Thursday, June 30, 2011
First half of the year is over. I mentioned as 2010 closed that I'd be cutting the miles and speeds back, for 2011. I figured I'd put an end to the Hammer Hundreds and reduce the miles back to about 10,000 total, for 2011. This cut back is doing what I wanted it to. My recovery Mondays are much more pleasant, and I'm not feeling worn out all week. The only problem is I still fuel the old hairy body, like I was hammering. I gotta lose about 15 pounds. That's going to be the emphasis for the next few months. 2011 miles to date: 5129.
Went and watched Elijah's last baseball game of the season tonight.
My Daughter Brit and My Grandson Elijah.
Grandpa and Elijah
A Summer Sunset Over Calhoun
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Sure has been a nice weekend, with plenty of miles in the saddle and lots of friends. And the hand and ribs? Still have to be careful, but 80 miles yesterday and almost 70 today, says just how well the healing is going. OK, I'll bitch a little, I still can't sleep laying down!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Met up at 9 for the Amy's birthday ride. Good group showed, and as the ride progressed more people would just keep latching on. I said more than once, was that guy with us at the start? The answer was always, no.
It was a great ride, just a total blast. About 10 miles into it I started feeling fine, rarely dealing with any pain. I was able to get out of the saddle, and even did OK (stayed with the group) on the rollers. Accelerations were tough. Breathing was difficult. Still can't get the lungs completely filled, because of pain. But, that complaining aside, this ride exceeded all my expectations. It was fantastic considering the state of the old hairy bones. 80/20.1
Delano (longest ride in 5 years for the guy on the far right. he did great) photo by BK
Over To Amy's Tonight For Some Birthday Partying. I Brought The Blueberry Peach Pies.
And Brought The Empty Pans Home
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Ribs feel about the same. Hand hurt pretty bad today, so I broke down and put it in a splint. When I rode I wrapped it in an ACE bandage. The splint wouldn't work holding onto the hoods, which is the main reason I didn't get it put in a cast in the first place. Pain is gone. Splint will stay on for awhile. 24/16.6
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Nice and easy today and will probably keep it that way all week, and then hope to pull off another weekend of longer miles Saturday and Sunday. 24/16.4
I sure appreciate all of the support from you guys and gals. Thanks!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
A bike ride with friends.
Watch a pro bike race in person.
And The best part of the day? Kids and grand lumps come over and make me a Fathers Day dinner.
Taylor Just Walking Around
Elijah and Kelsey Playing Tag
Ethan Handling The Dogs and Burgers
He wasn’t really with it. The drugs kept him calm, and mostly asleep, in his hospice bed. It was his choice, how he wanted to die. We’d all known it. He had made it very clear all of his life. There was to be no nursing home, no prolonging his life. We were to let him go. Pull everything, no food, no water, nothing that would extend his life. The drugs were to keep him, and us, from experiencing any additional pain.
As I look back on it now, I’m struck at what a courageous and selfless decision he made. I’m convinced his motivation was for those he loved. Death is brutal for those who survive. Why make it harder by slowing and extending its insidious and inevitable outcome.
I’d been called by my mom early in the morning. Something was wrong with dad. Could I come and help them.
My dad couldn’t walk without help. He’d fall, and my mom wasn’t strong enough to steady him. He’d been that way since late last night, but they didn’t want to bother me, so they waited until morning to call me. I got an ambulance there that took him safely to the hospital. I followed in my car, calling my siblings, letting them know what was happening. My dad would never see his home again.
He’d had a stroke. That night in the hospital, he had a heart attack and another stroke. It took him three weeks to die. No food, no water, no nothing. The family would gather daily, and my mom kept a constant vigil.
There were moments of lucidity, especially during the first week, and we delighted in the brief interludes of normalcy; his sense of humor, a kind smile, and a twinkle in his eye. They didn’t last long enough though.
There was a race. It was the Nature Valley Grand Prix road race in Plainview. The year was 2001. I decided to go race it, even though my dad was dying. I figured it would give me a few hours of relief from the emotions of watching him fade into death. I was sure I’d see him when I got back. I’d only be gone for four or five hours. I assured my mom I’d be fine, that I was just going for the diversion. She approved.
