Broken Rib…Broken Dream?

“…there is a minimally displaced fracture of the tenth anterolateral right rib…”

So that’s what went “pop” in my chest last Wednesday. It certainly explains the pain I felt. Still have no idea how I managed to break a rib stretching over the center console of my car reaching for something that fell onto the floor.

Not only did I manage to break the first bone of my life halfway through my Ironman training schedule, but I did it in such a boneheaded and clumsy way.

“Let pain be your guide…” That is what my doc recommended to me to guide me in my training for now.

I did a 5+ hour/85 mile bike ride within 24 hours of the injury. No problem.

The next morning, I completed a two mile swim. It felt therapeutic. The first couple of laps hurt, then it seemed to stretch and relax the muscles. I didn’t want to leave the pool. So far so good.

That evening, I went for a 10k run. That hurt. I breath heavier while running, and the jarring with every footfall was an issue. I completed the 10k run hoping that I would settle into a groove like I did when I was swimming. Nope.

The next time running popped up on the training schedule, I substituted the elliptical. That was a lot better.

OK, so I guess I have to limit the running for now.

I got a rib belt yesterday. That felt good to sleep with. It may help with running, but will make breathing harder. I will have to give it a short test run and see.

I have a half marathon scheduled for Sunday. I may have to take a DNS for that one. I may show up and try a slow jog, and walk what I have too. I’ll do a short test run later this week and see how it goes. I am a little more optimistic about the half marathon the following weekend, and the sprint triathlon the day after that (only a 5k run, but worried about the physical contact during the swim).

I am not the first to have an injury or a fracture during Ironman training. I am very lucky that I have an injury that I can train with. Running will be set back, but I can focus more on cycling, which is my weakness. As long as I don’t have to take too much time off running and get completely reconditioned, I should be able to ramp it back up quickly (I have done it before).

Becoming an Ironman isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s about overcoming your limits. It’s about pushing through adversity. The greater the trial, the sweeter those four little words that you hear at the finish line…

“You Are An Ironman…”

Pity party is over. I have work to do.

Broken dream? Oh hell no!



Filed under Random Musings

8 responses to “Broken Rib…Broken Dream?

  1. Oh no!! So sorry to read about your broken rib. That’s definitely not good news. I hope it heals quickly – take care of yourself, my fingers are crossed for your speedy recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It’s actually feeling a lot better already (I forget about it except when I do a sudden movement). Planning a very light slow run Saturday t see if it aggregates it. If it’s feeling OK, I will run the scheduled Sunday Half-Marathon as a rehab run (slow and easy).


  2. That’s the stuff ironman are made off!!! Good on ya

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey. I’m so sorry about the injury – did they have an idea of why it happened? I just ask because it seems odd and worries me for your bone density. Enough about that – good for you for being a badass and getting your workouts in anyway. You got this!


    • Bone density test scheduled for next week. Calcium, Vitamin D level and parathyroid hormone levels were all normal. Looks like a fluke at this point, but will wait for the final bone density test…


  4. Brett

    How did you ribs heal? It seems like you trained through pain. That didnt set back the healing at all? I just cracked two ribs and my dr. wants me to stay away from anything that makes them hurt. Even spinning for 45 mins made me feel some pain in the rib cage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, two rubs are less stable then one. Depends on location, stability, etc. Swimming hurt for a few lengths, was then therapeutic. Riding was neutral except for sudden moves. Elliptical was the same. Running was a problem for awhile, but I could handle it. I was in the middle of my Ironman build phase. I knew I would only have one shot. If I stopped, I would not be back. This season, I have nothing as critical and would have listened to my body. But I healed fine. Minor soreness 2 weeks post injury. You have to valence out the amount of pain and how much it will set you back vs taking time to heal and how long it will take to regain your fitness. No easy answer…


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