Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Catch up, only to fall back down.

Last Friday I was thinking. I was getting back into it. After a rough May (back injury) and a blindsided June (newly single), July was sure to be my month. I quit my job and started at Moment Cycle Sport. I was coming off a decent performance at San Diego International - with a renewed focus. I was enjoying the cove - more than ever. I had just completed my fastest Great Western Loop - feeling refreshed. I was getting comfortable on the Parlee - ready to sign up for what was going to be my first road race. I had been putting in some serious swim miles - training for the 5 mile race, and 10 mile challenge. I was ready to pull the trigger on SOMA - getting ready for my year end race followed by my Ironman training kickoff.
I was caught up. With some decent base miles, I was ready to seriously get back into training. To actually start running again. To lay down some speed work on the bike. To crank out some gnarly swims.

Saturday morning I woke, I rode, and for the third time in three months, BAM!

Sometimes you fall back down.

First though, I must get to the start of July. 'twas the start to a great month! 4th of July rocked. That following week flew by with a bunch of ocean swims, and another GWL Thursday, and Erin's Golf Birthday Party. The Front Nine at North Park. The 9 holes were 9 different bars. "Strokes" were determined by how many drinks it took to finish your beverage. A big group showed up for a very fun evening. I even made a quiet please sign for Jake to hold while the "shots" were in progress. Somehow I got more use out of the sign.Girlies! Birthday girl, me, and Nikee. Yes, in front of the bathroom.
Erin's Birthday Bash 09. Awesome. Followed by numerous glasses of water preparing for an early wakeup. I worked the Carlsbad expo on Saturday and Sunday. (not too much sleep that weekend). Was surprisingly fine. So, why not attempted the GWL for a second time that week? With Jake in 100 degree+ heat. Haha, nice try, but I turned back (1.5hr ride time), for a nice relaxing ocean swim with Steve and Erin. Beautiful evening, yet I forgot the camera in the car.

Another quick week and work, and the epic Thursday morning GWL with Noko, Ian and Brian. I say epic, only because of how I felt. After having to turn back on Sunday, exhausted from a crazy weekend, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel on Thursday. I had never turned back on a ride. I finish what I start. Physically and mentally, that was a tough ride. I went into the Thurs ride thinking I was going to take it easy, and let my body recover. Yet the Parlee wouldn't stop. I pushed the pace for a while on the front half, yelling at myself to watch it, or else I'll pay for it later. But I never paid for it. I worked the back side, staying on Brian's wheel. Soared through the downhills, and laid the hammer down at the end...and even had fun with a little sprint at the finish. Seriously, who sprints at the end of GWL? Surely not me. On the way home I thought back to my first time on that ride, which was the maiden voyage on the Guru. Rain and pain. Key memories. I think the first handful of times were all pain. Telling myself I'd never do it again. Yet here I was, celebrating my fitness, and enjoying the entire ride.After that epic ride, I read some Lance Armstrong in my backyard, got hooked and of course fried myself, took a small nap and headed to the John Clancy "biathlon" in nearby Mission Beach. "Biathlon" because I'm from Minnesota. And a biathlon where I'm from consists of cross country skiing and shooting. So apparently a California biathlon consists of running and swimming. A reverse aquathlon. But with a surprise in the middle. Didn't really have a race plan, as I was beat from the GWL in the morning, and from my great pre-race tanning session. The gun was off, and I just tried to stay within eye shot of Erin. Kept a pretty steady pace, which seemed a little fast for me, but decided what the heck, why not? Got onto the beach, and it was high tide. Fun times skipping over kelp beds and kids. Finally made it to the surprise...a beer stop at the Sandbar. 3 minute time deduction for anyone who has a beer. Okay! Done! Onto the boardwalk on the way back, six good burps and I was back in business. Holding that steady pace, still able to see Erin and stick with the same guys that had been around me for most of the race. Turned back into the bay and headed for the far beach to the swim start. Threw my shoes in the box and headed into the water. I was hot, so the cold bay, although nasty, felt great. I was able to get my heart rate where I wanted it within the first 50ish yards, and got into my groove. Figured I should pass now, rather than sit on her feet. Passed a couple guys and headed for shore. Finished at the fire pit. Sweet! Erin was right behind me...all to similar to SDIT. Ended up winning overall. Hmm, I could get used to this running then swimming thing. Even with a beer, it was easier than the club Aquathlon the previous month. More importantly, I dominated at the post-race festivities...Leg Wrestling! Evan and I duking it out. Leftover nut balls at Steve's with the crew make for a great recovery dinner. Friday I woke early to get some mileage in the cove with Banister. We took a very round about way of getting to the shores and emerged to this:Karate people, karating the water. Super random. I think I first called them ninjas, although everyone knows ninjas wear black. Sorry, it was early. Two and a half miles before work. Good times.

