I sent you three boats and a helicopter!

This belated post is in regards to my bike wreck that occurred in July ...

Hopefully a couple of you out there get the punchline that is the title. If not, comment and I'll 'splain.

Some of us believe in signs, some don't. Some avoid the black kitty cat crossing the path in front of you, and some stop to scratch it's cute little chin. Either way, looking back, I can pick out a few signs that I maybe should have just stayed home on the night of our ill-fated journey. Don't worry! There's a happy ending, so read on without fear.

Tuesday's* chosen ride was the Sellersburg/Utica ride that I have written about previously. This time, the route was chosen because of the hills. I wanted to build a teeny bit of extra strength before the race on Aug 1st. And unlike the last time, I paid much better attention to Mapquest and took the correct exit and made it with time to spare and was able to gear up and dash in for a last min just-in-case pit stop. Amie then took what turned out to be a "before" picture of me in all my badass bike-chick glory.

During the pre-race "talking-to" by the bike club, the captain urged us all to join the Louisville Bike Club. Which, in all honesty is a great deal. It's only $15 for a year/ $20 for families and you learn enough on your first ride to make it worth every single cent. What caught my attention the most, though was when he said that if you are a member of the club, if you get hurt, you are covered by the club's insurance. Hmmm, I thought, good idea. I will have to officially join up later.
Time to ride! Tightening down the helmet, I'm feeling pretty good about this trek. I'm going to tear this mutha up! I look over and grin at Amie and grinning back, she raises her wrist to show off her brand new, bright red (IU, not UL) RoadID. Nice! Stylish and responsible. She then says, "Just came in today...hope it doesn't jinx us!" (Some paraphrasing has been done here. If I'm way off, I'm hoping Amie will correct me) But anyway..dun dun dunnnnnnnn....

Off we go! The weather is great, I'm in a good mood and feeling strong! I pedal out of the parking lot, up a short hill, in to the high school parking lot we use as a cut through and...throw my chain. Poop. But no big deal! Amie and nice ride Captain help me thread the chain back on and off we go again.

For the most part, this was a really great ride. I'm riding the hills stronger than I did the first time. The sun is setting, throwing gorgeous streams of pink and purples across the sky. It starts to get a little dark so I slide off my sunglasses and an Evil Indiana Flying Insect who is at the right place at the right time embeds its little self in my eye! I think I did let out quite a Yelp at this point. It took forever to dig that little sucker out and for my eye to stop watering. But, still smiling, I consider it a lesson learned and now pass it on to you! Get lightly or non-tinted sunglasses for evening rides, but always wear eye protection!

Once again, back on track. Things go pretty well from here until the intersection of Utica-Sellersburg Rd (I think) and 31W. This is a fairly large intersection so we stop for a few to wait for the light and to quench the thirst a bit. Amie says she said at this point, "I hate this road. I hate riding on the highway." The light turns green and we cross over.

We're trucking down 31W. There is an extremely wide shoulder and with the amount of traffic that speeds down this road, we're riding on the shoulder down this stretch of the course. However, said shoulder ends about 1/4 of a mile before the next big intersection and you have to maneuver back onto the road proper. Here is where I do a live enactment one of the first warnings Captain Tom ever gave me at the first bike club ride I ever attended.

Tom said, "Watch the straight cracks in road between pavement slabs. Your wheel has to move to balance, if you hit one of those straight ruts, you're going down"

Now, I have to say, it's not like I didn't believe him. I was just running out of pavement and had to make a move. I just chose the wrong one. Totally my own fault. I admit it and offer myself up as a object lesson. Stay out of the straight ruts in the road!!! I hit that separation between the slabs and went down sideways; spinning like a top across traffic stopping nose to bumper with a champagne Taurus; my brain chanting, "Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road."

