Those are some of the possibilities of what I have done to my ribs on the right side today 10 minutes into the race. It does not feel good-can't breath, cough, sneeze, (essentially move) without pain. Haven't seen a doctor and am not planning on it yet.
Before I go into what actually happened I just need to ask the question "Why are there always HUGE crashes at the start of World Cup races?" Is it not possible to not hit someone else on the bike and just keep your stinking line people? What is wrong with these folks? Pro riders at the top level in the World? Hmmmm. Needless to say......MASSIVE PILE UP 10 seconds into the start. I had anticipated it because I have seen it happen over and over at the World Cups. I just waited for it because I could, as I had a back row start. I saw it happen and made a split decision to make a cyclocross move over the tape, ran up 10 feet and then went back over the tape onto the course. Other people did it too and then everyone was in gears that were wrong and trying to peddle and falling over and people were still crossing their bars over your thigh. What the?? Meanwhile half of the field is still on the ground behind us curled up in balls waiting for the confusion to end. I remember seeing one gal laying in fetal position with a pile of sand that was coming up and over her helmet. Ooooh not good. The only reason I saw her was because my wheel almost went up and over her face. Again....not good. That is when I busted out the cyclocross moves.
Feeling good I went burning up the climb hit the technical descent no problem, climbed up another 20 feet and started descending over a huge rock/dirt staircase section. I tried make a pass on that, misjudged how much it dropped off on the other side of the rock I was going over and literally landed on my front tire with my bike vertical to the ground with me on it. I was staring at the ground as I endoed BIG. First thing out of my mouth after masses of racers passed me was "my rib!?!". I didn't know what was going on. I just knew I had sharp pains. I didn't know if they would subside or get worse but I got back on the bike almost immediately after gathering myself and just kept going at what ended up being a notch below full race pace. It was tough. I had a lot going on in my head. I had no idea who was up the course anymore and no idea who was behind. All I knew is that all I could focus on was me and the pain. I didn't know what was going on with my ribs and I had thoughts of sharp pieces sticking into my lungs, lungs filling with fluid, and me keeling over mid race. My mind does wonders at thinking outrageous thoughts if you can't tell. I just didn't know what was wrong or how wrong it was you know? I thought about stopping but I have never just stopped (dnf'ed) a race at my own will and I just couldn't do it today either. Just couldn't. Pain was the game but this time it was the pain of being just below race pace that overtook the rib pain. So actually racing was a great thing because it took my mind off it for 2 hours. Didn't get lapped-don't know how because I was slugging slowly down everything wincing in pain as my tire made contact with the ground as I dropped over stuff. Oh ya, good times.
We shall see how the next few days go on the bike. I sure my ear is not going to fall off or anything and I should live though. Just need to adjust to a slower lifestyle and a new way of living for a while.