the lifeguards were calm; I guess they see this sort of thing
quite often. They informed me I’d been wiped by the tail of a Stingray
and it had left poison in my ankle!? I honestly say I’ve never known pain
like it. I was stretchered off to the life guard head quarters where I
spent the next two hours soaking it in boiling hot water. I felt so sick
that I had to lie down. After about two hours the pain lifted so I
thought I would be ok and was laughing about it
At race briefing although I got slightly worried when the bleeding
returned intensely later that evening.

As the evening went on the chances of me racing were looking less and
less, I was in so much pain as the swelling was so big I could not walk
on it. I really did not think I could start, so I spent the whole night
soaking it in hot water and icing it, I got absolutely no sleep,
eventually after a lot of bleeding the swelling started to subside. So
when I got up at 3.30am when we were due to rise for the race I could walk
on it so decided to give the race a go.

In the swim I lost valuable time to the lead group as I could not kick
Properly, I eventually exited 90 seconds down on a group of 3 strong
cyclists which I was gutted about. I did not feel pain during the swim
but my range of motion for my kick was severely limited. As I ran into
transition I had to do so on my tip toes, as I couldn’t stretch my foot

I cycled strongly and got to the front pack after 40km of solo riding,
despite not being able to do my shoe up!

I came off the bike and onto the run in first place but I had problems
getting my running shoe on because of the swelling and lost one place in

As soon as I started running I had absolutely nothing, my heart
rate was so high. I was so annoyed; all I could think was that I’d trained
so hard for this race, what the hell was going on? I was gutted and
basically I lost a lot of positions because my
body had nothing. I was so upset because I knew I had done such a great
block of training and wanted to show everyone I am a force to be reckoned
with in Korea when the ITU World Championships series starts.

Eventually I finished in 7th place and went to the medical tent. My ankle
was very swollen. The medics were very concerned about me, as they
thought I probably still had poison in my system and I’d lost a lot of
blood over the previous 12 hours too.

So I was very disappointed after the race but I’m starting to see the
positives now. I know that I will be back even stronger as I always am
after a disappointment, I also know that I don’t have any more 70.3 races
until Worlds in November, and I also know I didn’t show my cards today so
nobody will be expecting the performance I’m planning on putting in once
November comes!

But for now it’s all eyes on the first round of the ITU World Championship
Series on May 3rd. I’m hoping for a little more luck when it comes time
to defend my World No.1 spot!



1 comment:

Vagabond said...

Holy cow! What a bada$$!!