Sunday, October 9, 2011

3 racers... 3 new Personal Bests!

Sherri, Colby and myself all signed up for The MANE Event 5K which was an event to help support the Prattville High School Cross Country team. Sherri is down to her final week of preparation for her first Half Marathon, Colby has not really done any training and it is exactly one month since my accident... so we really don't have any intention of blowing this one out of the water! But low and behold... everybody had a spectacular race today and I could not be more proud of our finishes... 

Sherri finished with a 24:59 and was 71/170 Overall, 5/14 in Age Group and 18/76 in All Females

Colby finished with a 23:36 and was 48/170 Overall, 8/21 in Age Group and 42/99 in All Males

I finished with a 21:34 and was 34/170 Overall, 4/23 in Age Group and 31/99 in All Males

Those are new Personal Bests for all of us... it was a relatively flat course on a slightly windy day... what a great way to spend the morning and even better that we were able to support the Prattville High School!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Psychological Resilence

10 September 2011... a normal Saturday morning by all accounts... I got up with the intention of completing a 20 mile bike ride followed by a 5 mile run... my last long brick workout with only two weeks until my last triathlon of the season.

I got myself ready for the training session and gathered up all of stuff I thought I was going to need to be successful... kissed my wife and headed for the garage hearing those words I hear on nearly every ride... "Please be careful out there"... huh... no worries! I got my bike ready... filled my water bottle... set up my running gear... pumped the tires... put on my shoes... strapped on my helmet... put on my "day glo" yellow vest as the temperatures were a bit chilly that morning... and headed out on my ride! The plan called for a couple of 6 mile sprint efforts but I decided I was going to ride a steady effort for the entire distance... I set out on what I have deemed the "Pit Bull Alley" route since there is a white Pit Bull out there that likes to give chase... as a matter of fact I now ride a clockwise route so I am going downhill as I pass his house since I learned going the other direction makes me very vulnerable during the climb and he can keep up with me at that speed. I digress... so I hit the alley and for some reason he made a decision to stay in the carport that morning... he just glared at me as I went by him... oh well... the excitement for the ride was over... I continued down the street... made a right hand turn... and settled back into a nice pace... I was sort of day dreaming when I caught movement out of my peripheral vision to the right... HOLY CRAP... he is new... a different white Pit Bull was coming from a trailer and making his way through some taller grass at a high rate of speed... I did some Target Motion Analysis and realize we are on a collision course... I crank up the speed and manage to have more speed than him when he makes it to the roadway... HHHAAAHAAAA... he gives chase down the road... "Come get me you mother scratcher" I yell... he quickly gives up and I laugh as see my heart rate had spiked during the event... from now on I will keep him in mind on this route!

At this point I am a little more than halfway through the ride and settle back into a nice pace... my average is well above my previous best on this route but I remind myself that I still have a 5 mile run to follow..,. I continue to make my towards home reminding myself that I still have to deal with "The Crippler"... it is a 1/2 mile climb that is exactly 2 miles from my house and comes at the end of all of my rides... I started calling it "The Crippler" because it can take your legs right out from under you if you don't have something left in the tank... as I make my way to the climb... I settle in and start the mental battle of climbing... I am about halfway up it when BBBBAAAAAMMMMMMM... I hear this really loud thud and the sight of exploding glass as a car goes past me... I think to myself... WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??? Then instantly feel my left arm go numb... HOLY CRAP... I just got hit... OMG...

Now this is where the eyes and brain have a serious miscommunication... I am upright... pedaling my bike... feeling significant pain and the sight of a car slowing down up the road... DID I GET HIT? WHY AM I STILL RIDING? WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY LEFT ARM?... it just simply did not compute very clearly... then suddenly the pain made it perfectly clear... I was just side swiped by a Jeep Cheeroke!

