Monday, July 27, 2015

What It Feels Like To Be Hit By A Car

I didn't realize that my last blog "Training Peaks & Valleys" was perhaps a foreshadow to what happened to me yesterday...  As I wrote in that blog, we all go through ups and downs in our training and sometimes we have no control over whether we find ourselves in a peak or in a valley.  This past week my training was going awesome!  I did a swim/bike brick on Tuesday, a hard 10-mile track workout on Wednesday, swam and did a solo century on Thursday, ran 20 miles with 3 fast finish miles on Friday, took a day off on Saturday, and then yesterday headed out on the group ride for another 100-mile dose of cycling.

The ride itself went great!  There were so many smiling faces and it felt SO much better to ride 100 in a group vs. alone.  Plus, the miles ticked by a LOT faster (thanks Ren, Mike, Shay, Sami, Shay, Ken, JR, Walker, Doug, & Lawrence!)  At the end of the ride I said g'day and started riding home since I had ridden to the ride start.

I was 1.2 miles from my place when I entered a roundabout.  I'm circling around and an SUV pulls up to another entrance to the roundabout and does not stop, slow down, or yield at all to moi, who was already the "traffic" in the traffic circle.  I yelled at the car but her window was up and clearly she didn't hear me.  I didn't have any time to react and next thing I knew the left driver's side of her vehicle was colliding with the right side of my body.  The force of the impact didn't really hurt, but it knocked me down onto the ground and that hurt a lot.  My right foot came unclipped, my left foot remained clipped in, and I skidded across the ground, almost out of my intended exit from the roundabout.  I was laying there, moaning in pain, too shell shocked to move or get up.  I saw another car coming into the roundabout and I thought "please oh please don't run over me!!!"  Thankfully he stopped, as did the lady who hit me, and a few other bystanders as well.  I don't think anyone knew exactly what to do, if they should just leave me there or help me up.  The woman who hit me was freaking out and asking me if I needed anything (um yes, I needed you to look to your left before entering the traffic circle and yield to the oncoming bike).  I couldn't help but notice when she opened up the back of her van that there were about 5-6 cases of beer in there and it was approximately 12:30 in the afternoon!  One person called 911 and being that I was literally less than 100 meters from a fire station, the firefighters arrived on the scene first.  I sat up and unclipped and someone took my bike off of me; I couldn't help but worry about whether or not the frame was cracked.  At this point, pain was starting to sink in a little bit and I got up and sat down on the side of the road in the shade, feeling a little headachy and dizzy.  The firefighters performed some preliminary first aid and surveyed my road rash - I didn't like that I could hear them talking about how bad it looked.  I gave my dad a phone call that no parent wants to receive, "Dad, I got hit by a car (but I'm ok)" and he was there within a few minutes.  EMS arrived and ushered me into the ambulance.  They checked my vitals, asked how I was feeling, looked at my wounds, and recommended that I allow them to transport me to the hospital for further inspection.  At first I didn't want to go, but they said it'd be a good idea to x-ray my elbow, which had taken the brunt of the impact of the fall, to make sure it wasn't broken.  They also wanted to be sure I didn't have any head injuries, as there were a few pretty large cracks in my Giro.

I arrived at the ER and it was fantastic b/c there was literally zero wait time.  As I was sitting there on the cot, I started to realize how much the right side of my body (neck, shoulder, elbow, side, & back) were hurting from getting all scraped up.  The nurses cleaned everything out, I got an x-ray on my arm, and they gave me a bunch of pain killers.  They told me that things were going to get stiffer and more sore over the next 24-48 hours and, boy, they weren't kidding about that.  Everything is so stiff, especially my neck, this morning and it kind of hurts to move.  I feel like I've been hit by a car.  Oh wait, I was hit by a car!  Damn it!

The bright side of this situation is that I am not seriously injured.  X-ray came back ok and it doesn't look like I have anything other than road rash & some seriously bruised muscles.  I know I got really lucky to come out of that with just some scrapes!  I'm so thankful that it wasn't worse.  And I'm so thankful for all the kind people who helped me on the scene, in the ambulance, and at the hospital!  Thanks for being there for me Dad!

From a preliminary inspection, my bike looks ok.  The carbon fiber base bar is chewed up on the right side and pedals are scratched, but I think my body took the brunt of the impact and actually protected the bike!  I won't know for sure though until TrySports Charlie looks over the entire thing from head to toe.  This will most likely affect my training for the next few days.  The doctor didn't give me any restrictions to working out, so I'm assuming it's to be done as tolerated by pain.  So, this accident has transported me from a training peak to a training valley, though hopefully this valley is just a small one ;)

Cyclists, as always, please be careful out there.  And to drivers, please please please be on the lookout for cyclists and other pedestrians.  It's not worth running someone over to get to your destination 30 seconds faster!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Training Peaks (and valleys)

It's hard to believe that Ironman Chattanooga is less than 10 weeks away!!!  It's scary actually cause I don't feel ready.  After Over The Mountain my training sort of took a nose dive down to around 10 or fewer hours/week.  I kept skipping workouts, was sick for a week where I basically did nothing, did some traveling for work, and couldn't string together any consistency.  There was a 2-week stretch where I didn't swim at all!  This left me feeling unfit and also bummed because prior to OTM things were starting to come together again and I was feeling especially good on my long runs.

