Thursday, May 31, 2007

Brain dump

OK, this may end up being a bit of a rambling Gewilli-esque entry, but I'm trying to catch up from a pretty long week. Last Thursday or Friday (can't even remember), my boss asked me to help him prepare a presentation for the president of the company. He wanted my piece by Wednesday. Friday was busy and nobody was around to get input from. Monday was a holiday. A summer student started Tuesday. A never-ending string of chaos ate up a good chunk of Wednesday. I got an extension to late today and finally got it done, but my white-board list which doubled on Tuesday hasn't been touched. Isn't work grand?

On to more fun stuff: biking. This was my first full unrestricted week back. I didn't really hold back:

Sunday - 2.5 hours
Monday - Cyclonauts crit
Tuesday - ran for the first time in 5 weeks, still managed 3.5 in somewhere under 8's
Wednesday - bike commute, 3 hours total, big-ring power hills the whole way home
Thursday - bike commute, 3 hours total, ambitious ride in and then survival ride home

Tomorrow the most I'm going to exercise is going to get more food and water. Saturday will be an easy MTB spin and then the Channel 3 MTB race on Sunday. First MTB race ever so that will be an adventure. My off-road skills suck, but the legs are firing right now so pray for non-technical uphills... long ones.

While enjoying my rides to work the last couple days, I thought of fun things I like about riding to work. So in no particular order... Fun things about biking to work:

- You can't execute a perfect bunny hop over a pothole in your car
- Your heart rate is above 140 for the right reasons
- Getting clocked on one of those roadside radar setups. Bonus points if you get caught speeding.
- Attacking nobody and then bridging solo up to the guy with the baby seat on the back of his bike (nobody ever said your target had to be fast... just start further away)
- Punching it and blowing someone away off the line in your car on the way to work makes you look like a dick. Doing it on your bike makes you feel like a badass.
- You don't smell the lilacs from inside your car
- The looks you must be getting from everyone you pass in the line at the redlight when they don't see you again until 5 miles up the road.

I had a couple run-ins with annoying drivers, but they were the types of things that would have pissed me off if I was driving or biking so they weren't really close calls. By the way, hooray for tail winds. I might still be riding home tonight if it weren't for that.

Oh and I'm thrilled for my buddy Jeff (no linkage goodness... even though he's the biggest computer/gadget guy I know, he's never set up his own site). He's always been sort of a moderately active guy and usually not afraid to at least try something. We did gym climbing for a while, he played some soccer, but never really latched onto a sport. Recently he got the inclination that running would be good for him. He bought a treadmill, hauled it to the second floor of his house himself (that alone is dedication), and got to it. He's up to 4 miles 5 or 6 times a week, just took his bike to get it tuned so he can ride that, and is thinking of joining a running club. I'm partially excited because he's into something that I love and he's starting to get it. It's also a bit of being impressed by his motivation. Lastly it's one more person up and doing something. Best of all, he did it because he wanted to. I've seen enough cases of all kinds of things to know that that's the only time something works... when it's for you.

OK, that's enough. Publish Post.


I've had so much in my head I wanted to post this week and everything just keeps taking over. In the mean time, here's a nice fancy lump of unobtainium to hold you over. If this thing ain't bike pron, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Check and Check

That's right folks... recovery is complete. Saturday was an intentional off day after 3 straight before that just to be sure. Sunday afternoon I got out for 2.5 hours and generally felt good the whole time. Actually, I have to qualify that... last week at some point I somehow screwed up my back. Fortunately it's not that sort of debilitating lower back screwed up thing that leaves you flat on the floor afraid to blink. This instead was something in the back of my ribcage. It actually feels the way I'd expect a broken rib to feel except for the fact that it's not swollen and pressure doesn't hurt. What does hurt however is standing up on a bike and pulling on the bars ala steep climbing. So Sunday I avoided standing at all costs and was fine.

Yesterday I made the decision to get back in the game by heading down to the Cyclonauts Crit at the Stafford Motor Speedway. That's right folks, we're tradin paint and turning left... ok, so there was no paint traded and we rode clockwise, but there was a left turn through the infield chicane... you get the point anyways. So the best parts about this race in terms of a comeback race were that you have this huge wide track, pretty basic turns, no hills to change the pace and only 40 starters in the 3/4. I had actually intended to race the 4's in the morning, but decided to march in the townie Memorial Day parade with my son's t-ball team. Speaking of that, coolest callup of the season goes to yesterday's race: all active duty military, military vets, police, and firemen got the callup... well deserved too.

