Soon the OCR season is starting again. Titia is looking forward to the 3rd race of the Strong Viking OCR Series in Fürstenau close to Osnabrück, Germany.
Titia: ‘It’s almost in my backyard, since it’s approximately 80km from my city Enschede. Last years edition was actually not that promising for me, but mostly because I was ‘a bit’ stubborn. It all started 2 weeks prior the race: I felt a strange pain in my fibula, just above the ankle joint. So I asked a sports physician from Team Sunweb what it could be. He thought about a minor stress fracture (very tiny rip in the bone) due to a lot of running. So I asked him what I could do, but the one thing an athlete never wants to hear was his answer: take some rest.’
To start or not to start?
Titia continues: ‘So I did… for 2 weeks. But then the Strong Viking race came up and I really wanted to join the competition of the OCR series. And the pain was not too bad, was not more but also not less. So I decided to start anyways. That went alright until the obstacle with the elastics around your ankle came up: you have to bind a tight rubber band around your ankles and hop along over and under some beams. The rubber band was really pressing on the point were I felt the injury the most. ‘
Just keep going
‘However I was already at 1/3 of the race, and still the pain was not too bad so I just kept going. The terrain became all rough and hilly so I tried everything to not put too much pressure on the right side. At the final obstacles I skipped the flying monkey because I was afraid if I fell, my ankle would definitely snap (but mostly because I still have mental issues with this obstacle haha). And finally I finished the race! I think I was 13th or so, not even the worst possible place.’
‘After I drove back home from the race, I wanted to step outside the car but that seemed impossible! I was in so much pain I couldn’t even do one step anymore. But when I called the general practice center/first aid all they said was if I could finish a race like that, there’s no need to come in at a Saturday evening. (fair enough though) In the end it turned out there was indeed a stress fracture and I needed to walk on crutches for a few weeks and at least take 6-8 weeks rest. ‘
‘It took me way longer than I expected to recover from this and I believe my first race were the Finals of the Strong Viking in June. So that was a wise lesson I’ve learned. But from that point on I was fully focused on the World Championships in October, because I still had time to train! But for sure it had some impact on my season… Anyway: Long story short I’m really looking forward to this race to make it a better race compared to last year!’