The light at the end of the tunnel! I can see it. Woo hoo. It has been a loooooooong 3 months, let me tell you!! When I think back to January, I remember trying to look forward and thinking this will never end. Now, that I am almost at the end of the tunnel, I look back and realize that although it was slow, the lessons I learned along the way are some of the most valuable lessons that a person can learn. So, yes, time has actually been my friend.
3 weeks ago I finally got to open my mouth. For good! The bands were removed and what a relief. 9 weeks with a closed mouth was very tough. Last week, I finally got all of the metal removed and that was even bigger relief. Total broken face bliss---11 weeks!!!
|My teeth!! No more bands. No more metal!!!|
Unfortunately, I am not quite finished though. I saw Dr. B (dentist) a few days ago and my bite is still completely off, which is absolutely to be expected. Still not chewing of anything hard or ripping into a big juicy steak. I am able to eat most things, only slowly. For example, I cannot bite into a banana yet, my front teeth are still too sensitive. I have to break the banana apart and shove it in and eat piece by piece. Not easy on a long bike ride ha! I can open 45cm now which is normal range and excellent. I still have some work to go. Getting my bite adjusted is one thing and then I need to have the back damaged teeth repaired. Dr. C said to expect 6 months for the jaw to heal completely. I still cannot feel the left side of my face from my temple to my chin and that includes the left side of my nose. The bottom of my chin where I hit the ground is still super sensitive and just the mere brush of it sends me to squeals. Abby threw a head bunt into my chin last week in a toddler tanty and I nearly came out of my skin!!!! OUCH! All this just takes time.
So, as you know I threw myself back into fitness early on during all of this. I had to for my sanity. I think that the injury has given me a gift. I am a different person now, a different athlete. I think strength is defined in different ways now and if I ever doubted my strength before, I am certainly well aware of it now. This has shifted over into my training and all is going extremely well. No complaints. I was back into longer distances with cycling before the bands came off. Once those bands came off, now its even longer. Two back to back 74 mile rides felt incredibly good. I made coach let me do a CP20 two weeks ago. Yes, I forced him to let me do a CP20, who does that! Anyway, was my highest numbers yet and last week, I asked to do a TT and it was my best too. YAY!
I just started running again a little over a month ago and that was with bands in my mouth! No speed work, no long runs, just jogs. The minute those bands were out. I took off for 10 miles and it was bliss!! I hadn't even ran a step over 6 miles since Sept, so was really pleased.
|My first run with bands out|
|Yesterday's tempo run|
My swimming is going well and I'm swimming with Rich again which really helps me to keep up speed and work hard. I am a little nervous about open water racing again and have been talking to coach a lot about it. With a huge Oly next month in the ocean, I know that blender all too well. This will really be a huge test for me. It's a running beach start and bam, you're in the washing machine. I've been kicked in the face before, punched, scratched, pushed under, elbowed, poked, prodded etc in open water swims and have pretty much handled it all very well. This time though, I am paranoid already thinking about it. If someone even so much as brushes my face, chin or jaw, I'm not sure how that will go. I am still healing and it is still painful to the touch, so I will have to be very careful in that swim!! Whew. I do get a little nervous just talking about it, so obviously have some mental work to do here!!!! I am really excited thinking about the race though. It's a huge race and a very good one and of course in our home away from home...St. Pete! I can't wait.
Also, some very exciting news, I was chosen with 5 other athletes to be on Team Vanderkitten. Check it out... https://vanderkitten.com/vanderkitten-pro-athletes/. A couple of years ago I drooled over the athletes on Vanderkitten Racing and now I am one of the VK athletes. Absolutely thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity and to represent such an awesome company! So that's another huge positive to this year. I'll be heading out to California in 4 weeks to help lead VK's first cycle training camp of the season. I am over the moon with all of the amazing opportunities that VK is giving me. With being on the VK team obviously comes some pretty sweet sponsorships as well. Those include Vittoria Shoes, Smith Optics Glasses and Helmets, Zealios and Rotor. Of course I am still with Huub and Skechers and love them too.
Rocky start to 2015 for me, but it's turning out to be the best year ever, and it's only March!!