The race went off in pretty sane fashion, but after about 1 lap the attacks started. Finally a group of 6-8 got away and probably got out to maybe 30 seconds. The loop was < 0.5 miles so it's not like they were hiding from us. A few guys thought about bridging, but none of that worked so we just chugged along. I just sort of moved around and got used to being back in a group. This race was what I expected from a 3/4 unlike the sketch fest at Sturbridge... everyone was smooth through the turns for the most part and if you weren't careful, you were very quickly alone at the back. At the half way point, some guys up front dropped the hammer and the break evaporated in no time at all. It was back together with a little under 15 to go and not a whole lot was going on. About 10-12 to go and there's this roar from near the front as a guy yells out CYCLONAUTS and suddenly those guys swarmed like freaking bees towards the front. Not everyone was willing to let them just set up a 10 man 10 lap leadout so a few flyers went off and enough other guys mixed themselves in the front that the pace stayed high, but it wasn't just the yellow and black boys driving it. I headed up front with about 7 to go and ended up taking a short pull with 4 to go to finish off the last ambitious guy out front. Problem was I got lazy after I pulled off and -boom- I'm at the back again. I had some time to move back up, but never quite got there and when the Cyclonauts boys punched it with 1/2 a lap to go, I was just hanging on. Hung in there and rolled in @st so not a big deal. One other guy from MRC was in the field, but he and I both went in with a survival mindset so we never really had any chance to try anything together. He rolled in right behind me.

All-in-all, I'll call it a victory. Early predictions had me on the trainer still so to be racing again kicks ass. It was a brisk race too so it's not like I was slacking. Almost forgot... Funny Oh Shit moment of the race came with maybe 15 to go when I look to my left and I'm riding next to Paul Curley. I was like WTF... I had no idea this guy was only a 3. I just kinda always figured he was a 1 or 2, but I guess not. It was his second race of the day and he ended up 10th I think.

Otherwise the weekend kicked ass... great weather, lots accomplished, kids had a generally good time with everything. Praying for nice weather next weekend too for Sunday's MTB race and a Monday golf outing.

Back to work... virtual Mondays are harder than real ones...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recipe for recovery

How to come back from what seems like a severe injury:

1. Rest - check
2. Easy short trainer rides - check
3. Easy short outdoor rides - check
4. Less easy, longer outdoor rides - check
5. Short harder efforts outside - check
6. Hard efforts off-road - check
7. Multiple days of honest efforts - in progress
8. Racing - TBD

So I'm almost there. Bouncing around on the dirt and rocks went pretty good last night. Put in some almost race-like efforts a few times with no issues. Tonight I ride home from work, tomorrow I ride back in. Other than that, there'll just be jumping into a race and seeing if I've turned into a pansy. I think I'll just be planning to sit in the first race and will be backing off if things get even a little hairy.

Back to work. Enjoy the sunshine everyone.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Got out last night for about 55 minutes, avg 20mph. I'm going to call that good :) I can tell I'm still not pulling up with as much force in the bad leg, but I think the hip muscles still need some more rehab. I'm most likely going to shoot for a mountain bike race on the 3rd so we'll see how that goes.

Crazy week all around. Lots going on in and out of work (more out) and our schedules are all messed up. I'd so much rather be sleeping right now. Putting patio chairs together until 11 will do that to you...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crib free

So it was a momentus day in the household yesterday... the baby crib has officially been decommissioned. After breakfast my wife got the idea that maybe the 2 year old was ready for a big boy bed and he got all fired up about the idea. Ended up having to make a run to BJs for the finest $99 mattress on hand (we've still got potty training to get through... that's the best he's getting). Amazingly, he did stay in it for his nap and through the night, but we know it's only a matter of time before it occurs to him that he can get out at will. Hopefully that takes a while even though we know the routine so it won't be a big deal.

Rode Saturday for about 35 minutes and the muscles that are taking over for the pulled stuff in the bad leg were tired. Took yesterday off and I'll head out tonight. I hope to ramp back up to riding in near the end of this week especially with pre-holiday traffic on tap. It will be fun to pass everyone on the way home while they sit in line... always is. Also have to try some mountain biking so I can decide if I can race on the 3rd. Looks good now, but I have to try it first.

Back to work. I've been battling a bad case of the Mondays all day and it's getting a little late to get over it at this point. I think it's time for coffee.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It was the beer talking

This just keeps getting funnier:

Stupid Beer

How many times could we all say that?