I quicky unclicked my pedals... laid my bike down and looked up the road... initially she did not even slow down... then she braked... then accelerated... then slowed down and stopped... a sigh of relief... then off she went... HOLY CRAP... my initial thought was... well I guess I will ride my bike home and get Sherri to take me to the ER... then I remembered I had my phone with me... I fished it out of my cycling jersey and called her... as I stood there, bent over... getting an assessment on my injuries... she picked up... "I have been hit by a car but I am alright... I need you to come get me"... she told me later that as soon as the phone rang and she saw it was me she knew something was wrong... as I explaining where I was I heard a car pull up alongside of me... the driver had returned... then I heard a car coming up from behind me... a guy in a truck stopped and came over to help... he must have been a Doctor or in the medical field as he was immediately trying to assess my injuries... I could then see Sherri coming over the top of the hill... I picked up my bike... he quickly took my bike and had me sit down... as he had called 911 and they were on their way... I could then hear sirens... I sat down and for the first time since the impact the adrenaline was subsiding and the gravity of the situation started to sink in... my legs began to shiver uncontrollably... the guy that stopped started to check me over... I had little feeling in the left arm from the elbow down... my hand began to swell very quickly... fortunately they took off my wedding ring and blood soaked watch... my elbow was bleeding pretty badly... my hip really hurting... and my back was tweaked... he checked my pulse and verified there were not open fractures...

I then saw a Prattville Police car drive up... I immediately recognized the Officer as one of the father's of a kid on Colby's soccer team... he walks up... "You're Colby's Dad..."... yup... "You're Garrett's Dad"... yup... I proceed to tell him what happened and he takes down the information... then the EMTs show up... they immediately start to get vitals... and assess the wound on my elbow... they recommend I get to the ER and offer me either a ride or to have Sherri take me... I chose Sherri... so they help me get into the truck... the officer comes up and tells us that the accident will be turned over to the State Patrol as we are outside of the city limits... but to proceed to the ER and a Trooper will likely show up there for information... so we are off...

Sherri heads to Baptist Health ER... now.. if you have seen the movie Patch Adams with Robin Williams... I pretty much have him as my Doc in the ER... as he does his initial assessment of my elbow, hip and back... he quickly turns his focus on the elbow... after some xrays and cleaning up... he decides a couple of stitches are in order and gives me a couple of shots of lidocaine to numb the area... but in the process finds that the relatively small laceration opens into a rather large "pocket" which had filled with blood causing a golf ball size hematoma... he then proceeds to open up the wound and begins sticking foreceps into the pocket to determine the size... and is amazed at just how big it is... he then determines the pocket needs to be flushed prior to stitching... by the time that is complete and he begins the first stitch... the skin is no longer numb and thus the first stitch HURTS A LOT! But he gets it in... then proceeds to put a stitch at the other end with the ultimate plan of stitching in a drain in the middle... but following the 2nd stitch he decides the thread used for the first stitch is not heavy enough and he is fearful it will simply tear through the skin... so he calls for heavier thread and takes the first stitch out... did I mention that the skin is not numb in that area?? So again... he puts another stitch in that area... then stitches in the drain... I ask about the xrays and he says that there "does not appear to be anything broken or dislocated"... he wraps the elbow... gives me the lowdown on the meds... a quick tetanus shot since I do not recall when I had one previously... while we are waiting the mandatory 15 mins to be released following the shot... the State Trooper shows up with a Prattville Police Officer... he explains the paperwork I have to fill out and departs! And shortly thereafter we depart as well...

So... needless to say... I spent the rest of the day on the couch... sucking down Naprosyn and AMOX... after an excrutiatingly long night... on Sunday the reality of what had happened had begun to sink in... and realization that I was literally a couple of inches away from a completely different outcome... couple the emotional distress with the fact that the tweak in my back had begun to manifest itself into what would be more than a tweak and let's just say that Sunday was a long day! After another restless night Sunday which was interlaced with bouts of reliving the impact in a slow motion dream-state... I followed up with the military doctors... the Flight Doc decided to remove the sutures and drain as it appeared that there was no longer fluid production... he replaced the sutures with Dermabond to close up the gash... he also checked out my hip and after looking at the hump on my back immediately sent me down to see the Chiropractor. After a quick interview he completed a series of mobility and range of motion tests... did an isolated adjustment on the area near the swelling and set me up with a series of appointments to come see him twice a week for the next month.

Over the course of the week... I had to force myself to take it easy... I was supposed to be in my last full week of training before the taper week for the last triathlon of the season... I was in peak condition... it was frustrating to say the least... but my back would remind me that I needed to take things slowly several times a day! Mentally I struggled with what had happened... I felt violated... a careless driver had taken away my freedom... my passion to compete... against my will... and there was nothing I could do about it... after a couple of days of wallowing around in self pity I made a conscience decision that I would fight back and be positive about things... I vowed I would come back stronger than before... I refused to be held back by the accident... and all of the positive support from my family and friends fueled that passion... I WILL BE BACK... BETTER... STRONGER... FASTER!!! The mind is an incredible asset... and as my personal mantra states... Attitude Trumps Pain!