Thursday, August 28, 2008

Elk River Touring Center

Over the years, I've done a Women's Singletrack Clinic at the Elk RIver Touring Center in Slatyfork, WV. This is a super fun weekend that gets ladies out in the wilds of West Virginia to learn to ride the rough stuff. Its a relaxing and encouraging environment to try some of the more challenging and often slippery terrain around Slatyfork. Its skills oriented but we also do longer rides in the Monongehela National Forest. Plus, the food at Elk River is amazing as well is the hospitality.

The dates are September 19, 20 and 21. The rate for the weekend is $409 fro a room with shared bath and $509 for a room with private bath, based on double occupancy. I won't be able to ride much or at all depending on my healing, but I should be able to do skills work, observe riding techniques and discus ways to improve your riding experience. Meredith Erlewine, longtime Elk River guide from Athens, OH is planning to be here as well as Sue George, experienced guide and professional Yoga instructor from Harrisonburg, VA.

If you have any questions please email or call Elk River and ask for Mary Willis at 866-572-3771.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

5 weeks into a broken leg

Thank god for the olympics. Its been sweet watching them while I'm laid up. I got to watch the mtb last night on They had a lot of cameras and did a much better job of showing the race than in Athens. Congrats to all the racers who stuck it out for there was a high rate of attrition. Congrats to Mary and Georgia for staying composed and having solid rides. Between the pressure and the conditions it looked less than fun. The people at the front made it look fast and easy. The others were more realistic looking...pain and suffering. I love mtbing, but it just is hard to translate to TV really well. And when things get spread apart it gets a lot less interesting. Who cares, though? Its the Olympics and mtb fans are the most loyal. So the moral of the story for me its don't! But BMX is freakin' wicked awesome. I'll watch that anytime. Jill Kintner is a bronzemember!

My leg is doing good. I went to the doctor and he said come back in 4 weeks. He didn't take an X-ray or anything. He didn't say much at all. I asked won't I be weight bearing before that because that would be 8 weeks. He said that he wouldn't recommend it. I did talk him into Physical Therapy. That's good and gives me something productive to do( and self-centered which is what being a pro athlete is mostly about).

I've been in the pool which is conveniently located across the street. I can wheelchair over there and do some laps. I'm training to beat Jenny Smith in the Xterras. Don't worry Jenny, its going to be a while.

I also am now on a bike! I've ridden the stationary bike without a problem. And today I went out on a little neighborhood spin. It felt good!

We babysat for the puppy "Campy". Even though she is so,so cute, Ruby growled at her the whole time. She is a jealous little thing.

I'm so impressed that a first year stage race like the american mtb classic can give out $500 per stage win and then a really good overall cash prize. Its a shame not many racers turned out. I think there are 10 women. I was planning on going. Hopefully JB will pull out the win and LLC will get her endurance going. Hopefully kiwi Jenny won't have too many flashbacks from the Cape Epic.

Tim got another car. That brings the total number of cars in front of the house to 9. Eight people live in our house. One time someone asked us if we are a used car dealership. He calls it his manweekend car. Its a 1982 Volkswagon Rabbit. It is funny seeing it next to the 2006 GTI. The GTI looks huge.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gold Member

Congrats to Kristin Armstrong for winning a gold medal in the time trial. I was a teammate to Kristin on T-mobile. She is the good Type A.

4 weeks

Time is flying by.This is the first time that I've been home for four weeks straight since December. Its been nice that way.

I always knew that I wasn't type A. A lot of bike racers are. I mean I got voted most laid back in high school. I'm pretty mellow(most of the time). This broken leg has reminded me of my ability to relax. This is all in all a good thing. But sometimes I get worried that I'm not ambitious enough or driven. I mean if some people had four weeks to figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives, they would have a couple great plans by now. But so far I have nada. Its not the broken leg that has me worried...its the whole job/career thing. Of course, I never planned on being a professional cyclist, so I'm sure something great will happen over time.

