Eating went well yesterday and I’d say it’s almost back to normal. Still adjusting to a lack of teeth so I drop some stuff and can’t clean a fork particularly well, but it’s coming along. Healing didn’t make much progress on the surface other than a thick layer of my lip kind of sloughing off. I kid you not, it was like a millimeter thick and hard like plastic. Multiple layers of skin? It was like the most massive chapped lip peel ever. It turns out that was what was causing most of the tightness in my face and things feel much better with it gone. Sorry about the visual.
Had a great Thanksgiving with a pair of friends over. Ended up taking a neighbor to the ER because she wasn’t feeling well. Felt good to return some of that karma. Luckily none of the ER staff recognized me because that would have been SO embarrassing. Everything turned out fine for her so extra bonus.
Heather and I ventured downtown today to catch the holiday parade (we missed it – 9am on a cold-assed day off and only an hour long? Pfffft!) and for me to pick out a new helmet. The folks at West End rock – I spent far too much time going over the various models and colors, and they were nothing but patient and accommodating. It came down to replacing my existing helmet with the exact same model (unchanged since 2010) or a new model that came out last year – heavier, more aerodynamic, and what a lot of pros are wearing. The old model felt more natural (probably because I’ve been wearing it forever?), but ultimately I ended up in a new Specialized Evade in matte black. It’s totally Imperial and I dig it. I would have preferred something other than black for visibility, but the other color options were pretty garbage. I didn’t get any sort of discount for crash replacement because my helmet was five years old (apparently some government agency put out a report saying helmets are only good for three years so three is the limit for a crash replacement from Specialized) and you have to take it to the place you purchased it (I have no idea where I bought my helmet in November of 2010). I’m now in the system at the shop I bought from today and they said they don’t care about the three year thing so I’ll be covered in the future. Side note: the cold wind killed my wound. I suppose it’s a good thing we missed the parade. Nothing a covering gloved hand didn’t resolve, but not sure it was more than a temporary stopgap.
Finally unpacked my bags from the hospital to assess the soft goods damages. My jersey is scuffed up a bit, but usable assuming the MASSIVE collection of blood comes out. Pretty impressive that such an amount of blood could collect behind my head while I was lying on the ground for [I think] only a couple of minutes. Again, team has a new sponsor next year so I needed to buy a new jersey anyway. Somehow despite a beautifully clean gouge in my shin, my pants didn’t have any holes so whatever foreign object entered me used my pants as a condom… Quite considerate.
I’ve still not heard from the other person involved in the crash. Kind of disheartening. Perhaps he is struggling with how it was his accident to not make? There’s not much to the safety of a pass falling solely on the person making it. I’ve raced a slew of different disciplines/objects in my life and that rule holds true 100% of the time – even in cars where you’ve got mirrors to tell you where people are. Regardless, isn’t it only natural to check on someone who fared really poorly in a crash with you? I harbor no animosity towards him because accidents happen; I’m just kind of dumbfounded at this point.
My lip has receded enough that I can get a look at my teeth. Still not sure how these will be rebuilt with fillings, but my dentist kicks ass so I have faith in him.
A whole bunch of pictures for your enjoyment today!
Not much to report today, but HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Swelling has continued to go down more and more. I did some pretty serious cleaning of the wounds yesterday and am amazed at how well things seem to be going.
My reach-out to the racing list put me in touch with one of the folks who first responded so it was great to be able to thank her.
Finally unpacked my bag from the hospital and took a look at my helmet. While it doesn’t look like much, it’s likely I wouldn’t be typing this if it weren’t for that small dent and crack seen below. Hurray for helmets! I got about 4 years out of this baby so I was kind of itching for something new (there’s a lot of new tech out there). Now I’m forced to upgrade!
It’s amazing how much the healing process drains you. I guess it has been a few years since I needed any extensive healing, but damn, I don’t remember being so tired! Falling asleep on the couch is not me. I’m really struggling to make it through the day. Interestingly, I watched a cycling documentary (on Netflix – decent watch for a cycling film) and they touched on the subject. Made me feel like less of a baby if the pros recognize it too.
Never underestimate the power of being able to blow your nose. I wasn’t able to blow or get into mine until yesterday. The amount of garbage up there felt awful. Finally clearing it out was life changing. Heather suggested one of those baster-type things that sucks stuff out of them, but helllllll no.
To close, Heather has continued to be a rock star. She made a dutch baby the other day. I didn’t even know they existed, but pretty sure it might be my favorite thing in the world.
