Right as I finished building back volume after my broken ankle, I managed to mess things up somewhat again. On 8 May, the day before finishing my second 100 km week and final week of what I considered building my base back up, I fell with my bike and hurt my ribs rather badly.

What Happened

I blame the city’s bad infrastructure for this.

I was biking and on the Schuman roundabout am essentially directed onto a bunch of metal with white stripes painted on. It had been raining a bit. This made the metal and white stripes extra slippery.

Black arrow shows my direction. Red square is the zone of metal insanity. You tell me what you are supposed to do there.
Black arrow shows my direction. Red square is the zone of metal insanity. You tell me what you are supposed to do there.

As you can see in the satellite picture, the situation is confusing at best. To get to the other side of the roundabout, you would think you can just continue straight. What else? Brake and sharp turn onto the taxi lane? Turn left into car traffic? It is crazy that anyone approved this design.

I biked onwards and onto the metal grille. I am not sure what I did while on it, but I assume it involved slight braking and perhaps a lean for a turn. The wetness made my wheels lose all grip and the bike swept out from under me. I hit the floor. Somehow, the right side of my rib cage took the brunt of the impact. I have no clue where my right arm went. I took a bit to get back up, assessing the body while sat down. The bike took a bit of a beating too. It still seemed ridable enough so I rolled back home from there.

The Next Days

I still ended up doing a long run the next day. The ribs felt uncomfortable but manageable on flat even ground. It got more painful when climbing and especially when descending. Shitty terrain also did not help. Biking was OK until you hit a bump. That just plain hurt.

Sleeping went fine, but the process of lying down not as much (read: bloody painful). Turning around in bed was also a cause of many sharp stabs of pain shooting through the rib area. Coughing hurt.

Naturally I still tried a run on Monday. I told myself it would blow over. While I mostly could avoid pain, the damaged rib area left its mark. I slowed down to make it easier on myself and it generally felt like more effort.

Tuesday I finally made a smarter decision.

Stop and See A Doctor

The pain did not seem to get better so I was worried that it was more serious than a little (a lot of) pain that would go away quickly. I decided to not run for now and went for a walk instead, that felt fine. I also went to go see the doctor. She quickly diagnosed me as having broken some ribs. To be certain of the diagnosis, I had to get some X-rays.

As you can imagine, I was rather disappointed. Right as I got back to normal volume, I messed it up and received this setback. How long was I going to be out this time? I still had some hope she was wrong in her diagnosis, but no running was going to happen this week regardless.

Biking was out the window too, I did not want to risk falling again somehow and worsening the situation. Not to mention there are a lot of bumps when you are out biking and each of those bumps still hurt pretty bad. Instead I opted for ellipticalling, which seemed fine painwise, and walking. I wanted the walking since I did not want to be cooped up inside. It does not really get the heart rate up much, but at least I could get some fresh air.

Dag Trippers

I ended up doing some bigger walks: 15 km Thursday, 21 km Saturday, 25 km Sunday. Might have overdone that a bit much, but I wanted to get my mind off of things. I did some elliptical the other days, but it was with a lot less conviction. I was still hoping that it was not actually a break so I did not fully mentally commit to the elliptical idea yet I think. The pain was lessening considerably by the end of the week, though lying down in bed was still terrible and there were plenty painful spots and painful movements. This lessening strengthened my hope that it was not a break. No broken bones = shorter recovery.

I had already taken the X-rays on Wednesday, but the doctor was taking a long weekend so I would not actually get her opinion till Tuesday. I do not think I would have been ready to go for a run because of the pain anyway so it did not matter that much.

Sneezing suddenly started being a regular thing for me. Friday I sneezed twice, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday once each. (Did all the walking trigger some allergy?) That shit hurts. After the painful first (morning) sneeze on Friday, I thought I prepared better when I felt another sneeze coming in the evening. I pressed my hand on the painful rib area to prevent it moving in a crazy manner from the sneeze. It still hurt and I think I hurt another part in the process. Suddenly the bottom rib area also started hurting pretty badly. Just my luck. Did not try that trick again.

Some Good News

Tuesday I called the doctor for an update. She told me I had not actually broken any bones. Instead, she reckons it is the muscles between the ribs that are hurt. I assume this is what they call a bruised rib in English? This meant that it should all heal a little more quickly. It also meant that running had no danger of messing things up. Just need to be able to handle the pain.

I decided to try a 6 km jog that day. It did not feel great, but also not terrible. That evening I also happened to have a lot less trouble lying down in bed. Encouraged by this I tried another run yesterday: 10 km still supposedly recovery effort. That one felt worse. A bit more painful on the run. A LOT of effort to get through the run. Heart rate skyrocketed over the slightest pace. I do not know whether that is the effect from a week of no running (I want to say: doubtful) or if the body is still suffering from the damaged rib area (probably that?).

Today I have not gone for a run yet. I am not quite sure whether I want to yet. Not in the mood for more of yesterday’s suffering. Maybe I will try 6 km again. While running might not mess up the ribs, running with possibly bad form to avoid pain is probably not very beneficial either. Perhaps skip another day and elliptical instead.


Right as I finished building my volume back up, I messed it all up. I hurt my ribs and have to get through this new set back. At least the ribs are not broken, so I am hoping to limit the effects of crashing my bike. A first jogging test was promising, a second one not so much. Hoping to quickly get back into the swing of things, but for now I will have to play it by ear pain levels.