Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Short Review

January 1, 2009, I started off the year with a mtb ride at Tsali with AndyThis year has been pretty good in general - not what I wanted as far as riding, but I've learned that there are more important things in life than cycling 24/7.  *shrugs*  Guess that happens when you fall in love, eh? :)

I had great plans for riding this year and the first half of the year went well.  The second half not so well, as far as cycling is concerned.  I trained hard for my main ride of 2009 - Assault on Mt Mitchell - and I did really well.  Finished in 9:08hr total time (although my PT has almost an hour less) but that could have been closer to 8 hours if I had not spent so much time at the rest stops.  Oh well.  It is what it is.  Next year, rest stop time management will be one of the key things to work on.

I became a grandmother in March (3/17/2009)!  How can I be a grandmother????  I'm only 44yr old!! :)  I haven't been able to see the grandson as much as I would like to, but maybe next year I can see more of him.   From the conversations with my daughter, he is growing like a weed....he's wearing 18-24mo clothing, weighs 25 pounds (as of this week), and is pretty tall for his age (9 mo).  

I met a really nice man, from would you believe, an internet bicycling forum. :)  I met Hank in March, a week after becoming a grandma.  We talked for almost 2 months via emails & phone before finally meeting each other the day after AoMM.  Wow.  This guy is very special to me.  It's not been an easy relationship due to the fact that we are 283.7mi or a 4 hour drive/2.5-3.5 hour flight apart and has very weird days off, but we've managed so far.  Hank lives in Greenville, SC and I have spent quite a bit of time in the area.  I really like it down there - wish there were some way I could be there more often than I am.  But, I wouldn't trade any of the past 6 or 7 months of our relationship for cycling.....what does that say??  There are more important things in one's life than cycling??   Yea, there are.  I don't know where we're headed in the next year, but I'm in it for the duration.  (if you're reading this Babe...I love you). :)

I got my first cold in over 3yrs towards the end of June.  By the 2nd week of July, I was full blown bronchitis.  Meh, I said.  I can still ride with Dallas and my Hammer guys (who I had been riding with since probably around April) once or twice a week.  Right.  I picked the fast night (Tuesdays) to ride and that was about all I could do until the weekends.  I should have just taken a little time off the bike and let my lungs heal properly, but noooooooo.....I had to continue riding.  This wasn't good.  It affected the remainder of my year, for cycling.  

I managed to drag myself up to Lancaster, Pennsylvania the weekend of August 15 for the Covered Bridge Metric.  I had a great time, met some great people.  Not sure if I'll do the ride again next year, but I might, if I'm not otherwise off on some adventure. :)  (Still suffering the lingering affects of the bronchitis....)

The remainder of the year, after CBM, was spent riding with Dallas and traveling to Greenville. :)   Hank and I were able to see the US Cycling Road Race at the end of August - we were camped out at the top of Paris Mountain.  I saw George Hincapie. :)  *drool*  It was a great weekend, of course any weekend in Greenville has been great. :) 

I also spent 5 days out in the Sacramento, CA area mid October.  Met some more of my online biking friends, had lots of great rides.  Foxy's Fall Century was a great year, I will bring my own bike for the ride so that I don't suffer from such butt pain!!! /eek/  If there were somewhere in California that I thought I might be able to live in, the Sacramento area would be at the top of my list. :)

I planned on riding the fall cx races, but my lack of cycling in general really sent that idea down the drain.  Raced a couple of races, but realized I shouldn't pay registration fees/gas for just going out to have a little fun.  So, I raced, 3 or 4 races and called it good.  Modified the cx bike to a more mtb style and absolutely love the bike now.  I had thoughts of doing the Winter Cx Series, but my most recent injuries negate that.

So, we are now almost current....Broke my right thumb and have a Grade 1 AC Separation of the left shoulder due to wild cats attacking me on my way home (riding the cx bike) and causing me to crash less than 0.5mi from my house.  Those dang cats almost licked me to death! LOL.