So that brings me to last Saturday. I got the privilege of coming in late to work to represent Moment on the SDBC ride. I rode from my house to Steve's, then to Evan's, and then to the start of the ride. After some chit chat I was off with the 'B' group for my first road cycling group experience. First impression...FUN! And totally different than triathlon "group" rides. I can't really say which is "better" because they are so different, but it put a renewed energy into my cycling. After some warmup through La Jolla, we finally started to get going as we hit a slight incline. I was able to stay with the front of the pack the entire ride, even on the climbs! I made it through stud loop. I was able to avoid a bottle that got ejected and ran over by the dude in front of me after a rather large bump that I also hit. I was comfortable being sandwiched in. I was having fun with a dysfunctional paceline. I was chatty with random riders. I was smiling. I made it to the end without getting dropped and doing a pretty decent job as well. Filled up with water and headed back to the start with the guys. Did Torrey Pines in my fastest time ever. Was pulling for a bit but I let Stephen A take over. We dropped the other boys and were going at a pretty good clip past UCSD where disaster hit. As he ever so slightly slowed, I ever so slightly accelerated. He inched right as I inched left. Right into his wheel. Major overlap and instantly out of control. I screamed and he looked back.
BAM.I was down. Shoulder first, then head. Then skidding. Then stopped. Then fast breathing and assessing the situation. I'm okay, but I'm not okay. Move your legs. What hurts? Shoulder. More people. it okay? Good. Me? Not good. Someone called ambulance. I didn't want to go on the backboard. Jersey off, so they wouldn't cut it off. Moving legs and chatting up a storm to lessen the pain. An attempt to forget about it. Someone called Mom. Kept begging not to go on the backboard. Want to sit up. Someone called JT. Can't make it to work, crashed my bike. Now strapped down with duct tape to the board. Over my sunburned belly. Still chatting. Going for a ride. Morphine. Wave of nausea. Chatting. Hot paramedics. Christmas birthdays. Into the hospital. Dr. Rich Guy (paramedic named him) checks me out. More morphine. Wave of nausea. Chatting. Goodbyes to hot paramedics, one was a swimmer. By myself for the first time. Tears. Breakdown. Shoulder hurts like no other. No more swimming. No more riding. It's summer. It's over. Tears. Breakdown. Friends come in. Make it better. Pee. Must pee. Erin escorts the drugged girl to the restroom. Old lady tries to take blood pressure on hurt arm. Are you freaking kidding me? No need to yell she says she didn't know. Didn't know? Read my fricken chart lady, and here's my left arm. X-ray. Nope just kidding. I need more drugs, the pain isn't gone and if you move me I swear I'll punch you with my good arm. Stronger drugs, nausea again. X-ray. More friends. I don't get water or food in case surgery is necessary. Friends eat frozen yogurt Stephen A brought me. Dr. Rich Guy is back. Separated shoulder. Moves his arm in a swimming motion and said I can't be doing any of that for a while. Tears. Breakdown. Blood pressure lady is back. Remembers to grab left arm. Yeah, you better remember! Sling man comes in. Finally I'm out of there. Get into car. Nausea. Get actual frozen yogurt for me. Nausea. Wallgreens to get drugs. Get home. Friends. I'm pretty messed up at this point. Finally puked. Everyone left besides Stephen A, who kept me company. He finished reading my Lance book to me out loud, since I was on drugs and couldn't focus. He brought me dinner (Tender Greens, yum). We had an icing party. Friends. Yes I'm smiling. It's my defence when I'm scared and when I'm in pain. I smile. I talk. And I laugh. To fill the void. To take away the scaryness. To keep my mind off the pain. To prevent my thoughts from negativity. And yes, the paramedics were hot.

Okay. so that's what happened. Thank you thank you to Evan, Erin, Jake, Stephen A and B for being at the hospital with me, for taking care of my bike, for giving me shade, for talking to me, for holding my hand, for taking me to the bathroom, for calling my mom, and for keeping me company at a super scary time in my life. You know that I'd do the same for any of you, but I can't say thank you enough. It really meant a lot to me. Thanks to Noko for taking me in on Sunday and for a delicious lunch. Thanks to Moment for giving me the days off. I need a new helmet now.