This was the most prestigious race I’d ever been in, with racers from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and of course, the cream of Minnesota, and that was just in my category. I entered the 35+ open -any category 1, 2, 3, you just had to be over 35 years of age. I was 42. We had motorcycle escorts, with a guy sitting on the back writing gaps on a chalk board. Very Cool! The course was full of rollers, with one major ass climb, and, of course, a winding sprint finish, with maybe 100 straight meters to the line. Two laps of 35 miles each. Had to do the hill twice and it came only five miles after we started. First lap was pretty uneventful. I was just thinkin’ how cool it was to have a motorcycle escort, and just…riding.
Things got interesting the second lap. I was on the front. A flyer shot past me, but nobody followed. I just maintained the pace. We could see the hill coming, and nobody wanted to waste any energy, before the ascent. The flyer came back, before we hit the hill. I got passed on the hill and grabbed on to that wheel. At the top of this bad ass ascent the chalk board had 30 seconds on it. I looked back and it was just two of us. I said, we’ve got a good gap, I’ll work with you, let’s try to stay away. He hesitated for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders and said, OK, and we were off. We were doing really well and increased our lead on the peloton. Then, with about 25 miles left, I broke a spoke, and the wheel went badly out of true. My brakes were rubbing. I adjusted them, while still riding, and eliminated the rub, but the wobble was, at best, disconcerting. We didn’t lose any time to the peloton, and I figured the closer I got to the finish line, the less I’d have to walk. So I said, I’m OK, let’s keep on pushing it. This guy was really strong, and it was really wonderful to work with him. He wasn’t saving anything. Actually, I would get a little complacent, because our gap was increasing, and I wanted to rest. He kept saying, “we gotta go”. With about 10 miles to go we had a gap of 3 minutes and 19 seconds (the things you remember).
I was starting to think of the finish, of the sprint. I thought well, second will be cool. At about two miles it was obvious we had the race won. If my wheel held up, I’d get second place. (To this day I’ve got the worst sprint on the planet) I looked over at this guy, looked him in the eyes, and said, well it looks like we’re going to get 1st and 2nd , and I wished him good luck. It was sincere, and I shook his hand.
The finish line kept getting closer and closer, and we just kept on rotating off the front, keeping up the same pace that had gotten us this far. Why wasn’t he taking off? I was hurting big time, out of water and mouth so dry I couldn’t even swallow. I was just hanging on. We started the weave to the finish, and I’m thinking well, I guess he’s waiting for me. My only strength is in climbing and I see ahead a very slight rise in the road to the straight away. The barricades are up and there are hay bales lining the road. I think I even heard a cheer or two. I attack on that rise, put my head down, go as hard as I can, and I won.
Tony (the guy) comes up to me afterwards, and says, “are you OK?” I was in sorry shape and needed something to drink badly. I said, yeah, I just need some water. Then he says, (about himself) “I’ve got the worst sprint in the state”. He then congratulated me on my win. At that moment the race official car that had followed us since our break away pulls up. We kind of looked at each other. The window rolls down. And I’m going, ahh fuck! What did we do wrong? The race ref sticks his head out the window, looks really serious and says, “that has got to be one of the best efforts I have ever seen, congratulations you guys, great race”, and they drive off.
Just a side note of interest: Many from the peloton came up and congratulated me. One of them said, “Man, you beat us by over 4 minutes”. Then he said, “I didn’t take you seriously. I didn’t think you could stay away.” I asked him, “why not?”, and he pointed at my legs and said, almost shyly, “you don’t shave”. Just in case anyone wonders why I don’t shave my legs, this is how it got started.
I walked into the hospice room. A few of my family were there, my dad in his bed, eyes closed, left arm pinned and shriveled to his side from the effects of the strokes. He looked weak and hollow. I asked how he was, and was told he hadn’t moved for quite awhile. It was calm and quiet. Then somebody, I think it was my brother-in-law Jim asked, “how did the race go?” I quietly said, “I won”. My dad’s eyes opened, he looked right at me. I was by the foot of his bed. He sort of sat up, smiled and said, “atta boy!”
