Monday, October 22, 2007

Breathing time

Life has settled down finally and I've been able to relax and enjoy being injured and not working. My sessions last week went well and were fun. I have a light week this week and then a trip to Roanoke, Virginia to see my brother on Thursday. We're going to go to a Virginia Tech football game that will hopefully involve some tailgating. Then I have to shoot back to Nashville early Friday and pick up Beth and her truck to head to Indianapolis for a Saturday craft show. I'm exciting to go to Virginia even though it's going to be a 15 hour round trip drive in two days. I've only seen my brother once since my wedding in April and I haven't been to a Tech game in a while. I'm not a big sports fan and don't watch sports on TV, but you can't help but enjoy going to a game and watching it in person. Being at Virginia Tech is always fun as it reminds me of college and JMU. That area of Virginia is also ridiculously beautiful and I miss it.

I was thankful to have the time this week to make it to Polo even though I had a session on Tuesday. I generally have to write-off my entire day when I'm booked so it's always a surprise to be able do something at night after work. We had 6 players so we played some hard fought games of 3 on 3. Teams seemed a little mismatched at first with the first couple games being blowouts. We rearranged a couple players and were more competitive. A new guy who met the Yazoo guys at Cyclocross came out and rocked it hard on his 29er Redline. He is an x track racer so he picked up the game quickly and the aggression/competitiveness came naturally. At one point I was making a meager "fast break" attempt and did a sweeping turn towards the ball, at the last minute looking up and seeing the new guy right in front of me. I was past the point of being able to stop or even slow down and I just t-boned him. Up and over the bars I went with my right knee slamming into my stem and my left arm scraping down my handlebars. I hit the ground hard on my left shoulder with my head quickly behind it. Luckily I was wearing my helmet because I remember feeling the impact. Troy and Dan thought I must of broken a collarbone or something seeing how I fell. I took a sec on the ground to check for broken parts and figure out what had happened. Once again I avoided any broken bones and just had a scraped knee and some blood on my arm. I slammed my knee hard though and it was already feeling tight. I had full range of motion and was able to pedal around and stretch it out but I could tell it was going to be a lasting pain. The bike managed to come out almost unscathed with just a broken pop-loc lever and a drooping brake lever. We took a short break for me to get back to my senses and enjoy some beer and then we played two more games. My knee has been slowly getting better. It's still sore and hurts when coming down stairs. I was able to ride a little this weekend on it and loosen it up some. Being on the bike felt better than expected but it still hurt to bunny hop and soak up the landing.

This weekend was the Race to the Canal at Land Between the Lakes. I was planning on entering this race but knew with my injury at polo, I wouldn't be able to. I went back and forth about going and camping knowing I couldn't race. Finally Beth helped remind me how much fun I would still have and Thad mentioned I could help the racers shuttle to the start so I decided to go. Very glad I decided go because I had a blast! We got up to LBL around 3 ish on saturday and met up with Jut, who'd left Thursday and ridden his crosscheck up there. (crazy!) We reserved a camp site and quickly setup camp. Thad and Jamie wanted to get a pre-ride in so the three of us headed out. I knew immediately I would have trouble keeping up. I haven't ridden trail in over 3 weeks and was clearly out of shape. I was leery of my knee as well which made me even slower. Thad reminded me that I was on my handicap bike, the geared Ventana, and make it sound like that was my only excuse. I wish that was it, but it was clear I just didn't have a lot of strength. Once we hit trail I fell even farther back and just tried to enjoy my own ride. About 2 miles in my calves really started to cramp, like full-on charlie horse style cramp. I've never had trouble with cramping and never that early in a ride. The only reasoning I could think of was not being well hydrated and being on antibiotics which possibly dehydrated me more. I tried my best to just ride through the cramps and drink a ton of water. Thad and Jamie waited for me at the confusing intersections and I stopped a few times to stretch my calves. I was enjoying being on dirt and riding but also really frustrated with myself.

We headed back to camp and met up with Chris Ivory and ogled his new Dekerf Solitare. What a sweet bike! He headed out for the inaugural ride on his new bike and we all chilled at the campsite and enjoyed some beer. Thad started cooking us spaghetti dinner and we snacked on nuts and chips and salsa. The pasta was great and the beer was cold and we were camping. Life was good! Brandon showed up a couple hours later with some more beer and a liter of Makers Mark and the party hit a new level. We partied hard and had a lot of great conversation. Next thing I remember was waking up in the tent at 6am. Thad was already up starting breakfast and it was still dark out. I tried to sleep a little longer but the gravel campsite was not too comfy. I got up to watch the sun rise and snap some photos. Everyone was looking a little rough at breakfast. I think Jamie and I probably felt the worse, though I didn't have to race thankfully. Thad made a killer egg/ham and bagel breakfast with fresh coffee! Everyone started their pre-race preparations and I tried my best to keep my food down.

Registration took longer then expected and then we met up with Mike N and Jeanie at the Welcome Station. Everyone piled in the truck and we headed off to the starting line. Clearly the race wasn't going to start on time but there was a big turnout of racers. The crew got geared up at the starting line and waited for their turn. We saw Jeremie from NMB racing for Cumberland Transit, Michael Cook from Team NMB and Bikerchickie. The crew took off with the SS class and Jeanie and I headed back to the Welcome Station in the truck. We had some time to kill and had some naps planned while the guys were racing. We took the cars down to the finish line and found some good shaded parking spots and just waited. I lounged in the passenger seat and tried to get a nap. I never did fall asleep but it felt good to just relax and listen to the sounds of animals, people and the occasional acorn hitting the truck. Jeanie and I estimated the guys would be done around 12:30pm which turned out to be about 30 minutes late. I headed up to see if I could find a bathroom and noticed some of the sport racers were done like Michael Cook. Ooops! Looks like we missed the Yazoo guys finishing! I saw Thad and Mike and Jeanie down by the finish line and walked up. Sorry guys! Sounds like the race was fun.

What a great weekend of camping! It really satisfied my camping fix. I'd been talking with Beth lately about camping and wanting to get her out. I hadn't camped in about 3-4 years. I grew up camping with my family and with Boyscouts. Beth has never camped so there is a little barrier there. I hope we can plan the perfect trip to ease her into camping. There are so many different levels of "roughin it" that I think if planned well, she will enjoy it. Maybe match it up with a day of rafting. There is just something about spending a lot of time outside away from technology that is relaxing.

I uploaded my photos from the weekend to my Flickr account. You can check them out here:
Flickr- LBL Camping Weekend

1 comment:

cornfed said...

Becareful camping with boyscouts, that can land you in prison.

Two memorable lines from the trip, both from Ivory:
The one that started it all "Bet you can't break that seal"

"Just spit on me, i'm sweaty"

Thanks for coming along. It was a relief to not have to worry about shuttling or going back to get a car. That loaded truck pick looks bad ass too.

Need to get a Chilhowie camp trip with Uncle E there, Beth'll feel like she's camping at a Hilton.
Secret is an air matress and down covers.

Who links to my website?