Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yesterday was my first ride since the Iceman. My right shoulder was killing me on Monday and Tuesday this week. I couldn't believe how sore it was. I couldn't sleep very well for a couple of nights. Then I put some electrical stimulation on it at work. What a relief! I can avoid taking ibuprofen and slap that machine on instead.

Our ride went fine along the road, my shoulder was a bit sore just putting weight through it, but tolerable. If we would have stuck to the road, it would have been fine, but we rode the railroad grade and then had to climb up Grady's downhill (part of the MNSCS Spirit Mtn course). I had to get off a few times as I couldn't pull up on my bars enough to be effective to climb the hill. I probably hurt it worse than I originally thought, but I still think it is mostly bruised. I hit the ground so hard when I fell! There was so much adrenaline at the time that I didn't realize just how hard that was. I have been running all week instead and have to hold my elbow bent to prevent jarring my shoulder. Kinda crazy. Hopefully, it will heal up quick. There was a blanket of snow on the ground when we woke, which lifted my spirits. Winter is on the way!

Scott is at the CX MN Champ in the twin cities without me today. I can't race cuz I can't hang on to my bike well enough and have good enough control of my bike. It'd be dangerous for me and for others around me as I would be more likely to lose control and not regain it. I hope he does well. He had a bit of a rough go at the Iceman. He bonked hard with 7 mils to go. He can't seem to keep his chain on his bike and after dropping it three times and then catching back up to his group, hit the wall. Once he did that he limped in.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Scott and I headed to the Iceman Cometh in Traverse City, MI this past weekend. After working 1/2 a day on Friday we made it to Mackinaw City where we stayed overnight then drove the rest of the way Saturday morning. We got there in time to pick up our packets, hang out a bit, then get ready for the race.

It was mid-40s and sunny during the warm up and I got too hot, so I took off some of my clothing I was planning on racing in. I didn't feel very good during the warm-up; mostly lethargic. I could tell Scott didn't want to tell me I was going slow. My bike worked fine and Scott dialed in the shifting. I was all set to go.

This year they didn't do call-ups for women, but luckily I still got on the front row. Once the guy said "go" I missed my pedal or something and ended up behind another rider anyways. We had just gotten up to top speed when one rider cut off anther rider right in front of me, she jacknifed her front wheel and endo'd right in front of me. It happened so fast that I was on top of her flying, crashing hard, and then getting run over by another handful of women. Our bikes were tangled. I finally got up and got my seat out of another gals spokes and then got on my bike. The bars were so far twisted they were almost pointing back wards! Luckily, DJ from Clif Bar was right there and helped me turn them back. I don't think I could have done that one my own. So there I was the last woman to get back on her bike, with 27.5 miles to go and the lead group long long gone! I started picking off riders and it seemed each one took alot to catch. A few riders latched on and after about 4 miles I finally bridged up to Kyia and Heather I. I rode behind them for long enough to rest just a bit, looked back and realized a few women hung onto me. I passed Kyia and mentioned how we needed to 'drop the rest of the group'. We were together for another few miles and then I don't know what happened, all the sudden I was alone and chasing down some men in front of me. When I crashed my right shifter was bent, along with my deraileur, so I only had a few gears in each chain ring to work with. My gears would skip going uphill so I had to go up in a much harder gear than I wanted to. I finally caught up and passed fourth place and was sitting in third for most of the race. #63 and I would change places pulling, the gal behind me even pulled once. I was using way too much energy getting up hills and would lose my momentum due to my bike deciding to shift on its own. It wasn't until much later in the race (about 3 miles to go) that I realized I could go up the hills in my small chain ring (Duh) that too slowly realized solution may have cost me one or two places. With about 12 miles to go or so I started getting cold! The sun tucked itself behind the clouds. I was working hard to try and stay warm. I could see the second place woman about 30 seconds up and was trying to catch her with about 7 miles or so do go. I tried to bridge the gap and was making some progress when we hit more hills with about 5 miles to go, and realized my legs were shot. I was trying to hang in there, but the guys I was with only wanted a free ride, #63 had dropped me when I couldn't shift well enough to get up a hill and the rest of the group with him, including the woman that drafted off our group the majority of the race after I caught her. Then I dropped my water bottle and limped in as best I could. I really gave a good effort and am pleased with how hard I worked to get the place I did. It could have been much worse, or worse yet, I could have gotten seriously injured during that crash. I crossed the line in fourth, with dried blood 1/2 down my shin from a gash in my knee, my right hip bruised. It wasn't until later that evening, after the adrenaline wore off, that I started to stiffen up and assess more of the damage. We drove to Munising the night after the race, slept there (terribly as I couldn't get comfortable) and realized my right deltoid is bruised (can barely lift my right shoulder overhead), I couldn't take a deep breath cuz the left side of my back and chest hurt, and had additional minor bruising. That was by far the worst crash I have ever been in and hope to never be in that kind of heap again! The season is over for me and not exactly the way I wanted to finish it, but again I am pleased with my effort and that I didn't give up.

We were both really thankful for the Lalonde's being willing to transport some of our clothing to the finish line, for DJ getting me settled down and twisting my bars back at the start after I crashed, and for DJ and Wendy also for giving us a ride back to the start of the race where our car was parked. They also gave us my marathon overall and wors overall prizes, which they were nice enough to pick up for me at the wors awards ceremony a month back.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Scott and I have been super busy (who isn't?) with teaching, coaching, and still riding our bikes some. The weather these past few weeks have been perfect for training and enjoying the fall. Today we woke to snow on the ground - about a 1/2 inch. If I were younger, I would have probably dusted off my rock skies and skied around our yard. I hear the U.P. should/is getting some snow. Should make our drive to Traverse City interesting, much less we'll see what happens for race day conditions. I am not ready for 30 or less degree weather. Our house was frozen this morning. Our cats were fighting for which one got to sit on my lap - there wasn't room for both.

Coaching the ski team at CSS is going well. Scott and I are both taking a day or two a week. I love coaching! It's fantastic working with athletes wanting to get better and fun to dust off those cobwebs of information! The athletes and rest of the coaching staff are great! Both Scott and I look forward to getting on real snow.

Bike training is going as well as can be expected this time of year. I have taken a lot of days off, started running and hiking and rollerskiing with the team to break things up. After this next race I'll hope to take some time off from the bike entirely, although I took about two weeks off after Sheboygan. I was feeling too shot, run down, and not excited about riding. It's gotta be fun!

Lots to do...more research for the next case study due. Three down and three to go for my graduate class. I've done more research this fall than I can remember. It takes a lot of time. Combine that with the lack of home internet service and thus the reason its taken me almost a month to update this blog!