Well, I'm happy to say I've turned the training train around and have had a few solid back to back 17-hour weeks again.  I'm feeling fit, though I know I don't have too much time left to get to the point that I had originally hoped to when I signed up for IM CHOO.  That's ok though because I've been immensely enjoying training and am so thankful to be able to be out there doing what I'm doing :)  Here's a quick SBR breakdown of where I'm at:

The Swim
As before, I am still not putting a huge emphasis on the swim since the race is supposed to have a decent current.  Now I've heard rumors that the powers at be are not going to open the dam as much as they did last year - damn it - so my strategy could ultimately backfire.  I usually swim 2-3 times per week around 3000 yds per swim.  I've been swimming in various outdoor pools, which have all been about 85+ degrees, making it more difficult than it needs to be.  I've been too scared to swim in the channel after all the shark attacks on the NC coast this summer, but most of the outdoor pools I've been swimming in don't have lane ropes so that's similar to open water swimming right?!  Thankfully, the YMCA just opened again today so I'll start going there next week :)

The Bike
I have REALLY enjoyed the weekend group rides leaving from Poplar Grove.  It's so awesome to see 20+ Wilmington triathletes showing up for these 6 am rides and it always makes me smile.  I've had the good fortune of being able to ride with some really fast ladies & sick fast dudes which I believe is making yours truly faster!  Plus, I love being able to knock out 80 miles in under 4 hours!  That being said, I know I'm not going to have all these great cyclists to draft off of in my race so today I did a solo century and it took me 5 hours 20 min.  Definitely not where I'd like to be, but it's improvement so I can't complain.  I'm feeling super duper comfortable on my IA and I can't say enough great things about that bike.  *LOVE* it!  My saddle situation is under control thank GOD.  I've also gotten very comfortable riding in the wind, which used to be my nemesis.  Hopefully I can continue to increase my endurance on the bike over the next 2 months and pick up a few mph!

The Run
The run has been rough lately.  Prior to my training hiatus, I was going out on 20-22 mile runs and feeling great.  I'd run for 3 hours and feel like I could keep going forever.  More recently I've been having trouble going the distance.  I keep getting these side cramps under my ribs, which makes it hard to take deep breaths.  Maybe this is due to the heat a little bit or maybe it's due to me running out of my PowerGels and using other gels to get by until my next shipment comes in.  At this point I've worked my long run back up to 21 miles.  I was supposed to do some pickups in my last long run, but it was a victory to just get the mileage in.  In contrast to the long runs, my track workouts are going great!  I keep hitting my paces and have had some good training partners out there which always makes it 1000 times better!  I've got a 20 miler tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes - I'm sure my legs will feel fresh after riding 100 today...

Next up for me is Lake Logan Half, which should be interesting.  There are about 20 open women & masters open women signed up for this race which is going to make it really exciting!!  I haven't raced a half since White Lake back in May.  I'd like to beat my time from then, but then again I recall Lake Logan being a really hilly course.  I'm uncertain how I"ll perform in the hills, but I'm certain that It'll be a good pretest for Chattanooga!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Race Report: 3rd Annual SetUp Celebration Time Trial

This race was over a month ago, but it still deserves a write up because it was really cool!  Every year SetUp Events holds a FREE celebration time trial to thank their race participants.  It starts at the Coast Guard Station and goes straight down Banks Channel w/ an incoming tide and finishes at the sandy beach on the channel side of the The Blockade Runner.  

I figured this would be a great workout, plus any triathlete who's a triathlete in Wilmington does this race.  Logistically it's simple; you park at the finish and they shuttle you to the start.  I loaded into the trollies with a few buddies :)  

 The race started with the national anthem and then the oldest swimmer had the honors of being the first one over the timing mats.  From there it's up to you where you'd like to start.  They give you a timing chip so you can start at the front, at the back, with friends, wherever you want!  I started in the middle cause I didn't want to get swum over top of by the real swimmers in the bunch.  I got into a good rhythm early on and just held race pace the entire time.  I drafted a little bit, but nothing too appreciable.  I made the bad decision towards the end of the swim to veer into the center of the channel, which was a dumb idea b/c it only added yardage to the route.  The fastest course would have been to stay as close as possible to the docks.  Here's my route:

At the end of the swim you run up the little beach area and through a mini finish line!  It was pretty fun!  There was also free food from Epic Food Company, which is one of my all time favorite places ot eat in Wilmington!  Yum!

