Thank you. I suppose thank you is all I’ve got to say.
February 2, 2016
Last week I started my 2016 race season. An early race yes, but one I love to do.
I’m married to a South African, half my family is South African and as of a couple of weeks ago I own a small plot of South Africa with a little house on it. To be honest I feel more at home in a South African race than a UK one. Anyway you get the point. I love South Africa.
Race day came and went sooner than I expected it to. In most cases I'd be happy with a quick race but this one wasn't for the right reasons. After 70km on the bike I got a closer look at the tarmac than I intended. My race went out with a bang. I have no idea how but I do remember skidding on my back down the motorway at 65kph wondering how I could possibly luck my way out of this one. I’ve definitely been lucky, but as some friends have told me, I'm now a proper cyclist.
Standard check of limbs. I’m alive and in on piece. Next, was anyone looking? No. Pheww. Ego intact. Chain back on and off I ride. Well, sort of ride. As I put my hand on the handle bar it gave way immediately, with that I figured something was broken. I was gutted but figured I’d be able to make it back to T2 slowly.
After making it back to T2 the doctor suggested I didn’t run but also confirmed I wasn’t going to die and as I didn’t have to hold onto any handlebars I thought I could maybe jog it. By this time I’d gone from 2nd to 5th place. I started the run slowly jogging and by the time I realised it was a run to finish and not to race I was well into the atmosphere of the run. Anyone that’s raced 70.3 East London or Ironman South Africa will now understand that the run is slightly different to most races. The support is special, really special. Most people were surprised I finished, but then to anyone that’s raced in South Africa they sort of get it. My point here is really to say that I wouldn’t have finished if it hadn’t been for the huge support I received. So thank you East London you were very kind.
…But it doesn’t stop there. I don’t think I’ve stopped saying thank you since I crashed. I’ve been truly overwhelmed by so much kindness.
I’ve tried to make contact to say thank you. For those of you I wasn’t able to reach I just hope that you’re treated to some good karma, you deserve it. From Kevin, the dude in the hospital bed next to me who offered to swipe his credit card for my medical bill to everyone who did everything possible to allow me to catch my flight back to the UK. I owe a lot of people a lot of favours.
To my new sponsors, I'm sorry I didn't start the season as planned but thank you for being the first to check I was okay. When you come back to an inbox of concerned sponsors, you know you've lucked out!
I’m healing well. My elbow resembles a Cornish pasty (Thanks Holly) but I’ve welcomed the NHS and some resting time. After opening up my back and side with a cheese grater and wiring my elbow back together I’m actually grateful that’s all I injured. I went down hard! I’m going to give my body time to heal and see what happens.
I can only compare my last week to the times in the middle of training when you don’t feel like you can do anything but train and sleep; except this time I’m missing the training bit. I’m hoping I can start some kind of exercise by the end of the week. It looks like it’s going to be some form of adapted turbo (I can’t put pressure on my arm or elbow) so I’m relying on Rob to do his best DIY job to date! I’ve entered Ironman South Africa I do intend to do it I’ll just have to wait and see how healthy my body is for a fast recovery! For progress on my unusual Ironman build follow me on my Facebook page: facebook.com/susiecheethamtriathlete
One last thing, congratulations to Jodie, a well deserved champion and as usual nobody even came close to touching her.