In the cycling world, apparently this means I’m now a “real cyclist”. So at least I have that going for me, right? (Yes, I’m okay, thank you for asking!) Everyone always told me, “it’s not a matter of IF you will crash, but WHEN.” Fantastic, I have that out of the way!
Backing up – this past Saturday, I headed out to practice with my team with a totally negative attitude about biking. My head was really not in the right place, and I think I can attribute this almost 95% to my crash. The other 5% to sheer clumsiness.
I was turning left and looking behind myself to see if anyone was coming. All of a sudden I was nice and cozy with the curb…too cozy. If cozy means “facedown in the dirt”, that is. In the split second that I saw I was going to hit it, I was thinking, “this is going to be embarrassing, I’m going to go up on the curb and people will shake their heads at me, but I’ll be fine, I’ll just ride back down off the curb.” And then…black. I don’t recall my feet coming unclipped or flying over the sidewalk. Suddenly I was on the ground with a throbbing head and bruised hip. I touched my head to make sure I was truly okay and slowly sat up as my teammates came rushing over. Dramatic, right?
The first thing my coach asked was obviously if I was okay, and if my head hurt. I wanted to cry; a little because it hurt, a little because I was embarrassed. I know it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but hey, I just hit a curb for basically no reason. A teesny bit embarrassing.
I dropped my chain (which is a fancy way of saying it came off the gears/rings – meaning pedaling will not, in fact, propel the bike forward, which is the main goal of biking, you know ) so they helped me put that back on. Poor little Penelope. After standing up and getting the whole “it happens to everyone” pep talk, I decided I felt okay enough to keep going, knowing that if my head kept hurting I would need to stop. Thankfully my headache slowly went away and I felt okay. I only cried a few tears into my sunglasses, and ended up finishing 50 miles. On Sunday morning my shoulders and hip were extremely sore; but most of all, my neck. I’m only now starting to feel normal again. (I couldn’t even do situps or lift my heading from a laying position. Bad news.) I was hoping I would get a nice big bruise where I fell on my hip to make me look tougher, but I rarely bruise so I barely have anything. Dang it!
So, to recap: I crashed. I’m fine. Watch for curbs. I need to get my bike tuned up, one of the gears is grinding now. Yay. Also, Ralph’s Italian Ice is the best cure for bike crashes. Fact.
Now…onto less painful news…10 days to Rev3Quassy (might be more painful, actually). Since I’m a “real cyclist” now, I am totally not scared anymore.
Just kidding, I’m terrified. But enthusiastic! I really am looking forward to it, I just have these nerves that I haven’t had since my first half-marathon. Nerves are good though, right? We all need a little excitement in our lives! And as Brendan reminded me this weekend, “YOU DO THIS STUFF FOR FUN”. He was a little bit reminding me that I don’t need to freak out and a little bit accusing me of being crazy. Both valid points.
Semi-related topic, he has actually started a list of “Ways You Know You Live With A Triathlete”: Reason #1 – there’s a wetsuit hanging over the shower rod and you hear things like “hold on, I can’t go to bed yet, don’t turn off the light…I have to hang up my wetsuit”. Evidently that’s a nerdy thing to say! Silly Brendan. He doesn’t what what’s coming to him over the next couple months!
Back to Quassy…we just got the athlete guide for the event. My swim wave (females under 35) starts at 7:30AM – the first wave begins at 6:50AM (pro men) and the last wave goes off at 7:45am. Based on past rules, I would have 15 “extra” minutes before the timing for cutoffs even began, however this year the cutoffs are designated as follows:
- Swim Cut-off: The swim cut off is 1:10:00 from start of the last swim wave.
- Bike Cut-off: You must finish the bike course within 5:30:00 following the start of your swim wave.
- Run Cut-off: 8:30:00 from the start of the last swim wave.
Last year, the bike cutoff said 5:30 following the start of the LAST swim wave. Eeeek! I guess I don’t get that extra 15 minutes. Yikes. (But how will they know? Will there really be people out there searching for my age – which they mark on your body – and pulling people off the course based on their swim start time?) Let’s just hope I’m so prepared and have so much adrenaline and new knowledge that I dominate and can laugh in the face of that bike course. Cross your fingers.
My heart is racing just reading the athlete guide again. Thankfully, I found out yesterday that a few of my coaches will be there for support. They are even coming to the transition area early in the morning (before the swim starts!!) to help us out with any last minute questions. How fantastic are they!?
If you want to get involved and play a fun little game (come on, who doesn’t?!) feel free to join me in the “Guess Kara’s Finish Time” game. You can win a $50 Visa gift card, and all proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Click here for details!
In other news, I ran 11 miles on Sunday, and swam in my wetsuit for the first time on Monday. Let me tell you…WETSUITS ARE INCREDIBLE. I don’t even have to move and I just float. So much buoyancy. (Tip: if you’re not as strong of a swimmer, use a full sleeved wetsuit – even for a summer race – it will help you immensely!) My hair kept getting caught in the velcro that sits right at your neck, so I need to figure that out. It was painful! But that was my only issue. I felt so speedy and swimming was so much easier. I didn’t even have to kick my legs. Love it.
If you would have asked me at the beginning of training to rank my sports in order from best to less-best (see how I’m trying to be more positive and not say worst?!) I would have said running, biking, swimming. While I still don’t necessarily enjoy swimming (well, training for swimming) and still know basically nothing about it, I think I would now rank my strengths as running (sort of – still recovering), swimming, then biking. Biking is really giving me a rough time…but I plan to get strong and succeed eventually. Don’t you worry! I will get out of this slump.
Lastly, click here for a super motivating race recap from my Ironman friend Dayna, who I stalked for hours on Saturday as she participated in Ironman Texas. (Remember her from Ragnar?) Ironman has a live camera at the finish line and I got to see her finish. It was incredible!!
Ever crashed on a bike? Surprised yourself by being stronger at something than you thought? How’s your training and/or not training going? Funny stories? I wanna know everything!