After taking my bike out on it's maiden voyage last week, I was looking forward to our long team bike ride yestersay. My mileage would "only" be 30 miles but I was glad to take her out & show her off.
The ride started off well. I was getting down in aero a lot and was super happy about it. A few miles later, a handful of super fast riders took off leaving the main pack. A few miles after that, the main pack broke up a bit. I was so excited b/c I felt like I was riding well but not overdoing it AND was keeping up with the likes of Gena, Greg, Colin and others. For me, this was a big deal b/c they are all what I consider to be very strong riders. Don't get me wrong, our team is full of really strong riders. We get to the half way point and it's time for me to turn around w/ Colin as we weren't scheduled to go 50. We waited just a short while for the others and turned back as a group. Little did I know what was in store.
The first few miles back were pretty uneventful. We changed the route up a bit so we could make sure one of our teammates wouldn't have to ride alone for too long. Shortly thereafter, I decided that flying would be much faster than riding and had a major crash. Now, what exactly happened is unclear. I recall there was no shoulder where we were and I felt like I was riding a little to close to the edge of the rode. I think I was trying to move or look at something, moved my arms which in turn moved the bike and then I over corrected. The over correction is what did me in as I then hit some gravel and started off roading w/ my new tri bike. Somehow, I unclipped from the pedals and then flew off my bike. I skid a little ways on my bike (I assume this to be true after seeing the back of my cycling jersey). When I came to a stop, I was laying on my left side. The teammates who were with me at that point all hopped off their bikes and came over to me. Lynn, Chris, Colin, Vanessa & Misty were telling me everything was ok and assuring me my bike was not harmed as that was my ONLY concern. Well that and I didn't want anyone to tell me what my leg looked like b/c it hurt like a mother and I imagined the worst and wanted to be surprised I guess. I dropped the F bomb a time or two and immediately apologized. LOL. Colin put my bike chain back on my bike and examined it while Lynn moved me to the other side of the street to calm me down. I of course was insisting I was fine but she is much wiser and new I needed to sit down for a few. Thanks to my spill, everyone found themselves with empty water bottles too! After a few minutes, we decided to ride to the gas station and refill. I knew I needed to get back on the bike b/c if I didn't, I was afraid I would be "afraid" of the bike. I took it very, very slow and was avoiding the edge of the road as much as possible. At the gas station, the pain was really setting in and I realized just how filthy the rest of my body was. Long story short, we had less than 10 miles left and I convinced the group to let me ride home.
After what felt like the longest ride back, I made my way into the park only to fall again while dismounting. "Not again" is what I yelled from the ground sprawled out! I was assured many times that these things happen & not to be upset. Colin had been encouraging all morning as he kept telling me how good I was doing on my new bike.
Today, I'm proudly sporting a bruised right elbow, two bruised butt cheeks, a scraped up right knee and a deeply bruised left thigh. The pain & bruising on my left leg starts probably mid thigh and runs down about an inch below my knee. I've also got a sore neck and sore abs...likely from the fall and all the twisting I did as I sailed through the air in a decidedly non-aero position.
I took away a few important things. (1) Riding in aero wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. (2) I was doing really well and can't let the fall make me question my abilities and (3) Always appreciate great teammates.
I'm pretty sore today and moving around pretty slow. The bike is doing well and is resting comfortably. I have the a-OK to swim tonight and will have a modified run tomorrow most likely.
Nobody ever said the road to Ironman wouldn't hurt!!!