The leg is healing good. Good enough to get a professional pedicure from my friend and neighbor, Dana. It makes me happy to see some colored toenails. The swelling has gone down a good bit. I can just start to see some tendons and my ankle bones. My range of motion is much better. I'm relatively pain free. A change in the weather is the only thing that really bothers it.

I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday. At this point, an Xray should show that the bones are healing. I think I'm getting closer to some partial weight bearing and physical therapy. I'm going to get another acupuncture treatment on Tuesday. I also think I'm ready to do a couple minutes of spinning on the trainer and a little swimming. You know, nothing too ambitious!

I did make it to Amara and Jason's wedding. It was very sweet and romantic. Plus there was some good moonshine and fireworks which is always fun at a wedding.

Ruby is still my best buddy. She is staying close to the "weak" family member. I just bought her a fancy new dog brush called the furminator. It is really good. But she isn't a big fan and I'm having a hard time getting her good. Sitting around the house for four weeks and not being able to vacuum makes me realize just how much hair she loses daily. There is dog hair everywhere.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

17 days and on track

I went to my new ortho for my 2 week check up. He is an older fellow, but says he like to ride his bike and go on B+B tours. It is always nice having a connection somehow. He took Xrays and said that whoever did my surgery did an excellent job(Thanks Dr Nofziger!) He said the main point of the Xrays was to make sure everything was in alignment and it was. He can't tell if the bones are healing up yet. He then prescribed a ridiculous western walking boot that weights five pounds. Of course, I can't walk yet, but when I can it will protect me in case of a fall. He said come back and see him in two weeks. It wasn't terrible, but I wasn't impressed. He didn't mention, nutrition, mental aspects or any other special info. He only gave me one exercise to do.

I've been working on my range of motion. My knee is pretty good, but my ankle is really bound up. I have some surgical tubing that I work on ankle flexion with. Flexing the foot is much harder than to point it. I can't see getting on the trainer quite yet. I do lots of leg lifts with my heavy walking boot and stomach exercises and of course lots of quad contractions. I have lots of edema, though. You can press on the skin of my foot and it stays pressed in for minutes.

No offense to traditional western medicine, but I need to supplement with other methods. Today, I went to my Chinese medicine Health Practioners. It was awesomely intense. They first did cranial sacral work and then did accupuncture. I'm not going to say that it doesn't feel really weird. It doesn't really hurt, its just like little electrical currents running though my body. They were able get the stagnant areas moving and better blood flow to the injury. After the needles came out, they massaged the area, especially my little fat pig foot. It felt so good, so much better.

Now the wild thing that is harder to explain and maybe harder for you to relate to is the emotional "cleansing" that took place while the needles were in. Out of nowhere, I just started balling my eyes out, almost hyerpvenilating, shaking uncontrollaby, sweating, but feeling cold. During that time, I had an intense flashback of the events surrounding and including the injury and the hospital and surgery. It was really wild. It was like I really needed to think it all through, cry about it and have a massive release psychologically. I mean its only a broken leg. But its a broken leg for a professional athlete, who was doing her last national championships and who is on the cusp on a major life change. Its hard to look at it as simply ironic.

I am craving a couple of things...a mtb ride in the high elevations of Colorado, kicking and gliding at White Grass and taking my little doggie on a long walk.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

two weeks

I'm having lots more good days than bad days now! I still lay around all day with my leg elevated, but the pain has subsided a ton. Now there is more deep ache and burning.

My sister, Beth, has been taking care of me for the last four days. It has been so nice. She is so happy to attend to any little need that I have. Plus, she has been making the most amazing food for me...summer tomatoes, squash, beets and chard.

I've been obsessed with It is a collection of people's tales with their broken legs. I was thinking about sharing my story, but haven't had the energy yet to do so.

Tim surprised me with a used wheelchair. Now, with help, I can do hot laps in the park across the street to get some exercise.

I see the doctor on monday!