Tag Archives: Crash

Always Wear Your Helmet

Written July 1, 2012.

Yesterday morning I set out on what should have been my first century ride; 100 miles in the overcast drizzle. I was not looking forward to the drizzle, but I was looking forward to getting this ride under my belt, exploring a new route, and most of all not being in a hurry to get it all done. 100 miles in the saddle – and my previous longest ride being 85ish – and I planned to pace myself to enjoy it. For once I didn’t have a slammed schedule in the afternoon so there was no rush to fit it all in.

I made it less than 1 mile before I found myself splattered on the pavement.

Leaving my neighborhood there’s a hill to descend about 1 mile long, and at the bottom the road curves right. You can’t see around it until you start turning, it’s pretty blind for cars and cyclists alike. I’m familiar with how scary it can be and have nearly gotten hit there by careless parkers before. Though I see people fly down the hill at times I don’t. EVER. I ride my brakes all the way down like a weenie.

Yesterday I hit that turn and had about 30 feet to stop on wet pavement. A truck was blocking the bike lane, plus the entire vehicle lane, while backed into a driveway unloading. I braked, fishtailed, released to straighten out, tried to brake again gently, and went down. Hard.

My right side was first, and went straight into the raised (sidewalk height strip) median, and I bounced. Everything seemed in slow motion and while still being catapulted with the crash’s momentum I actively thought about 2 things: 1. How close my face was to the edge of the sidewalk as my head bounced along it 3 or 4 times. My eyes were literally centimeters from the corner but my helmet kept hitting first and created a buffer. And 2. WHEN.WILL.THIS.END. I could feel myself rolling, flying, bouncing, and tumbling forward but knowing that I couldn’t stop the momentum I stayed loose and tried to keep my awareness of which way was up and where to land. Thank you very much 16 years of gymnastics.

When I finally stopped moving I checked my face (no blood), my extremities (nothing catastrophic), and my bike (TBD) and dragged myself to the side of the road. I’m certain, the witnesses were much more afraid for me than I was for myself in those moments. They approached – one man running – to see if I was okay. The looks on their faces while I stood there trying to assess the damage and figure out what to do next were more paralyzing than the moment I realized I’d either be flying straight into the truck or straight into the pavement.

I’m beat up, hurting, partially broken, frustrated, and tired. I’m damaged, my things are damaged, and I’m quite sure that Garth is damaged from receiving that phone call while half awake and half dozed off enjoying a Saturday morning. Hi, it’s me. I need you to come scrape me off the pavement and take me to the ER. I had a crash. 

But I’m also incredibly grateful and lucky. And LUCKY. It could have been so much worse. Garth could have been out for a long run. That truck could have been moving. My helmet, now misshapen and cracked, stayed on my head and did its job. It most certainly saved me.

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Filed under Bike, Health, Injuries, & Prevention, Training

General Update

So, Ironman is almost here. 27 days away. Insanity.

I haven’t been writing much for a few reasons.

#1. All I do is train, eat, and sleep. And work. I’m not stressed out, but I’m so focused on getting from one of those activities to the next in the most efficient way possible that it doesn’t leave much time to write about how things are going. Or to embellish my stories for my future self! (Kidding)

#2. Training was altered for a bit by an accident that I was in and can’t share the details of. Though I’m still dealing with it on multiple accounts I’m still able to race Ironman Canada. I’m grateful that I can still go, but am disheartened by what’s happened. As time passes I’ve become more polarized too; I find myself going from acting like it didn’t happen – because I wish it didn’t – or breaking down in tears for “no reason” while driving myself home like I did last week.

#3. The breakthroughs just don’t feel that big anymore. I’m getting down to the wire which means more pressure on myself (from myself) and so even when I do something new or great I immediately just feel like that’s what I should be doing by this point in the training cycle. I can’t stop measuring myself against where I wanted to be at this point, and though I may not be too far off I thought I would feel different by now. Because I feel like these things are not significant it makes it uninspiring to try to eeek some writing out of just for the heck of it.

But more is coming soon. There are a few things specifically that I want to write about.

Until then please take a look at my studly husband. On maybe 8 weeks of training he killed a hilly 5k, finishing in the high 18:40’s, on Saturday night at the Seafair Torchlight. Amazing. If I didn’t love him I might hate him be a little bit jealous. 🙂

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Filed under Life, Training