That’s him. That’s the kind of father he was. It never mattered what was happening to him. It was always about me.
I hope, I try, to be like him. I am so grateful that he was my dad.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The trail was perfect, being relatively flat, and smooth. The ribs and hand felt great all the way to St. Bonni, and the few bumps we did have to go over were only slightly unpleasant. The ribs started to turn tender at about 35-40 miles, and I was glad that we'd turned back when we did. I sure appreciated these guys helping me out. 53/17.3
Rain started shortly after I got home. Very thick air. Lots of humidity.
Downtown Through The Mist And Rain
Rain On Isles
Purple Haze (at sunset not Jimmy)
Friday, June 17, 2011
Saw tons of friends, and some very fun racing. Unfortunately, with one lap to go, there was a massive crash in the womens race, that took out about half the field. We were about 40 feet from where it happened. They took 5 women to the hospital in ambulances. Several broken clavicles, a head gash, lots of road rash, and sore limbs. Most of the bikes seemed to fair alright. It happens, it just #$%&ing happens. They canceled the race. The standings remained the same from the day before.
Taking pictures of the crash seemed wrong. It was hard to watch. They carried three women off on stretchers, then they hosed down the street to wash the blood and debris away. It was bad. Later talking to one of the medics, that's a friend of mine, it sounds like everybody will be fine.
Here's some of the fun stuff we saw.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
It is really interesting to feel, and see, my body changing as it heals. Almost all the swelling is now gone in my hand, but a bulge remains where the break occurred. From what I've been told, in the past, this is a calcium build up that accumulates around the break, and is what the body uses to repair the bones. Just about all of this build up will eventually disappear.
My ribs feel tight all the time. I assume that's the muscles grabbing back onto the bones and pulling them back into place. Today, that pulling into place, has been more painful, than tight.
It sure would be nice if I could sleep laying down. Thanks for listening to me. It helps.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I'll try and do the same Thursday, and rest on Friday. I'm shootin' for 40-50 miles on Saturday and Sunday, but I'll have no problems turning around and just coming home, if wrist and ribs aren't ready. I'm not pushing it, just taking what they'll give me. Wrist still aches, and I still can't sleep laying down.
Met Amy at the Nature Valley Grand Prix crit, in St. Paul tonight. We watched the women fly by around the corners. This is a very fun weekend in the Twin Cities, for cycling enthusiasts, with pro racing everyday through Sunday.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sabo Bridge Looking West. Six Miles To Home. I Beat The Rain
Monday, June 13, 2011
OK, so those are the complaints.
Here's the progress:
My Schwinn has 10cm less distance between the nose of the saddle and the middle of the handle bars, than my other bikes. Today I took out the Evil One, and had to get the ribs to accept an additional 10cm. They were reluctant at first, but became more accepting as the ride progressed.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
There was a bike race. The winner being the bike that got to the finish slowest. If you've got a good track stand, this race is for you.
A lot of different activities goin' on including a Yoga class at the corner of Lake and Lyndale.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Woke up this morning and I felt the best I have since the crash. Up until today, it's been constant pain. Today there have just been a couple of twinges, nothing severe at all, and, like I said, just a couple of brief episodes.
I got out for a 2 hour walk this morning. Nice and slow just enjoying the greenway and Lake Calhoun. Was home by 10:30, felt a little tired, and my ribs were tender. Sat around thinking, man! what do people do with all their time on Saturday. I started to get a little antsy, so figured I'd run a couple of business errands and then head over to Minnehaha Falls. I walked around Minnehaha Falls taking images and enjoyed some people watching.
If you've followed my blog for any length of time, I'm sure you've noticed that the images I take are dark and have a lot of contrast to them. I do this only because I like it, not because I think it's artistic, and definitely not because it's the way it should be done. I shoot in the manual mode, with as fast of a shutter speed as possible, and an ISO of 100 to let in as little light as possible and still get some sort of image. I took this image of Minnehaha Falls today and really like it. I love how the whiteness and brightness of the water seems to be coming out of darkness, and then falls back into the darkness, which is that contrast that I mentioned above.