And, here I am....making the last post for this year and thinking about what I want to do next year.....AoMM is still one of my goals for next year.   There are a few rides prior to that one I would like to do - if they mesh with my training plan for AoMM.  I have plans to do something with Hank next year - a tour.  No other info on that at this time, but I'll post up something when it's appropriate.  I want to get back to doing some day hikes or several long (a week or more maybe?) weekend hikes.  I'm really interested in hiking all or part of the Foothills Trail.  A ride of the whole BRP is on the list too.  Not sure if it will happen this year or not, but we'll see.

I'm not sure on my final yearly mileage....I sort of quit keeping track of it when I got sick and was only riding, maybe, 2x per week.  I think it might be around 3500-4000mi.  4000 miles if I'm lucky really.  Oh well.  Doesn't really matter in the larger scheme of things, now does it?

It's time to, as my good friend Martin said to me - "Enjoy the ride.  Ride for the enjoyment."

Follow Up

Saw my ortho this morning for a 1 week check up.  X-rays of thumb and shoulder - the break in the thumb is barely visible, there are no hairline fractures or breaks of any kind in the shoulder.  I am to continue wearing the brace on the thumb and use the arm sling as necessary.  Doctor said that a Grade 1 separation can be way more painful than a Grade 3 simply because with the Grade 3, the ligaments are totally torn apart and not being stretched - so less painful.  With the Grade 1, the ligament is stretched (maybe a slight tear also), but will be extremely sore to the touch.  And, boy is it sore.

So, wear the brace for the thumb for 3 more weeks, do the ROM and strength exercises for the shoulder and get better ASAP.  Hopefully, this will be my last injury/illness for this year. /rolleyes/

Doctor didn't say I couldn't ride my bike, so I'm going to try and ride outside some on the weekends, as the weather permits and hit the trainer during the weeknights until March 14, when the time changes.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Adventures in Cycling

I had a Christmas party of a co-worker to attend this past Saturday.  It is a short 1.3mi to the co-worker's house and I had the bright idea that I would ride my cross bike there.  It was cold, around 34F when I left the house around 7pm for the short ride over.

On the way over, I saw that there was a bit of wet pavement (mixed with the pine straw) near the edge of the road at Barber Mill, and made note of that - not to ride in that area on the way home.  The party was great - good friends & food.  I left around 11:30pm, and did just fine - the light on the bike is super bright.  But, I totally forgot about that mental note I was supposed to remember.  :(  Took the turn a bit to cocky/brave/fast, right through the pine straw and wet road.  I assume it was ice there because I know the temps had to be lower.  Whatever.  It happened very quickly - down I went on the left side.  Landed on my left shoulder and head.

I lay there for a little bit, thinking "boy, that hurt like hell", got back up on the bike and rode the 0.5mi on home.  I was pretty sore already, had a bit of trouble getting the sweater off but finally managed to and went to bed.  The next morning, I was really sore.  Couldn't move my left arm a lot and my right thumb was tender in the area closer to my wrist.  I waffled about going to urgent care on Sunday or waiting until Monday to see my normal doctor.  Finally decided to go to urgent care.  The doctor took x-rays and told me the bad news.  I felt like, after spending most of Sunday researching, I had an AC Separation, probably grade 1 and was really hoping just a sprained thumb (it didn't hurt near as bad as when I broke the left one in January).  No such luck or so that doctor thought....

The doctor told me that I had broken my collarbone and thumb.  The x-ray of the collarbone did look bad - like a diagonal break, almost a compound fracture.  The thumb was a bit harder to see, but eventually did.  (They didn't take very good x-rays at the urgent care).  So, I left the urgent care with a splint on my right thumb and my left arm in a sling, with a prescription for Vicodin.  

Made an appointment with the ortho Monday morning...Dr. Curzan at Garner Orthopaedics.  He looked at the x-rays and said there was no break in the collarbone - it looked fine.  He said that I did indeed have a Grade 1 AC Separation and broken thumb.  There isn't much to do for the AC injury - RICE and then exercises to regain ROM and strength.  The thumb was not cast either.  He said as long as I could wear the brace, he felt that would be sufficient.  Will go back next Thursday to check the shoulder and x-ray the thumb to make sure it's aligned properly.  I should be good to go in about 4wks.

