It has been 2.5 weeks since the crash. 2.5 weeks of dealing with pain, not being able to workout like normal, not eating a
I have to say that in my 6 years of cycling, I have never ever had any kind of fear. Not once. Cycling the Cat 1's in the French Alps with blazing LONG, smoking fast descents. Cycling the rough and winding crazy roads in Greece, cycling the never ending Blue Ridge, cycling all the steep ones of Appalachia, cycling the wrong side of the road in England. More 100 milers than I can even count not to mention the Ironmans. Mountain biking as fast I as I can through anything that I can. Lots and lots of cycling in the last six years with no fear. NO FEAR! However, one swift blow to the face can change all of that in an instant. More on that in a min....
I just saw the doctor again yesterday- one week after wiring. Things are looking good and still in high hopes this continues to heal properly. I am still closed and will be for a while. I have some nerve damage and I still cannot feel my chin, part of my cheek, bottom teeth and lower jaw. Doc says it should come back but can take up to 6 months for the nerve to heal itself. I finally got my X-ray's that were taken here when we got back. They look pretty cool and you can see all three facial fractures, so here ya go...
|Broken jaw and two chin fractures|
|Clean break of the jaw!|
|Dinner is served|
Last week I knew I had to get back on the bike. I had to do it for me. I had to do it for my sanity, so I did it. Let me tell you all a little something about having your jaws wired shut. YOU CAN'T BREATHE! Not very good anyway. Try sucking air through a coffee straw and see where that gets you. Well, that's kind of how it feels when my heart gets pumping. Forget my asthma, this is far worse.
Rich had me do a CP20 in early December and I was excited to see a new FTP of 241. I was so eager to start training come Jan 1 to build off of that and then bam. With each pound of weight I was losing, I felt as though I was losing strength/muscle as well. So, teeth clenched tight, I sucked it up and put myself on the trainer. Last week felt really rough. I didn't do much, just an easy build. I got on the trainer three times last week and by the third time, I was able to reach my ftp and hold it. Good news. I haven't lost much strength. YAY!
|First ride since the crash|
And that's what I have to do to get through my sessions and it's working! A tornado could rip through while I am on the trainer and I wouldn't even notice. That's how focused I am. If my mind wanders, so does my breathing. It's incredible. I feel like my lungs are growing. I have even been able to pull my heart rate down with slow, relaxed breathing while in the upper end of my sessions. I've never had this much control. So, as sucky as this injury is-- It's giving me strength in ways that I never knew before. This is a positive and a good thing!
Swimming-- I had NO idea how I would come even come close to swimming with my mouth closed. Every time the head breaks the water, you have such a short window of opportunity to suck in air. Hmmm...this will be tricky. However, I decided on Monday that I needed to find out if I could. I chatted with Igniter Ann prior to my swim and I even told her I wasn't sure I could do it. BUT- I got in the water like a boss and I swam. I SWAM! The breathing with swimming is much harder than the cycling. I have to breathe out quickly through my nose and breathe back in through my nose. All you swimmers can imagine how hard that is. I swam slow on Monday 1600yds. Then I went again on Wednesday and swam just over 2,000yds much quicker. Today I swam 2500 only 10 secs off my normal pace. Like I said, my lungs are getting used to no air! I am progressing. I don't feel like I have lost much strength in the water, but I was only out of the water for three weeks and was at my best swimming form just one week prior to the crash. So good news there!
All in all things are looking up. I am no longer feeling the lows and no longer having instant replays of the crash in my mind. These things just take time, but as long as I can swim bike and elliptical.... I will be ok! No time to waste- I have a race to train for! Stay safe on those bikes my friends.