Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm Blowing It


The device shown in the picture is the Coach2 from DHD Healthcare. The good people from the emergency room 10 days ago sent it home with me. I can't wait to see on the bill how much they charged me for it, I'm guessing somewhere between $300 and $6,000.

It's for helping me take big deep breaths. I'm still using it, and I'm still having to make an effort to take big deep breaths.

I haven't been on my bike since that Sunday afternoon. My fitness is in the crapper already, or at least it feels like it. When it's hard to breath, you don't feel like An Athlete™

Oh well. Life goes on.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bam, Ouch

I had a low-motivation weekend. Saturday saw Kathy and I driving over the beautiful and dramatic Independence Pass to visit with my sister and her husband who are staying over there for the week. We did a pretty big hike, which is a great way to showcase the lack of variation in my training. Weight bearing, as Kathy calls it, makes me hurt a fair amont.

Yesterday I did some house chores, including laundry, vacuum, grocery shopping, and various other necessary but boring things that did not get done last weekend thanks to my big effort and subsequent physical exhaustion.

Near the end of the afternoon, I felt compelled to take at least a short bike ride to loosen up my tight legs and get at least a taste of singletrack for the weekend.

lil rattler

I rode my local After Work Loop, on which I know every dip, rock, and corner. Just near the end of Lil' Rattler, an easy rolling trail of hardpack and kitty litter, I washed out my front tire. I wasn't going fast, I wasn't riding any technical terrain. I went down hard. Landed on my left side.

My chest was already injured and sensitive, what felt like some sort of break or separation of the sternum. I hit a flat, hardpack platform with force and without warning. The pain was instant and amazingly acute. Wind knocked out of me and full upper body spasm left me writhing around in the dirt. After 5 minutes or so I gingerly picked myself up, groaning and panting and got on the bike, turned around and headed down.

Every bump in the trail made me wince with pain and spasm. Trying to breath deeply brought spasms and pain. I got back to the dirt road Spiral Drive and rode down carefully. Got myself home. Called Kathy. She came over and saw how jacked up I was, we talked it over, and eventually she drove me to the E-room. I will avoid the E-Room like I'll avoid an audit. It takes quite a bit to get me to voluntarily go to the E-room.

Long, sad story short: got a pair of Vicodin, an x-ray that showed nothing, one of those little blowy things and instructions to blow into it hard multiple times per hour. They sent me home with prescriptions for more Vicodin and Flexoril. Getting out of bed the next morning took about 10 minutes of careful shifting, stopping for spells of muscle spasm, and groaning.

This summer I've been celebrating the recovery of the knee pain that kept me off the bike last year. I've been intent on some big ride challenges. I've suffered three different dumb accidents, two resulting in E-Room visitation. This one was really weird. The most ordinary, routine, easy ride ended in one of the worst crashes I've had in a long time. Wasn't trying to go fast, my head was in it, and on a trail I've ridden hundreds of times.

Hopefully the axim that bad luck comes in threes will prove true. But I'm guessing August will be a month with no big rides and mending. Which of course will bring me an early autumn of compromised fitness.

So it goes. At least I'm not too broken to function at all. But it's a strong and compelling bummer.