Things are going well. I was able to eat some solid food yesterday. I have to make everything small bites, but our turkey will not have to be juiced and that’s awesome.
Some random thoughts for the day:
I don’t know how else to get in touch with those folks who lent a helping hand picking pieces of me up off the ground following the finish of the race this past week. It’s truly an amazing community – husbands, wives, racers, officials, kids… I was a bit out of it, but I recall countless folks being involved. I am mostly okay (gory details at http://www.iammike.org/2015/11/23/all-i-want-for-christmas/) and am thankful from the bottom of my heart to those folks who came to my aid. I’ve yet to hear from the fellow who tried to occupy my space, but from asking and snooping around it sounds like he’s doing pretty well too.
I didn’t get a chance to climb the podium this weekend (I won the race) so I’d like to use this opportunity at the metaphorical one to remind everyone that we are amateurs; we all have regular lives to return to when the racing is done and fun is the ENTIRE name of the game. If you’re like me, you race for fractions of a penny on the dollar (my ratio went way down after this weekend). Knowing when to back off is a lesson I luckily learned early in my racing career and without involving anyone else (broken wrist trying to force room where there wasn’t any). It’s an invaluable one and one that doesn’t require trip to the ER to learn. Please, please, please ride safely out there.
Without further ado, TWO pictures for your viewing pleasure. One is the daily (sorry about the ooze – we’re doing a wet healing here) and the other is my tooth X-ray. Kind of difficult to see the full effect of the damage from the X-ray, but that is how my teeth look from the front. On the backside, the fracture goes all the way to the gum line.
Yesterday was rough. It’s really hard to sleep sitting up and when your face feels like it was hit by a grenade. Between dozing off doing regular things and trying to get a full day’s work in, we managed to get out to the dentist and a couple of stores. I contemplated riding the trainer, but thought better of it as the stitches still felt pretty fresh.
The dental news was about as good as it could get. My teeth broke “perfectly” and it doesn’t appear the nerves were affected at all. A [large] filling on each should do the trick. No onlays, no implants, just some porcelain. One possibility, however, is that the teeth die. It’s unlikely, but possible. That’d be a bummer because it’d mean a much more serious repair. Currently waiting for the swelling and pain to abate before tackling this so it’ll be a few weeks with these busted chops.
At the store we bought ALL THINGS LIQUID. Soups, puddings, and fancy juices galore. Was good to get out and feel the fresh autumn air on my face despite the feeling that everyone was doing a double-take when they saw me.
Last night I was able to get more or less a full night’s sleep and today my swelling has reduced a ton. I’m even able to use a straw pretty properly (it was previously an air-bubble filled slurp more than anything else)! I was already able to chew very small pieces of food and today’s progress leads me to believe Thanksgiving isn’t going to be a horrible experience. I’m probably going to hop back on the bike in the basement this evening too.
I’ll continue to post progress here, but the text will become less and less because as with most things, it’s really all about the pics.
Final race of the year yesterday at Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island. A cold one so I stayed in bed an extra hour and skipped the preride – it’s usually a pretty nontechnical course. That cost me about 10 seconds due to a bad line through a bog on the first lap, but the extra sleep was probably worth it. Of note, I had my best finish here last year (4th) so despite not breaking into the top 10 prior to this this year, the pressure was on.
Following the first lap, I found myself in the top 5 and feeling good. Shortly into the second, I was up to 3rd. By the end of the second, I was into 2nd with a nice gap back to 3rd. From there, the battle was on with the race leader.
I scratched away at the his gap through the third lap and finally reeled him in and overtook him about halfway into it. Assuming he was fully gassed from the early lead he blistered out to, I figured a steady pace would make the race mine… He had other ideas.
He closed the gap back up in the fourth lap, passed me, and powered away in the fifth. Fortunately, he spent himself a little early, I recognized this, and was able to take the lead back and put a little distance on him in the final lap. A bobble nearing the end (me looking back to check on him in a technical section) brought him within striking distance with roughly a minute to race. I put the hammer down from there and held on for the win.
Unfortunately, he got closer at the finish than I anticipated and was able to sprint to the line for me. He didn’t make it, but clipped me at the finish line (a guy winning a race shouldn’t be ejected from his bike by someone coming up from behind – I was ahead of him and finished ahead of him so it’s entirely his responsibility to not put his bike where I am or am going – basic racing and riding rule of thumb, but mistakes happen and I’d happily grab a beer with him if it were to come up). My lip met the ground first, then my nose, and finally the front of my helmet. At 25mph, a face doesn’t get along with pavement very well. Why the race finishes on pavement is beyond me and hopefully something that is addressed in the future (already contacted the organizer), but I digress.
