Friday, June 26, 2009

School and Stuff

School started for me yesterday. Sort of.

My first back-to-college class was to start at 6 p.m. I left my house early in order to leave plenty of time for me to find parking and the classroom. I decided to drive past the UVU crit course on my way to class - just to see if anything looked different. Sure enough, the course looked really different, and since I was running early, I HAD to stop and check it out. I only stayed long enough to say "Hi" to a couple of people and map out the course in my head. Then it was off to class.

I found my classroom all dark and closed, so I decided to wander around and locate such essentials as the drinking fountain and the restrooms. Then I sat on a couch and played with my phone. At my second check of the classroom I found a guy there asking if he was in the right room. We decided we both were in the right place, so we went inside and found our seats. Then about five girls came in and another guy. The girls all seemed to know one another and proceeded to chit-chat about what classes they had taken, who were the best/worst teachers, how hard the quizzes were in certain classes, presentations, assignments, homework, library, research, and enormous amounts of time spent on school...I started wondering what I was doing there. How am I going to pull school off? What was I thinking when I signed up for this?!?
This went on for 20 minutes before one of the guys declared he was tired of waiting for the teacher and was leaving. Yep, the teacher was a no-show. I shoved all my stuff back in my bag and was the second one out the door. I had the evening free, and there was a race going on right on campus!

I hurried over to the race and watched Sleevie win again. I never get tired of that.

My evening's education was not all lost. Holly gave me some good officiating pointers for this weekend's race. Not the education I had gone for, but it works for me.

Today, I walked out of the house at 7:30 a.m., and it was hot out already. I peeled off my jacket and arm warmers and decided that as soon as I got to Lehi (I was driving there to meet a friend for some hill work in Alpine) I would get rid of the base layer I was wearing too. By the time I got to Lehi it was starting to rain, and when I got out of the car I discovered that the temperature had dropped by about 15-20 degrees! What the CRAP!?! Why does the weather always have to go junk every time I go outside? I proceeded to put back on all my cold weather clothes.

We started riding and it started pouring. Luckily I had been wise enough to pull my rain coat out of the trunk and put in on too before we started. Sure, I looked like a dork, but at least my upper body stayed nice and dry. I got some good intervals on the hills done and it felt good. Too bad the work has left me with another dumb headache.

One last item: Please remember to be extra nice to the race officials this weekend - especially any who may be suffering from a recent concussion. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yay! Summer's Here!

It was a beautiful day for riding. Too bad I bailed on my ride early.

It was like narcolepsy on the bike this morning. Sure I was tired when I woke up. But that used to go away when I got on my bike. Today, I was fighting like crazy just to not close my eyes. Something is obviously still not right with my head.

I had ridden up Provo Canyon with a couple of guys. We had planned on riding up to Sundance, but by the time we got to Vivian Park, I knew I should turn back. They continued up the canyon without me, and I headed back to the valley. Fabulous tailwind coming down, by the way.

One other disappointment on my ride: whatever cornering skills I possessed before my wreck are now sadly gone. I am riding super cautiously...and it bothers me. I want the brave and fearless me back!

Well, I'm off to pay tuition and pick up my books. School starts back up for me tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's Hard to Blog When Your Head is a Jumbled Mess


So much on my mind lately. Training, or lack of. Scars, particularly the one on my face. Disappointments. Job. Money. Pain. Family. School. Motivation. Interviews. Meetings. Friends. The list goes on and on...

All this keeps me awake at night, and then wakes me up entirely too early in the morning. I haven't been sleeping more than two to four hours a night lately. Not good for someone trying to recover from a concussion.

I rode a few times last week. I think I may have pushed myself too hard. I did it against doctor's orders, but I'm tired of riding easy. I've decided I'd better back off again because, while riding hard felt great to my body, it did little for my head but cause dizziness and headaches.

I found it interesting last week because on at least two of my rides people recognized me from my accident. Too bad my 15 minutes of fame had to come because of a face disfiguring wreck.

Yea, I'm pretty bitter about my scar. I was actually kind of proud of my battle wound for the first couple of weeks. But it has continued to get uglier instead of less noticeable. It's not looking good lately. If the swelling in my chin would ever go down, it might not look so bad. Either way, it's all I can see when I look in the mirror.

Thought I'd ride today, but nobody can ride when I can, so I guess I'll call it a rest and recovery day. Maybe I can get some stuff done around the house instead.

