Oct 9, 2013

Owwwww, that hurt.

What hurt? The racing, or the ribs? Let's start with the racing...

A couple of weekends ago I headed to a race called 'Six in the Stix' located in Cranbrook. It's a great 6hr race on some nice terrain. It's well organized, has a nice grassroots feel, and attracts the usual cast of characters. Racing with/against known fast racers is always fun.

On the way to another race,  staying in Fernie with friends.

Prior to the race I got to hang out with Steve and Julie in Fernie, we did some riding and had a few laughs, it's always good to ride with fast friends.

Heading off for a pre-race lap.

Race day came, we arrived at the course with time to spare and moved into the familiar pre-race routine. The temperatures were colder than expected and as I started to change into my race team kit it began to rain. I had no idea how the rain would affect the course, but it didn't matter as I only had one set of tires and one gear.

Once the gun went off it was a pretty fast start but not crazy fast, every one seemed to settle into their positions quite quickly and there wasn't much aggressive re-positioning which made things a lot calmer. My legs weren't feeling great in the first lap, the four hours sleep the night before was rearing its ugly head. Slowly but surely my body started to wake up and by the 3rd hour of racing I was starting to feel a lot more race-oriented. Ironically, right about the time I started to feel like cranking up the racing effort my legs started to complain about choosing the wrong gear for the climbing sections of the race. I like to think I'm a pretty decent climber, riding and racing on nothing but singlespeed bikes for the last 3yrs obligates you to become a decent climber. But my climbing abilities on this day weren't matching up with the gear ratio I had chosen, so that had me pushing my bike up more steep sections than I'm used to, kinda frustrating but certainly character building.

The race fell into a predictable pattern, tear into the transition/timing tent area, drop my empty bottle of Infinit next to my bag of full Infinit bottles, grab a fresh bottle and leave the transition area in less than 10 seconds. Race, drink bottle, get new bottle, race. The last couple of hours were fun as my racing legs started to open up a bit. My wattage bandwidth expanded enough that I could do pretty much whatever I wanted within the constraints of my gear choice, always a great feeling.

I managed to grab a 3rd place finish in the singlespeed category, behind Pat D and Pat H, who are both excellent longtime (and feared) singlespeed racers. As nice as it is to touch the podium, I think I got more satisfaction from seeing all my athletes hammering out on the course, they were all looking fantastic.

The race was tough and fun, the 3hr drive back to Rossland still covered in dirt and salt was not fun. By the time I got home my legs were pretty unhappy with me, which is a small price to pay for a good weekend.

On to The Ribs...

I was out for a ride a few days, looking for 3-4hrs of sweet singletrack on a beautiful day. All was right in my little world, until I flew over my bars and landed ribs-first on a large round rock in the middle of the trail. It was like getting kicked in the ribs by a pack mule. First thoughts through my head, ‘Wow, that hurt'.

I jumped back on my bike and rode for another 45mins until it hurt too much to ride any more. I knew I was dealing with something more than a bruise. Everyone was insisting I go get an x-ray and ultrasound to make sure there was no internal damage, so I jumped in the car and headed for Emergency. The x-rays showed fractured ribs. I don't think it's a bad case, at least they aren't broken. Not the best news for my 24hr Solo race in Texas 10 days from now.

I haven't been able to cough, laugh, sneeze, blow my nose, breath deep, or ride my bike since the wipeout. I managed to get on the trainer for 20mins last night until eventually my ribs got annoyed with me and I shut it down. At least I got to spin my legs a bit. Besides not riding (or laughing very well), the ribs are really bothering me in my sleep. Every time I move they wake me up, which is quite annoying and has me kinda groggy in the morning. Luckily I have some fantastic coffee in the cupboard to correct that issue, this morning's Yemen Marqaha (thx Dave B) that I roasted four days ago helped me forget about my ribs for a few minutes.

I'm flying down to Texas on the 17th, and I'm really looking forward to the event as there will be a total of seven Forward Momentum Coaching athletes racing as 24hr Soloists. Four of us have had Solo wins at this particular event in the past, and all seven of us race at a podium level so it's going to be fun to see that much FMC talent on the same course cheering each other on. I'll race as hard as my ribs will let me, which means I'll ignore them as much as possible and convince myself they are a non-issue. I'll still be racing for my personal best, because after all, it is a race. ;-)