And then, like magic, I was out of the road. I don't remember if I dragged myself out of the road, if the people that stopped to help drag me out of the road or what, but there I was, on the side of the road, trying not to freak out and/or puke. Or worse, cry. The next few minutes are a little spotty in a tunnel-vision type way. I do remember thinking it hysterical that a passenger of one of the cars that stopped picked up my sunglasses and handed them to me saying, "Here. You don't want to lose these." Puffy stuff was coming out of the mussed-up side of my bike seat. A cyclist offered me her extra bottle of water. I wasn't thirsty. She told me it was to rinse off my wounds, not to drink. Indiana needs more funds for their roads.

Looking down, I then saw several places where skin used to be. But nothing appeared to be broken. I had some lovely road rash and some puncture marks in my leg from the claws on my pedal. My triscuit was all bloody. But it could have been much, much worse. Much. I don't want to think about it.

I have to mention that I do believe that the Taurus had plenty of time to stop and I don't think I was in any true danger of getting hit by a car. I did look over my shoulder before pulling my bonehead lane switch and I did not pull out in front of a car.

Amie, who is excellent in a crisis, saw an oncoming breakdown and started to try to make me laugh. She insisted my blog readers would have to hear all about this so she took pictures. I was told to pout. I laughed and pouted for the camera. And as it started to sink in that I still had 2 miles to ride before the end of the route, Amie had already activated her Indiana phone tree and had a friend on his way to pick us up. Thanks Andy!!! You were awesome and your kid is a cutie!

Long story a little shorter...I headed home for some scrubbing and ibuprofen. A few hours later, I spent some therapeutic time in a hot tub and was then wrestled down like a 3-year-old and doused with Bactine. That crap hurts as much now as it did when I was little!

8 Days!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while. I had a bike wreck a little over a week ago and must have pulled my writer muscle. But I wanted to pop in, say hi and let you know what's been going on in my workout life.

Everything is going well. I had a few more off days than I'd like with the wreck and the face issue, but all that is cleared up now...mostly. I'm still sporting some lovely road rash.

With 8 days to go, I've decided that I'm pretty much at the level I'm going to be for the race. I'm very pleased! A year ago, I got winded walking from building in my office complex to another. I can now bike 20+ miles and run over 3 with pretty quick recovery times. I did the whole bike and run segments of the race a couple of days ago in 1:30. If I can fit in the swim and two transitions in 29 minutes, I will hit my goal of under 2 hours. If not, I will be very, very close. There's not a doubt in my mind that I will finish.

So when I look at everything overall, I'm a completely different person than I was last year. That's amazing. I'm about to become a triathlete. Unreal!

As a side note, during the the 2nd Pfit competition at work, I have so far lost an additional 13 pounds. The more I lose, the faster I get, so I'm very happy about that.

The rest of my week looks like this:
Today - Run
Friday - Run/Swim
Sat - Bike/Swim
Sun - Swim

18 Days to go!

That's only 2 and 1/2 weeks or almost 3 depending on if you are a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person. Tues/Wed may change up this week, depending on which ride I decide to do.

Training for this week:
Mon - Run/Swim
Tues - Bike or Run/Swim
Wed - Bike or Run/Swim
Thurs - Off
Friday - Bike/Run (@gym)
Sat - Race Route
Sun - Swim

So...how have you been?


Happy Independence Day!

I climbed back onto my bike today after a week. Still can't get Steven Tyler's voice singing Back In The Saddle out of my head. Ergo the post title. It was a little rough. Rode the race route to get a feel of my timing. Weather wise it was a good day to do it. Traffic was minimal and it was a cloudy 75 degrees. The slight breeze was very welcome.

Sidenote: We're seeing all kinds of wildlife on this route. A short time after starting we passed a huge, HUGE turtle. I thought it was an armadillo at first. I didn't know that we had armadillos in Kentucky, but according to Wikipedia, it is possible.
The hills on the route were definitely harder than the last time we rode, but I wasn't very warmed up and am not going to let it get to me. Still, I finished in 59:27. I'm pretty happy with that still having 4 weeks to go in training.
This afternoon I'm a little sore. I'm going to watch Tiger Woods (who just hit an Eagle) play golf before I head out to a friend's barbecue this evening. Hope you are all having a great 4th!

Making a list. Checking it twice.

29 days until race day!

