Today was my first day back at intense and longer workouts since my Ironman race 3 weeks back. It felt good to be in the pool. Did 40 laps. Then I had planned to do 24 or 36 miles (I have a 12 mile loop that I ride) on my bike depending on how I felt. My mind was rather quickly made up for an unexpected reason.
I was at mile 3 on my ride. It felt good to be on my bike again. My legs felt good. There was minimal wind. I stopped for a traffic light. The pedals on my new Felt are different from those on my Giant. The old pedals are Look. The new ones are Speedplay. They are both of the type that lock your shoe onto the pedal via a cleat on the bottom of the shoe. But the locking mechanism is different for the Speedplay than the Look. It has taken me a bit to adjust to the difference, but I haven’t had any major problems until today.
As the light turned green I put my right foot onto the pedal and thought that I felt it lock in. I pushed down hard on the crank to get going, and on that first push with my right leg, my foot slipped off the pedal. My ankle hit the chainring. It was one of those few second delays where you realize you did something that will hurt, but the hurt hasn’t started yet. A couple of seconds later, there came the hurt. I looked down and saw a 4 cm L-shaped laceration superior and slightly posterior to my medial (inside) malleolus (ankle bone). It wasn’t bleeding a whole lot, really minimal bleeding for the depth. I could see a little fascia (muscle covering) at the base of the cut so I knew it was deep. It looked like a small cave really. I stayed on the bike and coasted thinking about what I was going to do. I really did not want to cut my workout short on the first day back. It felt a bit better after a couple of minutes. So I decided to keep riding but only to do 24 miles instead of 36 miles.
So I got home, changed, and gathered some supplies to clean up my ankle. There was more blood in my shoe that I thought there would be. I got a stool and a basin and soap and some super glue and sat in the bathtub on the stool and rinsed my wound with warm water. I had stopped bleeding. I got all the dried blood cleaned out fairly easily. It was deep enough that it would do better healing if the wound edges were approximated, but it was gapping open too much to use super glue. My thought through the whole thing, injury and cleaning, was that I needed to do whatever it took to make sure this was not going to hurt my training.
I decided I needed some stitches. So I called a couple of my doctor buds. One was in a meeting for a couple hours. He was out. The other did not get back to me after about 15 minutes. I remembered that I had an emergency first aid kit that I had put together for when I have been out climbing in Colorado. It was in my backpack downstairs and had suturing materials in it including Lidocaine and a syringe. I have always wondered if I could suture myself up if I ever needed to do so. Well I decided that this would be the day that I would learn this particular thing about myself.
So I did it myself. My second doctor buddy responded to my text with a text of his own as I was completing the job. He said to meet him at his office in 30 minutes. My response was, “Well. I did it myself.”