Sunday, October 18, 2009

Peak to Peak race report part 1


There was a really good turnout for Peak to Peak this weekend. It's a fun race venue with a good prize purse. Not to mention another last minute opportunity for Iceman training. All in all I would say that there were about 500 racers competing.

This race was strictly for training, and my goals were to go out hard and push myself hard enough that I reached the blow-up point. The elite women started with the elite men so we took off pretty darn fast! I managed to stay with the guy's on the road (dangling at the back but I was on) and I was really happy with how my legs felt. All week they felt pretty sluggish after Iron Cross, but they seemed to make a miraculous reappearance to race cross country....

The start line....
Once we hit doubletrack the guy's started to pull away. I was like, "wait up guy's, wait for meeeee!" but apparently they didn't hear because they were GONE and I was stuck in no man's land. My legs were borderline ready to explode, and I slowed down a bit. Soon honorary Michigan racer Susan Stephens (from Ontario) and Karey Collins joined me and we were a 3-way train. I tucked in behind Susan to recover. As always she was riding really well, but soon my legs felt better and I decided to try passing.

If only I could rewind time....

Blogosphere, I learned two important lessons during this race, and I learned them both in a single second. First of all, if you aren't familiar with the course, leave a little room in between you and the person in front of you so you can see what's in front. Secondly, if you want to pass, choose your spot well. There is no need to pass immediately when first place is right in front of you, especially if you are on the slickest part of the singletrack.

Because here's what happened. Just as I started to move to the left to try and pass, Susan suddenly veered right to avoid a wet root. I didn't know what I hit until I was falling.

I think there are two types of falls. The first is where you get up, shake it off, and maybe have a cool bruise to show off later to friends. The second is where you are body slammed into the ground. Where you know things aren't going to be good before you even try to move. My fall was the latter. In the 6 years that I've been riding/racing, this fall hurt the most. My shoulder took the full impact, and to add insult to injury I landed on the root that caused my fall in the first place. Then my head hit the ground and just as I was thinking I was going to have a concussion I saw my bike coming down on top of me. Even though this probably all happened in a second, it seemed like sloooooow motion.

Karey slammed on her brakes (so at least I didn't also get run over) and asked me if I was ok. I was disentangling myself from my bike, and said "yes." It hurt so bad that I needed to be alone to shake it off. I stood up and had tunnel vision. My shoulder felt weird. It was numb but hurting at the same time but I had so much adrenaline going through my body it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The next thing I knew I was back on my bike. Crying? Yes. Pedaling? Yes!

Here I am at the end of the first lap....my face was one big grimace!
There was a part of me that wanted to get off of my bike, run to Scott and feel sorry for myself. However, a bigger part of me wanted to keep racing. I experienced every emotion in the book during the race but more then anything I was SO disappointed. Any athlete who has gotten an injury knows this feeling. I love racing. I love training. I love riding my bike. The thought that I might be sidelined for a while just made me pedal faster.

I moved back into second place by the end of Lap 2 and decided I could probably do one more lap (10 miles) to finish. I don't have a higher pain threshold then anyone else, but I do think that I'm really good at focusing. Any time I found myself worrying about my shoulder, or crying, I would immediately push the thoughts out and pedal.

Scott rode the chair lift above the course and took some pictures....

To be continued...

P.S. I know this is a bad spot to leave off, but here's a clue. I will be at Iceman racing. It's just a good thing my coach knows good trainer workouts because that's where I'm going to be for the next week....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am betting on an AC separation.
Preferably Grade 1.
Really painful, but repairable with physical therapy.
If I guessed right you will wind up with a lump on top of your shoulder where the clavicle attaches.
Look around on the start line for Exp/Elite men probably 20% are members of the club

Anonymous said...

Where is part 2??? we want the sequel!

Kyia said...

Bummer Danielle...I hope you heal up quickly. I did something crazy like that once and raced a WC marathon in muck and over mountains the next weekend. After that it really hurt and caused many problems for weeks. The moral of the story. Be good to it now so you can rage in 3 weeks!