While I'm on medical hiatus I'm trying to distract myself by thinking of other aspects of the big day. Let's get our race day checklist together shall we? There are items that still must be purchased!

Most of the big items I already have:

  • Triathlon Suit
  • Goggles
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Water cage
  • Water bottle
  • Spare tire kit
  • RoadID - If you don't have one of these, get one. Your identification/emergency numbers and 1st responder info all in one place and on your person. Just in case.
  • Running Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Watch/HRM
Items I still need to/would like to purchase:

  • Spare goggles
  • BodyGlide
  • Bungee Laces - saves valuable time in transition area and are fairly inexpensive
  • Sunglasses - the glasses I have been using hit the bottom of my helmet and look kind of goofy.
  • Cages for pedals - will go for clipless pedals next race.
  • Large bright towel for transition area. - In case they don't allow me to attach the planned-on ginormous helium Spongebob balloon to the bike rack. Worth a try, don't you think?
  • Race belt
  • Jersey to wear for bike/run legs of race (If anyone related to me is reading this an intending to send me a birthday present, I would LOVE a Vanderkitten jersey. hint hint)
  • New running shoes - not a necessity
  • Hat for running leg.

Please feel free to add comments with your suggestions.

In other news, in a show of solidarity, Eli has decided to take a break in his training until I'm back on my feet. You can see how much he is bothered by the missed workouts:

What the Frick?

...wherein our heroine encounters a roadblock.

It goes to show you just never know what's about to happen. You'll be cruising along with your training, everything going pretty well, progress being made and then BAM! some unknown force will throw something your way just to see how well you handle it. And make no mistake, you won't see it coming. I've been waiting for that out-of-nowhere flat tire to come at me. I've been expecting the sore knee to show up. Old rotator cuff injury even popped it's head up once or twice to see if anyone was watching for it. You know; usual stuff for someone who's been putting their body through pretty rigorous physical demands. But sometimes the universe gets bored and needs entertainment.

This mornings episode involved me getting out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom to begin my morning regimen. Shower, hair, makeup, dressed and out the door. My brain was just awake enough as I stepped over the threshold to the bathroom to think..."My face feels funny." Not funny ha-ha; funny odd. I turned to the mirror and was horrified to see my left eye swollen mostly shut and my cheek also pretty puffy. Aaackk! I scared me. Then I noticed some tingling in my face. I thought to myself, "Self. This is not good" But maybe I just slept on my face or something. I'll give it some time. I don't get sick.

Halfway through the shower, my tongue is tingling, too. Hmmm. The situation does not seem to be reversing itself. But what could it be? I don't get sick.

Thank goodness, a rational part of me realized that I was trying to deny a very large, puffy problem and pushed through to the forefront and suggested that maybe I should call the doctor. Good idea! I rang up the doctor's office and the nice automated female voice told me that they opened at 8:30. I finished getting ready for work, sans eye makeup (yikes!) and headed to the see Dr. Hammond.

The receptionist didn't even flinch when she saw me. She calmly took my name and asked me what I needed to be seen for. "Uhm. My face is schwollen. Shee my eye". The cheek was getting puffier. She "Hmmmed" at me and took my co-pay. I thought that maybe I was over-reacting due to the fact that receptionist didn't seem to see my issue. Did the swelling go away on the ride over and I'm just being neurotic? A dash to the lobby restroom revealed that I still slightly resembled Sloth from The Goonies.

It wasn't crowded so I was called back very quickly. The doctor's assistant didn't appear to see my problem either. "So what are we seeing you for today?" she asks as she takes my weight and blood pressure. Uhm, hello? My face is either having a reaction to something, I've been bitten by the biggest spider on the planet or my body is, after 34 years and 9 months, finally trying to expel my previously unknown twin. "Ok! The doctor will be in in a minute!"

Sure enough, a minute goes by and the door opens. Dr. Hammond walks in, says hi, looks me in the face and says. "So what...oh wow."