My face… I layed on the ground in shock as the medics on-site and EMTs that arrived took care of me. Didn’t seem like a concussion, but apparently I had split my lip and lost some teeth. Ugh. The ER was the order of the day. I was able to save a handsome chunk of change by having an awesome friend and teammate take me in. He also arranged for my car to get home too so I can’t thank him enough. I’m either on the hook to watch his kids for a night or take the whole crew out to something fun. I chose to go to the hospital closest to our home and Heather walked to meet us there.
The hospital stay was a lengthy one. We arrived around 11:15 and didn’t get home until 8 or so. My lip (probably about as gnarly a “split lip” can get) required a plastic surgeon to be called in for some trimming and a dozen stitches – I don’t anticipate my modeling career to take off after this. I also suck at growing a mustache so that’s not much of an option either. Two front teeth are busted in half, I’ve got a pretty sweet puncture in my shin from who knows what, and abrasions all over my face.
But… I won probably one of the most epic Category C races in history. Time for an upgrade?
It’s not going to be an easy recovery (liquid diet!), but my legs are still good, my trainer setup is amazing, and Heather has been incredibly caring and helpful so I couldn’t ask for much more.
As far as material damages go, my wallet hurts a bit from the ER, the dentist will probably dent it some more, my helmet is toast, the lenses in my brand new glasses are scratched, and I’ve yet to see my bike, but as I woozily recall my face really saved it and it appeared to be in good order. If not, it needed an overhaul and for the wheels to be rebuilt so hopefully the frame is alright. Haven’t seen my kit yet, but we’re due for a new sponsor next year anyway.
With a 10-mile virtual ride in the basement yesterday afternoon, I have now ridden more miles than any other year. Added bonus? It’s still October. The key was a strong offseason, which was mostly made possible by a combination of regular morning meetings coupled with a nice trainer, and no major interruptions (sickness, injury, family stuff, etc.). The ultimate goal is to hit 5000 for the year. Sounds like a lot, but I have friends who are already past that, but baby steps… There’s 67 days (including today) left in the year and I’ve got 1086 miles to ride = 16.2 miles per day. I’ve only averaged 13.1 for the year, but the difference between 13 and 16 is negligible so I’m pretty confident I’ve got this.
I was hoping to go for a run today and also announce that I’d run more miles than last year (199), but my knee is a bit tight, I have a pair of races out of town this weekend, and I know better. Besides, I have 67 days to run 3 miles. I won’t get that given my run rate of the past month, but I’m pretty sure I can fit it in.
If you’re looking to track your mileage, there’s a few tools of the trade. I’m a huge data geek and love competition so I’ve found Strava pushing data to Veloviewer to be for me. If you’re not looking to virtually compete, Mapmyride and Mapmyrun are what I tell people.
Where do I go from 5000 miles assuming I get it? 100 miles a week (5200)? 15 miles a day (5475)? 6000? 20 miles a day (7300)? 7500? 10,000? On my side this coming offseason and year is Zwift and my fancy new trainer, which makes indoor riding (beat the weather and save time) far more palatable and worthwhile thanks to the electronically adjustable resistance and power meter. I’m thinking I’ll just get into a rhythm and see what happens; 5000 this year wasn’t a goal I kind of fell into, and after years of this stuff I think that’s the healthiest way to approach things.
Well, at least for now. The second in as many months – thank goodness for frequent flier miles. This one was for Geordie, the world’s biggest hater of marriage. He met this girl named Sam in recent times and she made him see the light. Really happy for them/that. The trip served as a good excuse to see the family too; stayed with the my bro-in-law and crew and got to know my two year old nephew quite a bit better since he was born right when we moved. He likes growling, watching this video, Elmo, and “Pinkalicious.”
The wedding was short, sweet, and coooollllld. Brrr! Fortunately Geordie is a party planning extraordinaire and got a photo booth. There are some group photos that have already been seen on Facebook, but this one has escaped public view… until now. Surprisingly, I think only one of the people in this is drunk.
As short and sweet as the trip was, always great to get home. No travel on the horizon – back to bike racing, the fireplace, drizzle, cats, and Heather