It's a matter of perspective

The weather this morning at 5:15 a.m. was about 42 degrees and raining... and I went out for a ride. Now if this had been a normal week and today was a scheduled workout, I would have either written it off as a rest day or set up the trainer tonight. The weather was hideous for biking. Instead I got out of bed a little on the early side, got dressed, happily jumped on my mountain bike and went riding around on the town bike path for about 30 minutes. By the time I got home, my legs were completely pink, bordering on red, and numb. I had my rain jacket on, but everything not covered by that was drenched. I had a great time. It was a combination of just enjoying riding a bike and a small sense of accomplishment for being back on one in less than half the time originally predicted. Plus now I am able to take my son to see Shrek tonight and not feel like I missed a chance to ride.

The other night I had seriously considered whether it was wise to jump into Wells this Sunday even if I just rode a few laps and then bailed. I had decided that not having been on a bike outside yet disqualified me from going. Despite having been outside this morning I think it's still a bad idea. I am however starting to take a close look at the upcoming schedules to see when and where I'm racing. I was going to wait until Housatonic on the 17th, but I may go to CT for some mountain biking before then if I can prove to myself I won't hurt myself worse.

Busy day tomorrow, but then quiet Sunday. The youngest turned 2 on Wednesday so the family is coming over tomorrow to have cake and give him more toys that will get piled onto the toy store we already have in the house. I beg them every year with every child to stay under control, but they don't listen. I'll just have to start loading up the truck and dropping the excess back at their houses :)

Oh, and I'm now keeping track of the Floyd case for pure comedic value. The testimony of the lady who did the testing is total crap and LNDD looks like a bunch of lying idiots. And what the hell with Lemond... I think I've finally given up on having an opinion on that guy. You never know what the hell he's going to throw out there...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Every Bandage Counts

That's right folks... as a sequel to the amazing non-seller It's Not About the Road Rash, we have the heart wrenching story of one man's quest to escape the clutches of paper tape and non-stick bandages and his loving wife's dreams of not being woken up at 5:30 every day to bandage his ass.

I think tomorrow may be a bandage free day. I'm down to one on what was clearly the worst spot and I think even that has made it far enough finally. Add to that my first comeback trainer ride (is it a comeback if you were only down two weeks?) last night and I think this crash story may be coming to an end. That is until the next race I get in and I pansy out when things get hairy. I'm probably inside for a few more days and then maybe next week I'll be brave enough to ride in if I have a bike back. The car crash bike is going to be rebuilt starting tomorrow so that will take a bit. The race crash bike is just waiting on new bars and I should have that soon (expected it today). Fortunately I had the single-speed for last night... further proof that you can't have too many bikes.

So totally switching gears... how does a 6 year old lose his sneakers... in the house? He wore them Sunday to dinner, got home, and did something with them. He wouldn't have needed them yesterday or today for school and then they were gone when I went looking for his t-ball stuff tonight. All I can come up with is that they're in the "baby's" room (he's sleeping so I can't exactly flip the light on) or the baby wandered off with them somewhere. We have this little 8x10 mud room that we always go in and out through so there's no reason they wouldn't be there... oh except for they aren't. Anywho... just realized most people don't care about my son's shoes, but then again Kerry found it worthwhile to remind us of Dylan McKay or whatever his name was so I can ramble about shoes I guess... ah the beauty of blog land... ramble at will and people can ignore as needed.

Time for dinner for me and the wife... yes it's almost 9 p.m. Such is life...

Monday, May 14, 2007

A day of chasing

OK, so my job was to chase the pack, but that's besides the point. Saturday's course vehicle experience was kinda fun and the 3 hours went by much quicker than expected. If you're a NASCAR fan in the regards of itching to see the next guy wreck at 200mph, then it wasn't a very exciting race... not so much as a flat tire. Otherwise it was moderately interesting. For me, the good part was 3 hours of ridealong with the USCF official and getting to see what goes on behind the scenes and find out what really drives them nuts and what they'll write your number down for. Note to racers: if you're wandering over or around the yellow line and either the moto drives up next to you and lays on the horn or the follow car lays on the horn, move the f over and stay there. It doesn't mean sneak to the right of the line for a second and then jump back out to move up in the field. If the roads had been wider and we could have gotten the truck up next to the field, the official was ready to just start pulling the repeat offenders. It's also funny to hear the radio chatter that happens during a somewhat uneventful race. We were trying to come up with a plan to get a 25mph handoff of some chocolate cones or iced-coffees, but we never pulled it together.

