Monday, June 8, 2015

Accident/Racing/Life Update

March 26 was my accident with the Lexus and today is June 8th. 10.5 weeks later the shoulder is progressing but as I feared, the MRI I had 3 weeks ago affirmed that I have a tear in the rotator cuff. I've been working hard at PT and getting more range of motion out of it. I still have a reduced range of motion and some pain and I hope in time it's going to work itself out. My orthopedic surgeon said that in 3 more weeks he will evaluate it and then recommend surgery or not. I'm praying for not. I've heard the recovery is about 4 months or so of restricted movement and PT. That's not something that I want to go through if I don't have to. So for the time being I'm putting my effort forward to work the shoulder out through therapy and hoping for the best. The worst part is feeling that I'm behind in my training for the year because of the accident and it has changed what I expect from myself and what races I originally planned on competing in this year. I'm being optimistic but I'm hoping for some good times on the bike regardless if I can race to my potential for the year.

As far as racing, since my last update I have competed in a few races. The Allamuchy 4 hour race, the Tour de Lake road race, and the Mohican 100. For each I've gone in behind schedule and hoped that I could have a good time, gain some fitness and try to work the shoulder back in to normal function. With limited success, I completed each but hope to get better in the coming weeks. Here was the breakdown:

Allamuchy 4 hour: For this race I took off hard with the eventual race winner Leo. We hit the trail first and it was really just us for the first lap with a rider in 3rd trailing behind and no one else in sight. At the end of the first lap Leo took off strong and that was the last I saw of him. I hit the next few laps hard but towards the end of lap 4 I was feeling I was cooked. It was the first hard effort that I've really done at a race this year and I felt it. The legs were tired, the body was heavy and I just tried to preserve. On lap 6 of 7 I was passed by the racer who was trailing in 3rd and I had no response. I just had to get to the finish and end the race. I finished in 3rd place, happy but exhausted. The shoulder held up but it was definitely fatigued from the race. That and the rest of me. It was great to be out but a good marker to remind me how behind I was for the season. I'd usually have more top end and endurance than that, but it was just not happening. Maybe the next races would go better.

Tour de Lake: This race was 2 weeks after the Allamuchy race and after a fairly heavy workout week as I've been trying to play catchup of course. I headed in being happy if I stayed with the group to Edison road. We fired out of the lot pretty hot through the first few corners and the pace was pretty steady and fast around the lake. We got to 181 and made the left up the hill and I felt the legs starting to give way. I was trying to use as little energy as I could to stay with the group. I wasn't feeling fresh by a long shot and the pavement was sketchy at best after the hard winter we had. So I kept up the tempo and stayed with the group down the Glen, then over to Ogdensburg where the legs were burning and I knew Edison was over. I wouldn't be able to hang with the group. I told my teammates to go as I was cooked and wouldn't you know it, that's right when I got a flat tire. I nursed it up to the aid station by the lake that like just ahead. I chatted with the guys at the station, put in a new tube, a tire boot from a granola bar wrapper, saw a few guys pass and jumped back out to latch on. One of the guys who passed was my teammate - so my strategy was to catch his group and pull him away so we could work together and finish strong. It worked, I got him away and we used each other to finish the race. Unfortunately there were some confusing arrows and all the racers got lost so the ending order was jumbled a bit after a few hard efforts. I think I was still 16th or so for not feeling well and getting lost. It was a fun day on the road with great people.

Mohican 100 - is by far my favorite race of the year. I always like for this to be a peak of my season and from a training standpoint, it wasn't by far. For this race I didn't really prep well with so much going on in life. Buying a new house, a couple of funerals, and the craziness of life got in the way. So I headed out with 2 teammates and did my best. I completed the first 3 hours or so pretty well and was in the fight for a while. On the initial road climb I felt like a dog and barely got over the hill. I entered the singletrack in probably 60th position overall and just hoped to get by a bunch as the race went on. I rode the singletrack well with the eventual master's winner but he ran away literally on the first hike a bike. So on to the gravel roads I had been feeling well and staying on top of nutrition and hydration. For once I focused on this primarily hoping it would be the key to success in this race. It worked well but still wasn't enough for the heat and humidity. It was in the upper 80's all day with very high humidity. I started cramping around 4 hours in and that would continue most of the day. With the cramping the power dropped and made for some fun later. The new singletrack that was added was greasy too and added a few too many hike a bikes to be enjoyable. I could have done without that. The rest of the race was in conservation mode and just setting a steady pace when possible. I finished in 8:44, very happy with a sub 9 time with the given fitness I had. Under normal circumstances I would have finished in the low 8's for sure.

So all in all not too bad on the racing scene even though I've been doing less than expected. It's been great to get out and ride and compete and keep myself sane. I have a few more races coming up but nothing set in stone. More to come.

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