Rider Update Patrick Shelton 19 days Until 10/28/19 Launch Trials and Tribulations
Well it has been a while since my last blog and, despite myself, training has been progressing. I completed my peak training week with just over 25 hours of training last week including three consecutive days of 100 milers. It is supposed to snow this week here in the greater Denver area so just in time. But I am getting way ahead of myself.
Back in May I was on a pretty good roll, staying healthy and injury free. That quickly changed. Being a team player at my current occupation, I agreed to temporarily adjust my schedule to accommodate whatever was concerning the scheduling office at that time. That threw off my carefully constructed routine which was designed to keep me healthy. That resulted in setback number one, an upper respiratory infection. I got through it after a forced rest and have not repeated since.
About a month later, old smart boy here started out on a quick 25-mile mountain bike training ride and was thinking, “I have been accident free for seven months.” For a bicyclist, especially on a mountain bike, that is practically unheard of. I was feeling pretty smug. Does not pride go before the fall? Not thirty seconds after the thought I was flying over the handlebars, barely missing the trunk of a tree as I flew through the air. Unfortunately, I hooked the handlebar with the middle of my right thigh, carrying the bike with me. So, my thigh hurt, my shin had a goose egg trying to emerge though a bloodied sock, and I had my fill of humble pie. Other than breaking my phone holder, the bike was unscathed.
What would a reasonable person do at this point? Hobble home or call for a ride so to treat and ice the wounds? Naw! I could still move, I had training to do, and, besides, the “forgotten” I am riding for have it way harder than me. So, I went on to ride 25 miles even though every time I bend my right leg my thigh reminded me of undeserved pride. I could not bend that leg more than 90 degrees for two months and still have a knot in it.
Shortly after my aerial acrobatics, I bought a gravel bike with tires that could handle the occasional dirt paths. It is light weight enough that, with thinner tires, I can achieve the speeds I need to do the Beyond the Teams 1000. It has pedals that I clip into ……… WHOA! For a guy who has never used clip-ins and did not even own a bike when he agreed to do this thing, is that such a good thing?
The falls, oh the falls. They usually occur when I have to make sudden stops for rouge drivers and I do not twist my feet fast enough to unclip. Sometimes I unclip but inadvertently reclip immediately because I failed to move my shoe off the clip section resulting in yet another spill. I have executed some seriously excellent PLFs (parachute landing falls) even with a bike attached to my feet but I have also collected many scrapes and bruises. It must look pretty hilarious to people when they see this guy just stop and fall over. Again, another crushing blow to my pride. This Cool Cat may not be so cool.
And now, my latest injury, which may be one of my biggest challenges to the 1000 miler, I failed to unclip again on a sudden avoidance stop, fell, and broke three ribs. I did not know that the ribs were broken, just thought they were bruised along with my pride. I went on 60 more miles to complete the third of my three consecutive day 100-mile rides. What drove me on is the knowledge that I will heal and those that I am riding for will always be challenged. It was not until the next day that, upon feeling the excruciating pain of a sneeze while attempting to work my regular job, that I relented to my better half’s advice to go to the emergency room. Darn, she’s right again.
Well, here I am in the middle of the night unable to sleep because of the pain. This is probably compounded by my resistance to taking opiates. Again, maybe she is right. Do you think this setback will stop me? I think not! The pain will subside and the lungs will fill fully when called upon in the coming weeks. My struggles are only a mirror of or less than those of my compatriots who are doing the ride with me. We all are driven to help those whose struggles we can only imagine.
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We have exciting ideas for future events and causes. Stay tuned for more from Beyond the Teams. See Y’all on the ride later this month.
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