Friday, September 29, 2006

Photographic Crash Evidence

The photos are in.....

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It pains me to show him in this condition.
You can see the aerobar pointing up, the broken seat mount,and if you look closely, you can see the rip in the seat on the floor.

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The red spot on the pad of my hand is where most of my weight was placed.

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The PG rated road rash. I'll save the R rated for another post. Painful stuff!

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Me, soon after the crash...before the real pain set in.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lemonade Anyone?

They say when life gives you lemons…make lemonade.....

It all started on a beautiful morning 10 days ago. I headed out on our local century ride with a few good friends and 250 other fellow cyclists. The weather was perfect and everyone was in good spirits. The first 20 miles flew by. A couple of the guys elected to take a shorter route after the first rest stop. The three of us who remained continued on. We hit a few rolling hills during the next 30 miles, but we made it to the next rest stop and I was still feeling great. We took a short refueling break and headed out again. This portion of the ride is where things went bad for me the previous year. I’d started cramping at about mile 60 and suffered through 44 more miles of rough riding. But this year I felt great. We passed the spot were I’d had to stop the year before to massage and stretch my legs. I was amazed at how fresh and strong I felt. One of my pals wasn’t feeling so well though and we had to slow the pace several times to allow him to recover. He would eventually call it a day at mile 80. We made it to the rest stop at mile 70 and took a bit more of a break. Mile 80 came and we were down to two. I was still feeling great and knew I’d finish feeling good. We hit one more rest stop and headed out on the final stretch of the ride. We made the final turn onto the road that would lead to the finish line. A couple hundred yards after making the final turn, I noticed a strange feeling in the way my bike was handling. I soon knew why as I noticed I had a flat front tire. DAMN! We were at mile 102.5 of the 104 mile ride. Do I try to finish the last mile or so on a flat, or stop and change it? That thought lingered for about 5 seconds and I made the obvious decision. I turned and told the guys behind me I had a flat. When I turned back around I steered slightly to the left, but my front tire “rolled” on the wheel instead of providing traction. Before I knew it, I’d slammed into the pavement. I’d later discover that there was also sand on the pavement which added to the slippery equation. Soon after I hit the pavement, another rider, who’d jumped on to draft, came tumbling over me. He hopped up right away and was not injured and his bike was undamaged. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so fortunate. I’d managed to put my left hand down and caught most of the impact with my left wrist and arm. I knew immediately that something wasn’t right with my arm. I just hoped it was only a pulled muscle. I had some major road rash on my left knee, hip and calf also. Somehow, the right aerobar had managed to get repositioned in such a manner that left it pointing straight up. I still don’t know how that happened…I went down on the left side. The pulling up of the aerobar pulled the cable that was attached to it out of the frame about 6 inches. My left pedal had jammed and was extremely hard to turn. The mechanism that attaches the saddle to the seat post had broken. The seat was a bit ripped. And there were scratches on various other components. Luckily, the frame was unharmed and I could find only one small chip in the finish on the top tube. The bike is at the shop now being nursed back to health.
My left arm became very stiff about an hour after the crash and swelling started not long after that. Any time I bent my arm or tried to straighten it I was hit with major pain. I toughed through it the rest of the day and Sunday but decided to go to the doctor Monday. X-rays revealed a fractured elbow socket. F++K!!!! They sent me away in a splint and sling with orders to do nothing and return in one week. After a week of going stir crazy, I returned yesterday for another examination and more x-rays. The splint came off, but I was instructed to take it easy and do nothing for another 10 days. I’ll head back next Friday and hopefully get the green light to start back training.

Ok... that’s the lemons.

The lemonade…. I pulled 95-100 miles of the ride. I now KNOW that I can go the distance on the bike AND feel good afterwards. I still felt great right up to the crash. Even with all the slowing, I still managed to average 17.5 for the ride. The temps climbed into the low 90s later in the day, it won’t be nearly that hot in November at IMFL07. This down time has given me a chance to give a lot of thought to my training and racing for next year. I plan to put my thoughts down on paper in the coming days and should have a good idea of how I should approach my training for next year. Either way, I’ll be doing lots of long slow stuff when I can get back to it. The only training I’ll be doing for at least the next 10 days is walking…and I’ll be doing lots of it. Hopefully that will keep me from going entirely insane while I wait to resume regular training. Going from 12+ hours of training per week to zero is tougher than I ever thought it’d be.

Pictures of the mangled bike coming soon……

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Outta here

I’m heading out of town this weekend for one last look at the ocean before summer slowly slips away. Although Labor Day marks the end of summer, it won’t start cooling off here for another couple of months. I'm heading down to Panama City Beach Fla for a few days with the family. I’ve promised to leave my bike at home for this trip, but I plan to drive the entire Ironman bike course while I’m there. I’m taking my running gear along and will slip out early before everyone wakes up and sneak in a few runs, but the rest of the time will be spent doing whatever D and K want to do. They’ve been great this year allowing me to train as much as I’ve needed. I couldn’t do it without their support.

Had a great ride with the roadie dudes last night. A couple of guys had flats. One of them was a bit shelled and stood staring at his flat tire. I finally commenced to changing it for him and we were soon back on our way. It's starting to get dark earlier, so the 30-50 milers during the week will be coming to an end soon.

My training is going well and I look forward to working on some of my weak points this fall/winter. I’ll be working on improving my swim technique (especially my kick) and running endurance. I’d also like to improve my power and endurance on the bike.
But there’s still a little summer left.
So I’m outta here.