Thursday, August 2, 2012

I hurt myself + I'm doing a Ragnar Relay!

I fell off my bike yesterday. I've tried to reword it to place the blame on the bike, but I really can't. The bike did nothing wrong, it was really just me being silly. Nick and I had just finished 23 miles at a 17.5 mph pace and were sailing back home. Here are the factors that contributed to the crash:
1) It's a pretty decent downhill on the road before turning onto the gravel driveway
2) the road was just refinished last month, and the level change between the new road and the driveway is pretty big
3) I was riding on Nick's right, but in front of him, meaning I had to cut across his travel path to turn left into the driveway
4) we were at 22.98 miles according to my watch, and I didn't want to stop it till it read 23.00 ( I realize this was the major contributor and I also realize this makes me an idiot)
5) The front brakes on my bike don't work well, so I tend to mindlessly brake with both hands before remembering I need to actually apply more force on the back brakes in order to stop

So I tumbled down hill, slid a bit, and my left calf immediately got the worst cramp. It seized up so bad, it became the only thing I could begin to think about. Not the road rash on my arm and shin, not the bruises on my hip and hand, my calf. Calfcalfcalfcalfcalf! It screamed at me. Nick rushed to help me but all I could say was "I'm ok... my calf hurts!!!!!!!" He helped me up and I hobbled down the driveway but the combination of the fall, getting up quickly, stopping the bike abruptly (ha!) and being super duper hungry left me seriously lightheaded and I didn't regain normal vision for several minutes.
The lighting in the living room makes me look like an Oompa Loompa...

I did not pass out! Yay me! I rinsed off outside with the hose and examined the damage. Large area of road rash (top 40% of my shin, maybe 1/3 of the way around my leg) and one big gouge beneath my knee. My left forearm is scraped, and my hip aches. My hand is probably the most worrisome pain but I think it's just a bad bruise. Thank goodness I was wearing gloves.

All in all, it could have been way worse. I could have fallen on pavement, 12 miles from home, and I could have been going way faster. Lesson learned: slow down. Don't turn sharply on gravel. And it is so not worth it to stop your watch at the exact right moment.

In MUCH happier news, Nick and I are doing a Ragnar Relay from Cumberland, MD to DC in September. I signed up as a single runner a couple months ago because I definitely didn't have a team organized, and several teams contacted me in the last week or so looking for runners. The logistics for one of them finally worked out, and now Nick and I will be running the relay! I have read tons of recaps of these races on other blogs, and my friend Kim just did a Ragnar recently also so I had gotten excited just hearing about them. The basic gist is you and 11 other people pile into 2 vans, 6 runners in each van. Each runner runs a leg then swaps to the next person, for a total of 3 legs each, 36 total. Total runner distances (over 3 legs) range from 13.4 to 22.2 mi. The total number of miles is 198.1, and the relay includes overnight running! I love running at night but I hear the experience is a little spooky. This is also through a sometimes rural section of Western Maryland, and there are lots of hills. I'm nervous thinking about it but SO excited. I am so happy that we found a team and I am ecstatic that I get to have this experience with Nick. He's my partner in everything else, I cannot imagine doing something this epic without him. More to come on the relay....

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