That is such a relief.  I was all bummed out Sunday evening after the urgent care doctor told me it could be anywhere from a minimum of 6wks to 12wks for the collarbone to heal.  That would totally screw my AoMM training up.  Fortunately, I will be able to start my training the middle to latter part of January.

I have an appointment to see my PT on Thursday for 1 or 2 visits to get me started in the right direction for regaining ROM and strength in the shoulder.  Off the bike (outside I suppose) for 3-4 wks, but will be on the trainer doing some fat burning base miles/time.  I'm also planning on getting out to Umstead for some hiking and do some core workouts to build up the core a bit.

So, seems like I dodged a bullet this more riding to parties for me!  I'll stick to normal rides from now on.

Here are the 2 x-rays from the urgent care:


this is a zoomed in view of my shoulder....the doctor explained that the difference in the image color was due to the densities of the bone.  The part that looks like it's getting ready to poke out of my shoulder is not a break - the other end of the bone is just a lighter image, making it seem like it's broke.  Or so says Dr Curzan...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Bridges of Greenville County, SC

Addenum to the weekend adventures - Adventures in Flying My flight from RDU to GSP took me to IAD (Dulles, yes, up to Washington, DC to then fly down to Greenville, SC).  The departure time from RDU on Saturday morning was to be at 6:10am.  But.  Yes, there is a "but".  Taxied out to have a bit of frost taken off the wings, but the de-icing truck was broke.  So, there we sat, burning fuel.  Used up so much that we had to turn around and re-fuel, then back to the de-icing truck, which was now operational.  Bad thing, though, it was now around 8am.  My connecting flight in DC had a departure of 8:09am.  Yep.  Missed that connection.

Arrive in DC around 9:40am, United automatically rebooked me on the next available flight, which was to depart at 12:21pm.  Hanging out in IAD when I should have already been in G'ville (and, I would have considering I was up at 3am and could have driven down there...).  Time to board the plane at 12pm and what do we hear???  Flight 7896 from IAD to GSP has been delayed until 1:45pm.  OMFG.  I'm so pissed.  Missing all day Saturday with the bf and spending my time in an airport.  So, I give the bf a call and tell him to just go on to work at 3:30 because I doubt I will be there by then and will just catch a cab.

The fying gods must have been looking out for me this flight touched down at 2:45pm.  I swear, if there had been any old ladies/children to get in my way on the way to pick my bag up and meet the bf, I would have knocked them over & out of my way! :)  We had just enough time to get me home, say "hi" and then he left for work.

The rest of the weekend was as much quality time with the bf as possible since we don't see each other that often (working on a solution to that though).  I planned on flying back home Tuesday morning.  Well, guess what??  Dense fog in the G'ville area.  My plane is circling the airport waiting to land and we now hear this - "if the plane cannot land in the next 10-15min, the plane will be diverted to Columbia".  No mention of what plane we would be on to IAD.  Grrrrrrrrrr.  And, the flight from IAD to RDU, departing at 12:21pm, was already delayed for an hour.

My plans of getting back to Raleigh and working for 3-4hr went out the door.  All I wanted was to get home.  Finally arrived at RDU around 2pm, picked up the bag, headed home.  Well, I have one more surprise...while unpacking, I find a note card from TSA - my bag was randomly selected to be searched.  I think next time, I'll just drive. :)

So, the bf flew me down to Greenville for the weekend (this past weekend - Saturday thru Tuesday) and on Monday, he took me to see the only original covered bridge left in South Carolina and the oldest intact bridge remaining (1820).

The first one we stopped at was Campbell's Covered Bridge.  There has been a few improvements to the area around the bridge, a few picnic tables, a walking trail, and some wood fencing near the bridge.  Here are a few pictures we took:

Interior of the covered bridge

Looking upstream. Streambed is all bedrock.



Structure Diagram & Description

It was pretty neat to see this.  I will have to do some research and see if there is anything similar in and around Johnston County.

The Poinsett Bridge (a very cool Youtube video about the bridge

The pictures....