I got home from the falls and played around with some of the images I took, creating what you see above.
The entire day felt so odd, no hunger, no tired quads, no endorphin high...I just felt out of sorts. Then it happened...way in the back of my mind...a whisper. I pretended not to hear it, but it might as well have been a scream. I confronted it, arguing, it would be wrong, it could set me back, it's too soon. But, the beautiful sunny day, delightful temps, and me feeling so much better... Yeah, I took the old steel Schwinn Traveler, pumped it's 32cm tires up to 55 psi, and headed out the front door.
The first obstacle was to get my hairy leg over the saddle without aggravating my ribs. I did it. It didn't hurt. There was a tightness, but it didn't give. No popping. No clicking. No pain.
Next I needed to be able to rest my wrist on the handle bars and not stretch out my ribs too far, while sitting in the saddle. I did it and it didn't hurt. Just felt that tightness again. So far, so good. I'm moving down the greenway at a blistering pace of 7mph, that was, by the way, my top speed for the ride. A couple of things I noticed: ribs felt good, but my wrist hurt. There's been so much pain from my ribs, that my wrist has gone basically unnoticed, except for the beautiful purple and golds that it's been exhibiting. Maybe I'll get a slow 10 in tomorrow, but I've still got a ways to go before I'm on the road bike.
Like I said, it was a beautiful sunny day, but the beauty and sun were diminished some by the fact that I couldn't ride with Amy. 5/??
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Raising My Left Arm
Lowering My Left Arm
Driving Over a Bump
Getting In and Out of The Car (sucks big time)
Coughing/Sneezing (really hurts)
(there are more)
Needless to say I was off the bike again, and I felt worse today than yesterday.
OK. Thanks for listening to me whine.
Had to get out, so, after work, I went for a walk around Lake Harriet. It's amazing what can be seen simply walking around a city lake.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I'm not going to push it. I'm making progress in getting better and don't want to jeapordize that, by jarring something loose while riding. Very good chance I'll stay off the bike tomorrow and Friday. I'm going to shoot for a ride on Saturday...a short easy ride.
Got over and watched Elijah play on his little league team this evening. Sat by Bryson.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I got some work in this morning, and did start to feel better this afternoon. But, with the triple digit temps (yes, it got up to 103 today), and 20-30 mph winds, I was sort of glad I had the excuse of very sore ribs to keep me in the air-conditioning.
I'm taking this a day at a time, and as soon as the rib pain has subsided some, I'll be out on a bike. It'll be slow and short for sure.
Started getting a little antsy tonight so I got out to take in the sunset over Isles. The hot, humid, hazy air turned the sun into a red rubber ball.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Went down. Not very serious. I came up on a blind turn. 15 year old kid on his bike turned, came out of his lane into mine. I swerved and my trajectory would have taken me out of his path and kept me safe. That is until he saw me and he swerved into my new trajectory. I t-boned him. He is fine, and I helped him fix his bike. He was very nervous, and apologized over and over again. A very kind women, stopped and offered help.
My left side ribs are sore. It’s uncomfortable to breathe. My left wrist is very swollen and has about a 3 inch cut on it.
I rode 10 miles home from the crash. I was on the Cannondale. It will be just fine.
It's about 2 hrs since I got home, after the crash. I'm feeling better already. My hand and wrist are sore, but I've iced them and got the swelling down considerably. Ribs still hurt, but are feeling better too. I think this is going to go away pretty quick.
33/17.1 and just for the record 18.2 before the crash. Yes, I had the presence of mind to check. I am just that obsessed.
Heard of a much more serious bike/car crash at 28th and the greenway tonight. I'd gone by there on my ride, and so had Amy. She saw the aftermath, including a smashed windshield. It doesn't sound good for that cyclist. I'm feeling lucky. Be careful out there.