I ended up coming in 10th out of the females and 4th in my age group of 30-39.  However, I actually felt pretty good about that b/c my age group was stacked with Kristen Smith & Jenny 2.0, so 1st & 2nd place were basically predetermined before the race started lol!  As per my Garmin watch, total distance was 2,447 yds and total time was 32:05 (1:19/100 yds).

It was a great way to start the day and I highly recommend this race to anyone!  How often is it that you get to do a FREE timed and supported open water swim with free food, music, & all of your friends!?!?   Thanks SetUp :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Surfberry Organic Cold Pressed Juice Cleanse

A few weeks ago I was looking for a way to reboot my system and get back on track to super healthy whole foods plant-based eating.  I came across Surferry's organic cold pressed juice cleanse and decided to give it a whirl!  For those of you who live in the Wilmington area and haven't been to Surfberry yet - what are you waiting for?!?  They are located at Wrightsville Beach and I've been going there for a while to get their awesome smoothies & acai bowls.  What I really like about this place is that they are all about clean, fresh, organic, natural, whole, healthy foods.  There aren't any additives, syrups, or extra sugars that go into their smoothies or bowls - instead they are made with real fruit, fruit juices, and almond or soy milk.  Basically, the same ingredients that I would use if I were making a smoothie at home in my Vitamix.

I gotta mention the acai bowls for a sec cause I'm kind of addicted to these things.  My understanding is that they originated in the surfing community as a way to refuel and replenish after long days out on the water.  Acai berries are a superfruit found in South America and they contain beaucoup d'antioxidants.  Acai bowls are made by blending frozen acai puree with almond or peanut butter and soy or almond milk.  Then they're topped with granola, shredded coconut, fresh fruit, & a drizzle of honey!  Sooo delicious!  I sometimes eat these instead of cooking a meal :)

Ok, so back to my juice cleanse.  I had been feeling the effects of toxic hunger.  Don't know what toxic hunger is?  Then this article is a MUST-read!  I wanted to get back on the quick track to healthy eating and feeling fantastic.  Surfberry offers 1-, 3-, and 5-day juice cleanses.  Each day consists of six, 17-ounce bottles of cold pressed, fresh, organic juice:

*3 Green:  kale, spinach, cucumber, romaine, parsley, ginger, green apple
*1 Root Veggie:  carrot, beet, orange
*1 Citrus:  lemon, cayenne pepper, filtered water, maple syrup
*1 Almond Milk:  raw almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup

There are 1145 total calories in the six bottles of juice, so if you are an athlete, you need to time the cleanse with a day that you don't have a big workout and/or supplement with additional bottles of cold-pressed juice.  I waited a couple days after Over The Mountain b/c I wanted to recover a little bit before doing the cleanse.  The recommended schedule for drinking the juice is every 2 hours, starting at 9 am.  This actually worked out perfectly because it seemed like after 2 hours I would start to get a little bit hungry and it was time to drink another juice. I never felt like I was deprived or hangry.

The taste of the juice was very refreshing!  The green juice tasted like Mean Green juice that I have made in my Jack Lalanne juicer at home.  I learned about Mean Green juice from the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, in which a trucker is sick and tired of being sick and tired.  He installs a juicer in his cab and only drinks the juice of fresh produce from stands along the routes of his trips. He ended up losing a boatload of weight and reversing just about every one of his chronic diseases.

I also liked the flavor of the root veggie juice because of course y'all know how much I like my beet juice :)  The almond milk was the perfect juice to end the day with because it tasted like a dessert!  However, my favorite juice of the day was the citrus!  The combo of the tartness of the lemon combined with the peppery cayenne has me stopping by Surfberry from time to time just to purchase this juice by itself!

The purported benefits of juicing include:
*More energy
*Improved sleep
*More balanced moods
*Clearer skin & brighter eyes
*Better digestion
*Weight loss
*Less belly bloat
*A clearer mind

For me, I experienced no stomach issues and I'd say I had a lot of energy during the day and clearer thinking.  I also lost a few pounds, though I suspect this was from consuming fewer calories than normal and having lower glycogen stores ;)  My favorite thing about doing this juice fast is that it got me ramped up to eat clean again.  After doing a day of the juicing and only putting healthy nutrients into my body there was no way I was going to ruin it the next day by eating vegan junk food!  It got my system running cleanly and I've been eating A LOT better ever since!  I'd be happy doing this monthly and trying a longer cleanse next time.

Happy 4th of July to everyone and if you need a way to re-boot your system after eating and drinking too much this weekend, it might be perfect timing for you to try Surfberry's juice cleanse!