Appropriate Levels of Caution

So, if you search my name in the results of the Crystal City Twilighter, you’ll notice that I’m not there. Because I didn’t run it. Because I fell off my bike and fucked up my hip again.

Friday night Katie and I headed out to lovely Harrisonburg, VA, for the Shenandoah Bike Fest. On the way, there were a lot of “signs” let’s call them, that we shouldn’t go. Katie and I were both running late so we left at 10, which is when I usually go to bed, not when I get in the car for a 2-hour drive. We got into a huge fight before we left, which ended with me threatening to hit her with my car if she didn’t come back. I don’t remember what triggered it, but at one point I said, “Everything is telling me not to go on this trip.” That sensation happens to me a lot–if a lot of bad stuff happens while I’m preparing to do something, but I insist on following it through, usually something bad happens. The example that readily comes to mind is my last bike trip, in which I tried to bike the C&O Canal. We started out at 4pm that day, despite the fact that my gear kept jumping off my bike in some kind of selfless, suicidal attempt to stop me from the ride. We made it 30 miles out (with my gear falling off every four miles, like clockwork) before pitching our tent in a storm. We turned around the next morning.

Anyway, there was a final warning sign the morning of the ride. At first I wanted to drive, but there were a few bike fest participants at our hotel, which was only 2 miles from the start, and they were all biking, so I decided we should, too. So we climbed on our bikes and rode about 400 yards before seeing a sign that said “Railroad tracks cyclists use caution.” I called out to Katie to watch out, then proceeded to cross the tracks…and wipe the fuck out.

Piecing together the accident from my hospital bed, I think I went over the handlebars after my tire got caught in the tracks. I did a good job of tucking, my shoulder landed first, then my hips, just like they teach you in rugby. I didn’t even hit my head, though I was wearing a helmet. But my hips landed really really hard, on my bad side. I got up and tried to make it back to the hotel, but about 100 yards from it I had to have Katie go get the car. By the time we made it to the hospital, I couldn’t walk. They had to bring a wheelchair to get me into the ER. And I haven’t been able to walk since.

Long story short, I spent a lot of time in bed that morning, working on crossword puzzles with Katie and trying not to listen to the people on the other side of my room (let’s just say that guy had it way worse than me). The doctor seems to think I’m just bruised up and that there’s no reason I can’t do my triathlon in two weeks–unless, he says, it turns out I sprained my hip, which will take some time to heal, and if I’m in pain then no, don’t do the race. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure my hip is sprained. Because I still can’t walk on it (the fact that I couldn’t walk yesterday seemed to surprise the doctor). And I’m really good with dealing with pain.

So what does this mean for my Boston dreams? Who knows? I try not to think about it yet. The only time I came close to crying was while I was sitting in the wheelchair waiting to be admitted. I started thinking about all the running I was missing, how Chicago was going to be my race. Now, who knows. But as of this writing the Philadelphia Marathon is still open…

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4 responses to this post.

  1. […] As for me, I almost let some perfect running weather pass me by, but managed to squeak in an 8-mile run tonight to cap off a 25-mile week–my highest per week mileage since my accident. […]

    Reply

  2. […] back in the swing, did a race in late April (26-something 5k), started training again and … flipped off my bike in July. After about two weeks of not walking and another two months of not running, I was kind of ready to […]

    Reply

  3. […] The moment I’ve been waiting for all summer is finally almost upon us. And while it looks like I won’t be getting to visit Running Mecca this trip after all, I’m still planning to do a 5k and a 20-mile run in the great state of Oregon. (No triathlon–didn’t want to pay $$$ to rent a bike only to fall off of it and ruin my training. Call me paranoid, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented.) […]

    Reply

  4. […] waving to a friend. Steps are tricky. And then, just as everything was falling back into place, I fell off my bike. It was days before I could walk again, two weeks before I could walk without the aid of a cane, […]

    Reply

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