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Real Riders Feature - Debbie Bradley

We recently started catching up with some of our coached athletes to get a true insight into their life and the way in which they balance the training within their overall lifestyle!

Sometimes the honest answers are the most useful for our readers as we aren't all robots!

As our first feature we caught up with social media queen and Liv ambassador, Debbie Bradley. Debs recently suffered an injury that has unfortunately seen her missing a fair chunk of the season!

1. How did you injure yourself and what did you do?

I support Race for Life every year as I work for Cancer Research UK. I’d decided to do one of their 10k events for a change so thought I’d better warm up a bit beforehand. I’d just left the face glitter tent (yes really) and had run no more than about 10 steps when I went over on my ankle on some uneven grass. The pain was excruciating so I knew it was bad. I couldn’t get up so I just lay there sobbing until someone found me. Thank god the adrenaline had kicked in by then and the pain was more bearable! There was hardly any swelling which normally happens with a break but the paramedic thought Id best get it checked out at the hospital to be sure. I was in and out of A&E in half an hour in a plaster up to my knee! It turns out I’d managed to break the 5th metatarsal and cuboid!? I've since been told it was probably the ligament rather than the break that caused all of the pain.

2. When you got the news from the hospital what was your initial reaction? I thought I’d be in A&E for ages so my mum dropped me off and I was on my own. I was expecting the worse but still couldn’t quite believe it when the consultant said it was broken! The whole process was so quick I didn’t really have time to think about the impact of having a leg in plaster. I had absolutely no idea of the challenges that lay ahead! 3. Upon having your foot in a plaster, how long did it take for the severity of your injury to sink in? Probably the next day when I woke up alone and realised I couldn’t do anything for myself.... I couldn’t weight bare whatsoever so had to hop around. Even just getting to the loo was exhausting. The only time I was comfortable was lying down with my feet up so I just lay there on the sofa in silence. I wasn’t able to weight bare for almost 3.5 weeks!!

4. Day to day living obviously adapted to start with, but how did you cope mentally with the lay off? Ive been through injuries before and I always try to apply the same logic. Think big picture, keep perspective, do other stuff and break the recovery down into manageable chunks. But this was different, losing my independence hit me really hard. I didn’t want to ask for help even though I knew I really needed it. My mum and dad offered for me to go and stay with them but I declined. I thought I’d be ok but by day 4 I almost broke so eventually I gave in and went to stay with them. I tried to focus on some strength work but I was so limited with what my foot would allow me to do I got even more frustrated! Because of the nerve damage everything took a lot longer than I was expecting. Every day I would try and put my foot down and every day I’d end up in a heap on the bed crying at my stupid foot. Mentally, the half way point (3wks) was a huge milestone and pretty much when things started to turn around. I’m now 4.5 weeks post accident and feel like a different person!

5. What was harder, coping with not being able to train, or coping with the simple day to day tasks? Coping with the simple day to day tasks for sure! The only time I felt semi normal was for the first 5 mins when I woke up, before I tried to move. I dreaded doing anything and feeling useless so I pretty much gave up trying. I didn’t think about training or the races I was missing, weirdly I didn’t care about any of that. I just wanted to be able to put my foot down and get around my own house

6. How long have you got left before you can fill our feeds with bikes and socks again?! Haha good question! I won’t be running for another couple of months but having tried to turbo in my boot at the weekend I think I may be ready to turbo properly in a week. Let’s see what the hospital say on Friday when I go back. Oh yeah and I’ve entered a 50 TT at the end of July to ease me back into racing!

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