Friday, September 30, 2016

Always a twist......

After qualifying for the Ironman World Championships with a one of my best 140.6 mile races to date, I felt very comfortable with my decision to accept my Kona spot.  It's not a small decision.  It meant that I had to recovery like a champ since the race was only 6 weeks after Mont Tremblant, then pick up big training again ( hard to do after training very hard since January for the Boston marathon, a half Ironman and then Ironman MT) , AND I have 3 sons who are crazy busy with high school and middle school sports, student council, band and so on......  there are no quiet days it seems. But all that is fine. I signed the dotted line and got back to work.  All was good.......

Then two weekends ago, (9/18/16) I got up early on Sunday morning to fit in a bike-run workout before the family got out of bed so I could join back up with everyone for breakfast at home before the soccer games of the day. It had rained and the roads were wet. No big deal.  

I was 3 miles from home,  riding over the same messy railroad tracks I cross almost daily {the same ones that ate me alive 10 years ago ( 8/18/06--see the closeness in dates) and landed me in the OR for a rotator cuff repair} when I turned my head towards something 'over there' for a Split second instead of watching my wheels. 
That's all it took. I crashed. Pretty hard.  On my right side. The 'important' side of the bike.  And, the side I crashed on last time, when I wrecked my shoulder.

I swore. And then hollered. And then I got up and leaned over the bike for a bit and tried to catch my breath. The wind was knocked out of me. And I was hurting. And bleeding.  
I moved things around.... shoulder seemed OK.  Arms... knees....  Things were functioning as they should. But I was bleeding on my elbow and knee ( badly ) and ankle. And my Hand! My hand killed. I couldn't really use my right hand. 
I fumbled for my phone and called home.  Mark knew it was either a) flat tire I couldn't change  or b) I was hurt.  Sorry hun.. I needed a 'hug' even if over the phone.
I cried a little and just told him to talk to me for a bit. I was gathering myself and deciding what was next. The bike seemed ok.  I was ok.  I hurt but I decided to ride to DD, wash up and assess before I made the decision to go on or not.  

So I rode veryyyyyyyy slowly for 1/2 mile to a very busy Dunkin. I slid into the restroom, cleaned my wounds as much as I could and decided to continue on. If I went home, I'd be mad that I missed a workout. And, I wouldn't feel any better. 
The ride was alright. My hand hurt so so much.  The muscle under my thumb was very bruised which made braking and shifting very painful so I had to use my left arm. My elbow was cut so I couldn't ride in the aero bars. It was pathetic but I could ride, knees were moving ok, head was fine......I just felt sorry for myself for an hour or two. 

I got home finally. The boys ran down the stairs to "see" and I wimpered a bit. 

My leg looked like this: 

My knee was all chopped up but as time went on, it was / is the ankle that was worse. It swelled and that cut is right where my foot/ leg meet and it continues to hurt and not heal 100%.  But, it is fine. I'm fine.  I was lucky. 

I thought the bike was fine.  Tuesday, I headed out for a 5 hr ride. Three 30 mile loops--- loop 1- all good but the power meter acted a little odd. Lap 2-no power. I checked the magnet and it seemed a bit loose. Oh, ok. Just need more superglue.  Ride on. Loop 3- I taped it on with some stuff I had and it worked! yay. All good. 
That night, Mark re-glued it. I was good to go. 
But it acted crazy the next day. But not enough to worry.  I only rode a bit. 
THe day after that...... on the trainer...... NO power.  

Ok.... what's the deal. 

Long story short--- I talked to Kurt and after hearing I crashed, he knew. You damaged it. It's fragile-- you landed on that side-- you very likely damaged it. 

I was out of time. The bike needed to be packed the next day to ship to Hawaii. There was no time to ship it to CO for repair and then get it back. I panicked a little. And then knew I had to just accept what was happening. 

Over the past week, I've had a few heart to hearts with myself about just riding by feel. I know I can do that. I can. But see that photo at the top? That's where we ride.  It's hot, it's hilly, and it's windy. Crazy unpredictable winds are the name of the game on the Queen K.  Using a power meter, after training with one for years and years, is very helpful.  

And yet, at the end of the day, I just need to be smart. To be in control. To use my head and gauge my effort because I KNOW what to do!!!! 

But I'd be lying if I didn't say I was very worried about it.  

I have been working with SRM and with Kona Bike Works.  SRM has hustled and made some great things happen to help me out. Bike Works is ready to help on the Hawaii end. I think it'll be ok. One way or the other, I will ride that course the best way I can.  Perhaps with power, perhaps not.  

The final two weeks before I fly to Hawaii have been abnormally busy and full of surprises.  I have had to change my training at times and accept that I can only do my best that day.  And that is how I will race on 10/8. I will do the BEST I can do, each moment, each Mile. I will be focused and smart and tough. 

 These final weeks of training for my 2nd Ironman in 2 months, mothering 3 teenage boys and coaching has been a pure example of why these races are so challenging.  It's not just covering 140.6 miles as fast as I can on race day, it's getting there. It's the training. It's the stories behind the scenes.  I have many and I will tuck those moments away and pull them out during those hard miles along the lava fields. 

I have been tested.  How much do I want it? How badly do I want to succeed in Hawaii? If thrown a curve ball, can I catch it? 

I believe I did.  The work is done.  I am ready.  


Unknown said...

Impressive indeed, Ange. I'll be rooting for you on 10/8, and know you will be doing your best. Good luck and enjoy the islands!

mjcaron said...

Ouchy! I love your toughness :)

mjcaron said...

Ouchy! I love your toughness :)