Front wheels and tram tracks

Someone recently said to me –

“The saying, ‘There are two types of cyclists: those who have crashed and those who will’ should be altered to, ‘There are two types of Melbournian cyclists: those who are terrified of tram tracks and those who will be!’”…

It’s officially T-minus 15 weeks until Ironman number five – Ironman Western Australia (aka IMWA or Busso).

Things on the training front have been going great. I’ve been more consistent than ever before – throwing out PB’s like peace signs! From run PB’s (I was so stoked to come away with a PB at Run Melbourne a few weeks ago) to swim PB’s… Yep, you read it right – SWIM PB’s! Get outta town. As it turns out consistent training, following the program and doing what your coach tells you actually works – who’d have thought?

And it’s been great.

Well, that is until… The Big Tram Track Incident of 2017

Let’s just say, bike wheels and tram tracks do not go well together. And let’s just say I’m now officially one of those cyclists terrified of tram tracks.

It was about a week and a half ago – a sunny Friday morning. My skin had flared up a bit again, so I decided to skip swimming and rode into work instead. Everything was going along as it normally does. The sun was out, the birds were singing. And then… BAM! About 300 metres from work I had to go around a truck, which has pulled over in the left lane (possibly delivering something). Then, after going around the truck, as I was pulling back into the left lane my front wheel got caught in the tram tracks and down I went – my left elbow, hip and knee taking the brunt of the impact.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of appointments, bouncing around between the GP, physio, X-ray and MRI, and surgeon. Statements like “possible meniscus tear”, “cartilage crack”, “arthroscopy”, were being thrown around and totally freaking me out.

Say what? How could getting stuck in tram tracks potentially derail my #IMWA2017?

Sigh – what would an Ironman build be without the “journey” or the “war stories” we get to tell each other, or impart on unsuspecting family members and work colleagues (soz guys!).

But after almost two weeks of no training and hopping around on crutches like a one-legged bandit, I’m happy to report that #IWWA2017 is back on track.

I saw a surgeon this week, who, after assessing my knee and looking at the MRI report, concluded there was no need for an arthroscopy – hallelujah! What a massive relief. He showed me the MRI and explained the crack in my cartilage is only small and shouldn’t cause any issues – it should heal on its own. My ACL is a little battered; I have some inflammation in the fat pad and some bone bruising. But otherwise, everything else is OK. No ligament issues, no meniscus tear.

They say you don’t really know how much you’re going to miss something until it’s taken away from you. Word! While I might be being a little dramatic, this last week or so, and the potential of not being able to train – to run, to do #IMWA2017 – has left me feeling pretty gutted. I’ve had major #FOMO seeing all my training buddies out training, while I’ve been stuck at home on the couch.

But I’m thrilled to report – I’ve been given the all clear to get back to (some) training. I’ve been cleared to get back to the pool (I’ve actually missed swimming – true story) and to start riding again, albeit on the wind trainer for now (he said to get back on the road when confidence is back up and I’m not in huge pain). I can’t run for another two weeks (could be worse), but after two weeks, I’m told I can start jogging again and take it from there.

Great news! So happy. No surgery and potentially back in full training in only a few weeks. Ironman WA here I come.

No more mishaps… or tram tracks please 🙂


Margaret Mielczarek

Margaret Mielczarek is the deputy editor at Australian Triathlete Magazine and writes the web series 'Shenanigans of a Deputy 2.0'. She is a passionate age-group triathlete and four-time Ironman finisher - currently in training for Ironman number five!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the mailing list

Enter your details below to stay up to date with whats going on.