I guess I'll end this post with a little story: I was at the mall the other day. The store I was in had an ear piercing booth and a little girl was getting ready to have her ears pierced. I wasn't paying any attention to what was going on until I heard her dad say, "Yeah, she wrecked on her bike." I turned around to see that the little girl's chin was covered with road rash. "Did you say she wrecked on her bike?" "Yeah, she was showing off for the boys and went over her handlebars. She had to have stitches." "Really? I guess we are one in the same," I said pointing to my chin.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today's Ride

Had a pleasant ride out to Saratoga Springs today. And by pleasant, I mean ridiculously slow and easy.

There were four of us on the ride; one of which was a brand new, nervous rider on a borrowed bike. Much of the ride was spent coasting along, waiting for her to catch up. I didn't realize until after I got home that she probably could have kept up just fine if we had picked up the pace a little. She just wasn't comfortable anywhere near the rest of us, so she hung way back. This caused us to go really slow.

Don't think I regret going on this ride. I had a great time. I actually had a chance to look around a bit and enjoy the scenery. I've been on this route dozens of times, and today I noticed so many new things. Besides, the company was great. I'm excited to go with this group again.

Oh, and we made it back home just before the nasty storm hit. So glad not to have been out in gale-force winds and driving rain!

The doc says that my concussion is improving. Now that my ribs are feeling better I can breathe easier, and I think that is helping. Next week I'm hoping to ramp up the training again so that I can be ready for Chalk Creek. I love that race.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Following Doctor's Orders

I went back to the doctor yesterday to check on the progress of my concussion. Guess what? No progress! My right eye will dilate/contract a couple of times before it gets tired and stops responding, and my left eye still has no response whatsoever. At least I still have a good excuse as to why I'm such a dingbat!

And when I say dingbat, I mean DINGBAT! I have noticed the following disturbing attributes in myself in the last week:

  • I can't remember things for very long. Sometimes not even for a minute. I have managed to put water on to boil and then totally forget about it until I've wondered what the weird burning smell is, only to discover a blackened pan sitting on the stove. I have promised to call people and have totally forgotten. I have gone into websites to research something and forgotten all about it until later when I go to do the research again, wondering what happened the first time I tried. The list could go on, but I can't remember anything else right now...
  • I can't spell. I have always thought of myself as pretty capable in the English language. Thank heaven for spell check or you would think you had found a foreign language site instead of my blog today.
  • I am extra easily distracted. Work is seriously suffering because sometimes I wander off and do something else before remembering that I'm at work.
  • I slur when I speak. It's embarrassing. My mouth wants to move faster than my brain is able to keep up with. Plus, I have made up some pretty interesting new words lately...only I have no idea what they mean.
  • There was something else, but I can't remember...
Anyway, it's getting really frustrating! My doctor told me that I need to keep my training really easy right now. I've gotten clearance to get back on my bike, but I have to ride with someone, I have to ride recovery only, and if I get dizzy I have to stop (obviously). This means riding really slow, which is hard for me. Basically, the doctor told me that if I get my heart rate up too high while I have a concussion, I could cause bleeding on the brain. Sooooo don't want that! So I'll behave myself and keep my rides easy for now.

I did get out for another recovery ride with Lifesgreat this morning. Another rainy ride. We made it further this time: all the way to Vivian Park up Provo Canyon. It only took us an hour and 45 minutes (including stops) to go 14.5 miles. We picked Philpot up along the way. He had already climbed South Fork and was headed home as we were heading up the canyon. He turned around and rode back up and back with us. He and Lifegreat had plenty to talk about, and I was happy just to cruise along and listen to the conversation.

On Thursday, it will be two weeks since I crashed. It will also be two weeks until I start school. I hope I am semi-functional again by then, so no one has to wonder how the heck someone so dingy could get into college!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back in the Saddle - Kind Of

I know. My blog has gotten really boring with all the recovery posts...or lack of posts at all, for that matter. So I thought I'd fix it and get back on my know, for your entertainment. It has been a week and a half since I crashed, so I guessed it was time.

I invited only a few select friends on this recovery ride...friends I knew would be patient with me in the event that I couldn't ride well or maybe even not at all. I even warned them that if the weather was questionable, I was sleeping in instead of riding.

Well, I didn't realize it was raining until after I had gotten dressed and walked out the door. By then I figured that I would just ride down to the meeting spot, wait a minute to make sure no one showed up, and go back home to bed. So I rode in the cold and the rain to the mouth of Provo Canyon and waited.

Surprise! Lifesgreat (aka Hilslug, but she doesn't live up to this self-proclaimed name) showed up for the ride! Here I was dressed in my tights, baselayer, armwarmers, jersey, two jackets, ear covers, and long-fingered gloves and still FREEZING, and Lifesgreat shows up wearing shorts and a light jacket.

