Friday, February 13, 2009

All good intentions came to a crashing halt.

I had an epic crash. And I do not use the term lightly here....

So much for starting the season off with a bang. I have been diligently juggling a busy work schedule, making time to see my son, and getting in the training to be prepped and ready to go for some of the big races -- including The Tour Of California Women's Race. Looks like all my efforts, discipline, focus and yaddi ya will not help me this time around as the crash I had recently was a hefty one, and I have decided that I won't be making the trek up north to race with the women in The TOC Criterium. I have to admit I wish I could do the mind over matter thing, and just get my arse up there...but something tells me it would be a wasted effort.

And actually, I haven't had much time to think about my own body lately since all of my nurturing energy has been about the kitty for the last week, but now that he has been back to the vet for a little extra care, and is beginning to show signs of himself again, I have had more time to take care of "me" and really pay attention to all the kinks and tweaks. (I even went for a massage, it was the first time I hopped on a massage table in almost a year...jeez there is something not right about that!) Anyway, I had the darn appointment on the books for weeks as part of a holiday gift certificate, but little did I know how appropriately timed this therapy session would be.

Here's the crash scoop:

I had a crash about ten days ago on a great mountain bike ride, testing the envelope a bit on some "new to me" trails. It was a crash that ranks right up there as one of the "top five" most epic tumbles I have ever might even rank in the top three...but for sure as far mountain bike crashes go -it ranks as #1.

It was a doozy to say the least.

It's hard to explain exactly what happened, but the end result was a superwoman launch and a hard hit that jolted my body from head to toe (well head to shins...but almost head to toe!). I was attempting to drop off a steep granite slab and somehow the bike and my body just didn't do it right, and over I went.

I hit the ground ---REALLY HARD.

I hit so hard that I made a very loud sound, kind of like in the if somebody had just punched me in the gut! Naturally, I was up in an instant...assumed myself okay (ummm can you say killer endorphins) and on I went to finish my ride (although I did walk all the way down the rest of that trail). I was a little dazed and my body was stinging everywhere, but i kept telling myself I was fine. When I made it back to the firepit I think I was still pumped with adrenaline and endorphins because I felt pretty alright for how hard I hit... plus I knocked back a couple of beers, which definitely helped me feel better! ;-)

Well then, along came the next morning. I literally woke up feeling like a freight train ran over me. I think I looked pretty messed up after my crash too, but everyone was being very polite and didn't have the heart to tell me what a wreck I looked like at the pit!! haha.....nice guys :) took me a day or so to realize that I was pretty hurt. It's funny how it always seems to take a day or two for a crash to sink into the body. It also took me a day to bother looking at my helmet --I didn't even know I hit my head, but I had cracked my helmet dead center on the forehead and tore some of the shell right off of the surface (not sure why i didn't check that after the crash....)
But for my body: my neck, shoulders and whole back were wrenched like I had been rear-ended in a car accident. I had "dirt-rash" on both arms, both quads (who gets skinned up quads?!) both knees, one shoulder ...and breast (how i got skinned up through my jersey and jog bra is still a mystery!).

Needless to say, the wind has been taken out of my sails. I am healing faster than I imagined I would, but I am still getting little headaches. I have only ridden once since the crash, and dang even though my legs felt great -- overall, I still don't feel 100% (especially in my neck). For those of you who know me and my yoga know I am all about a having healthy spine. I can tell that my back needs some more time to get better. It was a bit of a bummer to pass on all the local racing last weekend, and it will also be a bummer to pass on The TOC race this weekend, especially since I have been riding well (not like i'm tooting my own horn or anything, but sometimes you can just tell when you have good form, and man...little miss weekend warrior was feeling good!).

But I'm no dummy...I know when to say when, and this is one of those times that the needs of my body will to override the desires of my mind ---so I am taking the rest and will miss a great race in Santa Rosa. I will get back in the game when it feels right. Honestly, I know how lucky I am. That crash should have left me in pieces and I'm thankful that I walked away from that one.

One thing for sure ---even though I crashed (rookie rookie rookie) the main reason it happened is because I was giving it a go. This girl is starting to spread her "RAD" wings in the dirt, and I'm ready to test myself on sections that are pretty tough. There is a reason why these rides are epic and infamous, they are ridiculously challenging! I consider it a good thing that I was pushing the envelope a bit...I like challenges, they make me feel alive. But I think I will be taking some downhill lessons from a certified specialist in that department in the very near future!! ;-) ...and it must be said --I intend to clear that entire trail. I know I can do it. yep yep yep.

So about the pics from the day (thank you Bill for the ride shots!)...the jersey/short/helmet pic hardly tells the story of the crash....but you can see how ground in the dirt is on my kit, that ought to explain the hit and the slide! I think the best way to describe my crash would be to say it looked like a belly flop, off a diving board into water...only there was no water....just dirt and granite! The other pics show you just what kind of epic riding that these rides are all about, and you can see the proof that I do walk alot of sections that are a little overwhelming, I don't go out there like a total kook and try to ride sections that are WAY over my head thats for sure...

I will keep going out there with the big boys though....these rides are quickly becoming my new love.....and someday I intend to clear almost everything that they do. practice practice practice.

Word to THE RADS.
They are the coolest group of guys I have ever had the privilege to ride with, and I am super thankful for all of their help, support, encouragement and advice.



Ron said...

".I like challenges, they make me feel alive."

I don't know where I have heard that before, but it sure came from some pro. You're thinking on the right lines here.

Get well soon. I hope to see a glimpse of your helmet too.

Wonder said...

Hey Brenda,
As always you will come back stronger, nice taking things to a new level. That's your gig. You'll be back out there, like you said.
Happy Valentine's Day.