Not sure about recovery time. Went to primary care doc yesterday, who sent me to ortho doc today, who is sending me to get an MRI sometime soon. Argh to the process. Trying to keep my head up and my outlook positive. It's hard when I know my 5 mile tour of buoys race is over, Camp Pendelton sprint is out, and the 10 mile swim has been postponed, probably until next summer. My friends decided at the hospital that they are waiting until I can do it, although secretly I know they are all excited to be getting out of it. Let it be known, you are not out of it. I will be back. And Point Loma will be swam around! I am down, but I will catch back up.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4 July 09

Before we get to the festivities, a little update.
So I quit my job. :) Wednesday was my last day at Wells Fargo Financial after almost three years with the company. I leave with no hard feelings and I'd like to say it wasn't a horrible first job. Hey, it got me out to California. And, through work rewards points, it got me the waterproof camera that enabled the pictures in this post!I'm now gainfully employed at Moment Cycle Sport as the marketing and sales associate. It will be great to combine my academic background with my love of all things bike (and tri). I really believe in what this shop is and their beliefs on fit and customer focus. I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead.Thursday, Lynne, Elaine and I had the inaugural women's team Parlee ride out at the Great Western Loop with Brian, Elizabeth and Pat. Getting used to holding all the weight with my low back, rather than my bone structure in my aerobars will be a challenge. I was able to finish the ride strong, and we even went for a short, very slow, run afterwards.

Friday was my first day at new work. Time flies when you actually work at work! Sold some shoes and started learning their system. Friday evening, Ian and Noko had a couple of us over for an amazing dinner! She's a personal chef and knows how to feed hungry athletes. Fillet, ribs, corn on the cob, potatoes, and an eggplant dish filled me up! Great conversation with great friends.

Alright...onto the fiesta! Or should I say off Fiesta.
Saturday started early, with Erin meeting me at 7:30 to head down to Coronado to watch our friends compete in the 50th annual Coronado roughwater one mile swim. We opted out ($45 for a lame t-shirt, possible medal, and 1/2 bottle of sunscreen) primarily due to the water temp. 56 degrees!? what! Jake, Carrie, and Mary (brave souls) all swam really well...and froze their butts off! After sticking around waiting for results from the most ghetto timing system of popsicle sticks and warming up (trying) Erin, Jake and I headed out for a quick ride down the strand and back. Ahh aerobars, I missed you this week.Quick stop at vons and the liquor store for some plastic bottles of 99 peaches and apples and Erin and I headed home to prepare for Operation Floatie. This idea started when Erin asked me what I was doing for the 4th. I had no plans, but thought about floating and drinking in Mission Bay since you can't drink on the beach. After some research we found our plan was legal and it was on. Erin checked out and purchased the rafts earlier this week. I had some fun decorating the coolers aka "wet box" (and Erin's stomach). Jake came along as adult supervisor because who knew what Erin and I were in for. And because we are fun company. We walked to Fiesta Island, what I told them was approx. two miles from my house. So a fair sized walk in flip flops and our swimsuits. And questionable about making the trek home. Landed in MB and found a spot to start blowing up our floaties. Done and done! Now let's hit the water and start mixing the drinks! It was a bit windy and we found ourselves in a predicament. Paddle hard, constantly, or become beached...and illegal. Erin's genius idea brought us to the swim area buoys which worked out beautifully. Enjoyed the sun, water and pull 'n' peel twizzlers. Had our fun and decided we should head home.
Say cheese!Erin, Jake, and his medal from the morning's swim.
Walk home was easy and uneventful. Went to PL sports for "dinner" but the kitchen was closed. Back home for a snack, and fireworks. We crawled onto the roof from Katrina's room and could see 8 different firework shows. Awesome. Downtown, IB, Coronado and Point Loma all had the same show, starting at the exact same time. So cool to see them all synchronized. The show was over, but for us it had only just begun. Next stop was "The Hole." Apparently a gay bar, with no patrons besides us. Rock town. One block from my house. The actual bar had a really nice setup. Two beers and a free shot later and home was calling us. A very long super fun day.Today I woke at 6:30. Really? Ugh, body needed water. And apparently mac and cheese at 7:30. Nice hangover breakfast with Erin. Sweet. Off to Coronado for lessons and a ride on the strand with Jake. Phil's BBQ with coach Chad and Julie for super yummy lunch. Home for a nap and then off to the cove, for yet again, another great way to end my weekend.
You can't tell, but I need a pedicure.

A brisk wetsuit-less one mile sunset swim. Brought the camera along attached to my swimsuit strap and tucked into my back. Surprisingly non-restrictive. I'm going to have to start wearing different caps to mix it up a bit.