In other news, I'm one step closer to being back. I got clearance today to resume biking activity that doesn't hurt. First trial will be tonight on the trainer. I've only got one gear since the SS is the only non-wrecked, non-mountain bike at my disposal so hopefully that keeps me in check. I looked at the calendar and if I'm lucky I can still make Housatonic which was hopefully going to be a big one for me. We'll see how the next few weeks pan out.

Hopefully everyone was good to all forms of moms yesterday. The fam congregated at my sister's house in the morning and then last night I tried to keep my wife from doing very much at all. We took her to dinner and then I pulled 3 baths, 3 sets of teeth, and 3 rounds of get into bed rodeo. Fortunately all three were beat and very willingly crashed into the pillow. Mmmmm, sleep...

Friday, May 11, 2007

An argument for exercise

So I've convinced myself that my rapid healing over the past several days is a result of being in shape in the first place. I figure if you have your shit together to start with, all the wound fighters can work their magic on the busted up stuff without having to worry about anything else. It certainly helps that my lack of training (a big number of hours out of my calendar) has given me more time to sleep. Sleep=good especially for rebuilding. So get out there and get your shit together kids... you'll be happy you did the next time you hurt yourself.

So check the sidebar... some updated linkage. Felt a little weird not only linking Solo but also nicknaming him since I don't know him, but a) the dude's got some good stuff to read, and b) you get the other side of the G vs. Solo bickering that way :) I stole G's reference as a nickname because I found it amusing. I'll buy him some coffee for the copyright violation. Need to do some profile updates to put some more stuff about me out there... I'll get to it at some point.

It looks like the sky is about to explode outside so that'll put a damper on a nice walk after lunch. Guess I'll put it off till later if things let up.

Working Sterling as a driver tomorrow so that'll be fun. May be less fun if I pull trail car for the pro race since it'll be 3.5 hours of watching a bunch of dude's asses. Oh well... can't always be the one benefitting from the volunteers. If you're not signed up for Sterling, show up and register. Great race. Some of the big name domestic dopers, uh, racers have even ridden and won there so that can be your link to near fame for the weekend.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good, Bad, or Ugly?

So the f'd up leg thing... well it's pretty f'd up. I've reached a point that during any given day I flop between wondering if there's permanent damage to thinking maybe I can get out for a ride in the next few days. I can tell for certain that there will be no running for quite some time which has it's own long-term issues, but one thing at a time. A lot of the swelling is gone, but it still varies a bit by time of day and what I've been doing. The bruising will probably take another week or two to fade since it was caused by bleeding from whatever ruptured and was really severe and widespread. It currently feels like you'd expect a really severe groin pull to feel, but it also extends further than that. If I've been either sitting or standing for too long and I switch to the other, I get horrible aching pains that run down the whole inner part of my leg down to my knee. It fades but takes a few minutes sometimes. If I've been sitting too long, I'm really really stiff when I stand up and limp pretty bad for a few minutes. If I walk for long enough the whole thing really loosens up pretty well, but I still have a slight hitch in my step where I can't really reach too far forward with the good leg because it stretches the bad side too much. I did walk up the 4 flights of stairs at work the last 2 mornings and that really didn't make it better or worse. The stairs part definitely did not hurt in and of itself so maybe I'm getting close to trainer rides where there's no risk of falling or sudden dismounts. Follow up appointment on Monday and I'm going to try and keep being good till then. I am going to try and swing the sticks a few times over the next few days and see if a quick round of 9 in the wee hours of Sunday morning is safe. Even if I play horribly, which is a good prediction, I'd feel better about getting out for 90 minutes or so Sunday a.m. and doing something semi-active.

Oatmeal is gone... time to work.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ok, now what do I do?

Last night was my final exam for the spring semester. I procrastinated like never before and went into yesterday horribly unprepared so I bagged out at 1 and went to hide on campus for a few hours to cram. This was a rare case where I think I retained some knowledge from my cramming because I had just lacked the hours to increase my understanding and it wasn't that I was learning it for the first time. It worked out well because a girl from class came in about 90 minutes before the start to study and she helped me out with some stuff that I just wasn't getting. Turns out that was a major part of the exam so it paid off huge. Too bad the stuff I understood that I was helping her out with wasn't on there anywhere. It was one of these exams where I either got 100 or a 0. The mid-term took me 2 hours and 10 minutes and I was like the third one done. This one took me an hour 20 and that was with doing a recheck. I was definitely that guy who finishes when other people are only half way through and the panic sets in with them as I pick up my stuff and go.