I could not have asked for a better riding partner than Lifesgreat! She kept me riding at a reasonable recovery pace and was so patient with me. She quietly listened to me grumble about all my aches and pains. She didn't even complain when I decided to cut the ride short because my ribs were so sore in riding position that I couldn't breathe very easily. The good news is that my knee only fussed a little going up a small climb early in the ride, but once it was warmed up, it felt pretty good.

While I was thrilled with the company, I was disappointed with my performance. I was hoping that I could get out for a ride and feel great. I wanted to be ready to go on a longer, more challenging ride on Wednesday, but now I'm thinking I need to repeat today's ride and see if I can go a little further (and maybe just a little faster). As you can see, I'm freaking out a little bit that I'm rapidly losing fitness. Not a happy feeling since I had been feeling so great prior to my wreck.

And hopefully, soon, I'll have some more interesting stories to write about.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm Having Such a Great Day - NOT!

I woke up this morning feeling worse than I have all week. But I had a Spinning class to teach, a vet appointment to get the dog to, and an appointment with my school adviser, so I got up and moving regardless.

I barely made it 30 minutes in Spinning before my bruised and swollen knee said, "No more!" I had to teach the rest of class from off the bike.

My dog shed all over my car on the way to and from the vet.

But the worst part of my day came when I went to see my advisor down at UVU. I was already running a little late when I pulled into the parking lot to find that it had been blocked off due to re-painting. I hurried and turned around to go find another lot I could park in. The only lot was on the opposite end of campus, and it was a pay lot. Not happy that I had to pay to be there, I rushed to the building where my meeting was, only to find the doors locked. I knew I was there during lunch, but it seemed a little weird that they would lock things up. I went to another door. It was locked too. Third time was a charm and I found an open door. I went inside and hurried to the advisor's office only to find that it was locked too. By now, I was livid. I had wasted time getting there, had to pay to park, and now it looked like the advisor had forgotten our appointment. I sat in a chair and wondered how long I would have to wait for someone to come let me in. The next thing I knew a policeman was yelling at me to get out of the building. He was angry and mean! As I got up and headed for the door, I asked him why I needed to leave. I never did get an answer from him because he just wanted to play power games, telling me that I shouldn't have come in when there were "all those police and firemen out front". I had come in the back door, and hadn't seen any emergency personel.

Later, my advisor called to reschedule the appointment and told me that the police had evacuated the building because of either an anthrax or ricin scare. She thought it was probably ricin. Great. Somehow I really don't think I need to be worried, but knowing my luck lately, I was probably exposed.

I'm really hoping this concussion goes away soon so I can get back to being my normal, happy, positive self!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Last Few Days - UPDATE

Saturday, I took a trip down to the UVU parking lot where I wrecked during the crit. My blood was still on the asphalt, all dried and black. I walked around the lot trying to figure out the course and what went wrong. I couldn't remember...

Monday, I went to my doctor. I was joking around with him that I couldn't fill out his paperwork because I thought I had a concussion. Nobody had bothered to check me for that, so I assumed I didn't have one. I was wrong. He tells me I have no response in the eye dilation department. No wonder I've been so danged dingy lately! He also told me that I won't be racing on the 13th unless I want to cause further damage my knee. The knee has been the least of my concerns since it didn't look too bad, but it's turned out to be one of the most swollen and bruised parts.

I also finalized my class schedule at UVU. Yes, I really am going back to school. Probably not the best day to talk to people...I had a hard time following along. How long do concussions last anyway?

Today, I went back to teach a Spinning class. It was a strength day, but I pretty much just rode easy. The rumors had spread far and wide at the fitness center. Everyone had heard that I had practically died and that I had broken every bone in my body. I was glad to go set them straight. My knee has gotten really stiff, so it took a while to loosen it up. By the end of class I could even stand up a little to ride.

My injuries are looking much better. Some of the scabs have started to peel off and most of the swelling has gone down. I have to get the stitches taken out of my chin today. I'm terrified! Now that the swelling has gone down, I have so much more feeling. I'm sure getting them out is going to be so much worse than having them put in.

For the record - total list of injuries:

  • concussion
  • chin laceration with four stitches
  • bruised collarbone
  • sore ribs
  • bruised/swollen/road rashed right shoulder
  • bruised/swollen/road rashed right elbow
  • several cuts on my right hand knuckles
  • bruised/swollen left thumb
  • bruised/swollen left palm
  • bruised/swollen right knee