Thank you! I felt a huge amount of relief. Now we're getting somewhere. I hopped up on the table and she poked around a bit. No ear infection, no eye infection, no fever, nothing to indicate there is a problem other than the extra bit of face I was sporting. No drooping which indicates no Bell's Palsy or stroke, thank goodness, and after calling a colleague of hers to get a 2nd opinion on treatment options, I'm told I am probably having an allergic reaction to something I ate and sent on my way with an antibiotic and steroid prescription and directions to get my butt back there immediately if the swelling gets worse.

Then something makes me say, "Thanks! Glad I'm getting this cleared up. I have a big run and swim tonight."
She replies, "Oh no you don't. Not until this is gone" and heads off to heal another patient.

Uh-oh. The tri-borg in my head calmly asserts "Can't miss workout. Workout is vital." But I know that you just can't risk your health. Much. So ok. Fine. I can take a day off. But that's it. One day. I'm 5 weeks away from my race. One day is all I can spare and that's pushing it.

Then I get my prescription filled. It's not one dose of steroids, it's 6 days! There are a billion little pills stair-stepped on this card! I called the office back and find out that Dr. doesn't want me doing any strenuous activity for 3 or 4 days. "But, but, but I'm training for this race. I really need to.."

"Sorry. You just don't need to risk it." She says.

And over the course of the day I admit that she's right. Fine, I'll do what I'm told. I'll be graceful about it. I've heard enough horror stories of people disregarding advice and pushing on anyway and then being out of commission for weeks or even months.

Deep inside though, I'm freaking out about what these 3 days off will do to my training and momentum and goal of finishing in under 2 hours.

sigh...is it Friday yet?

Week 7 Training Plan and Comeuppance from a Wager Lost

Week 6 was an interesting week. I had some great cycling moments. Amie and I went on a 22 mile bike ride through Sellersburg/Utica with the LBC on Tuesday night. The ride on the club site was listed as a #2, which is up to 1/3 hills and the words "mostly flat" were included in the description. Hah. Mostly flat my patootie. A few of those hills were killers and there were many more hills than there were flat spots. It also didn't help that I was running late and completely frustrated with a wrong mapquest turn and some belligerent drivers en route to the ride. So I started out the ride with a crappy attitude. I swear to you this isn't a theme! I am usually pretty good natured when starting out on a course. Promise. With sugar on top.

It took until about halfway through the course to start feeling warmed up and just more like myself. Then it started flowing more smoothly. At one point I did take a slight detour off-road through some thistles but managed to stay in saddle by incorporating my, to quote from Amie, "mad recovery skillz". I got a teeny bit scratched up, but each new bump and bruise is starting to feel more like a battle scar than they are a negative thing. Want to see where I jammed my pedal cleat into my shin on Sunday?

I made it through to the end of the ride. Honestly, if Amie hadn't been there riding with me, I might have chucked it all 2 miles in and begged a ride back to starting point. She's pushing me more than she knows. Thanks Amie!

Thank you also to "mostly flat" Sellersburg/Utica ride. Those hills are what is advancing me in my cycle training. We then rode the race course on Sunday and two hills that tried their best to kill me a month ago were attacked and conquered with breath left to spare and a victorious war whoop at the top. Ride of the Valkyries could be heard faintly in the distance. It was awesome. Also, after doing a few 20 milers, the 14 mile race course felt over before it should have been. I heard Amie tell Ben that she could have done another several miles and I concur. I briefly thought of suggesting going around for another loop, but that would have just sounded crazy!

The runs and swims for the week were pretty normal with the only oddity being an orange road traffic cone at the bottom of the pool on Sunday. I dunno.

Here is this week's schedule:
Tonight - Run/Swim
Tues - Run/Swim/Kickball
Wed - Strength/Early am spin class
Thurs - Off/Drum lessons for kiddo
Fri - Bike
Sat - Morning Run/4th of July!!! Happy Independence Day Everyone!
Sat - Bike/Yoga

Now on to the lost wager.
My friend Joanna lost a bet and had to kiss a gnome. Joanna has Gnome-a-phobia. She is scared to death of these happy bearded little fellas. No idea why. We don't ask; we just exploit. Here she is in a little piece entitled 'Oh gnome - how I love thee!"