So now that that class is done, I've got over a month with no school commitments, possibly a month of no serious training if any at all, and work is still sort of slow. Hmmmm... what to do. I told my wife that our house is going to be gorgeous by the time I'm allowed back on the bike if it goes a while. There's no way I'm going to sit and do nothing so maybe I can catch up on everything I've been putting off. Not my first choice, but an acceptable short-term fill in since I wish I had more time to do mini-projects anyways. I think I'm also going to try and get some golf in since my neighbor is a golf junkie and I've got a couple tournaments this summer. I can probably walk 9, but if we go a full round I'll have to take a cart for now.

So advice to bike racers... keep your road rash covered and moist and it heals amazingly fast. I've got spots that I was sure were going to be weeks in healing and they're almost gone. I've got a spot on my leg that wasn't bad so I never covered it and it's probably going to take the longest. I found one really good article here. This one helped a lot.

My torn whateveritis in my leg is still pretty f'd up, but more about that later.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's not about the road rash

Minimal whining today. Stuff hurts. Stuff is healing. I'll live. And like I said before, man am I going to be pissed when I come back. How many days till cross?

Not much on tap for the weekend. Was going to do the MTB race in RI on Sunday, but... Usual Saturday morning chaos tomorrow and then dinner with some old friends tomorrow night. Sunday I may attempt to hobble around and mow the lawn. I sort of have no choice because I'll need to buy livestock soon if I don't cut it and I refuse to let a few week setback fuel any desires to buy a riding mower. I can run 50 miles... I can walk around the yard for 90 minutes and cut the grass even if it is on 1.5 legs.

Good luck to anyone racing Jiminy or Blue Hills this weekend (or Glocester for the dirt inclined). If you're not signed up for Sterling, do it. That blue team hooks you up with a great race and the weather can't possibly be worse than last year :) I think I'm driving a lead or trail car for the afternoon so hope to see people there.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Reality sets in

So the extent of my injuries is really starting to set in... I figure I've got at least a week before nothing stings in the shower. If anything the progress on the torn muscle has been backwards. The bruises are going to be here for a while. On Sunday when I was still being super optimistic I seriously considered setting up the single-speed on a trainer to see if I could pedal. Right now it doesn't sound like a good idea or even a little fun. Some of this will be funny some day... it took me 5 minutes to put on socks this morning. My wife will hear years of jokes about having to bandage my ass. I'll have scars that I can show off and say with a smile "Hey, remember that time I got launched in the finish at Sturbridge... man that sucked". Today however I have to stay real still and hope I don't rub anything the wrong way. That is for the 30 minutes or so that I stay sitting before I have to move around in order to keep my leg loose. Argh, this is hard.

On the positive side, I've got a couple areas that are almost bandage free and according to my wife I somehow had a good healing day yesterday. I've also started formulating my negotiation plan with the doctor and a list of activities that may not aggravate the injury... stairs don't hurt, rowing might work, if I'm real careful throwing a leg over and I stay inside I think I can pedal. I know there's no need to push it, but not pushing it and trying not to lose your mind are two different things.

I'm hoping for good news from insurance land today or tomorrow. Waiting on confirmation that they have all the documents and then an estimate of when they hope to resolve this. I'm hoping the answer is quickly, but I've obviously got some time to get the bike back.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Choosing to be positive

The dojo the boys go to is always good for posting inspirational and/or informational articles and stories on the wall. The latest is this big long story about the guy who's obnoxiously positive all the time and he tells the guy who asks him that he realized at some point that he wakes up every day with the choice to be positive or to be negative about what happens to him and he chooses to look on the bright side. He later falls off a tower and is in real bad shape. He's being wheeled into the OR and he can see that the doctors are thinking he's a goner. The nurse is asking him if he's allergic to anything and he yells out "Yes... gravity!" When everyone stops laughing he tells them he's not going anywhere and they better treat him that way. In any case... if I can ever find an electronic copy of the whole thing, I'll post it.

So I'm trying my best to make that positive choice. In the span of 4 days I got hit by a car and then threw my body awkwardly into pavement at high speed while wearing 2 oz of clothing and a plastic bowl on my head. I have no broken bones, I was able to kiss my boys goodnight, and my mental function is no worse than it was before. Yes I'm down and out for way longer than I think I can tolerate, but I'm here. Ask me again in 4 weeks if I'm able to be as chipper, but for today I'll be corny and sappy.

It's only been about 60 hours and the 12" x 3" scab on my shin didn't sting in the shower today... see, I'm getting there already.