When I started training for the triathlon, the Husband told me that it’s not a matter of if I will crash on the bike, but when I will crash. Yesterday, I had my crash. And I’m really hoping it counts.
As we were swimming laps, I kept seeing the sky getting darker and darker. I was really hoping that we could finish our swim before hearing thunder followed by lifeguard whistles. Thankfully, we finished that portion of our training and headed out to get our bikes. Maybe my mind was on the fact that the hot and humid morning was starting to feel cooler, and that the wind offering respite from the heat was most likely going to be followed by a nasty storm. Maybe, just maybe, my mind wasn’t completely focused on the mechanics of riding…or even on the balance required to start riding. Maybe I was a little preoccupied with that unsettling feeling that maybe we wouldn’t be finishing the ride that we had planned for that day. Or maybe it was just the time for my crash.
Even though the dark clouds continued to roll in, we decided to at least start the ride. (I suggested a Starbucks stop until the storm passed through, but the pavement would still be wet afterward, and we’d have to tone down the pace anyway. And what training benefit would there be to riding at a slow pace just to get in the training time? We agreed that it was all out now or not at all.) I snapped my shoe into the pedal and BAM!
I don’t even remember the falling part. I just remember realizing that I couldn’t twist my cycling shoe out of the clipless pedal fast enough. But I do remember the landing part. It was mostly on my left palm and forearm. And then what hit even harder than my body on the pavement was the realization that I had just had my crash. IN THE PARKING LOT! And if that wasn’t bad enough, I wasn’t even RIDING! My first crash wasn’t even bragworthy! I had stepped into the left pedal, lifted my right foot off the ground, and before I could even fumble for the right pedal, I fell hard to the left. How humiliating! As I wiped off the blood from my knee, I must have apologized a hundred times to the Husband for ruining our transition time. (If you know the Husband, you know that he was more annoyed by my apologies than anything else.) I couldn’t believe what a stupid mistake I had just made. And we didn’t have time for stupidity. We had a storm to beat!
I tried to laugh about my idiotic crash as we started off. It was mere minutes before the sprinkles began. A few miles in and the sprinkles turned to rain. Any hopes of a long ride were dashed as the rumble of thunder quickly followed.
You know that I am completely driven by “the plan”. The schedule dictated an 80 minute ride, and now the weather was, once again, interfering with my plan. How dare it!
Should we continue? Should we just bike laps through the local neighborhood and keep it close to the truck? The transition from rain to downpour quickly made it clear that we were done for the day.
I was one very unhappy rider. Not only did I have a ridiculous first crash, but now I couldn’t even finish the training ride. I don’t even think we made it five miles.
I suppose I should be thankful. Considering the weather, the wet pavement, and the fact that only a tiny piece of rubber separated me from the pavement, I should actually be extremely grateful for many things:
1. My injuries were minor. (Yes, the bruising will be nasty, and the ache in my arm has now migrated to my shoulder and back, but I’m sure that will subside within days.)
2. I fell by my truck, which amazingly comes with a comprehensive first aid kit. (Apparently, Nissan understands the type who would buy an Xterra!)
3. I have a training partner with common sense who shut down the ride when the rain picked up. As much as I argued against turning back, he was right to call it.
4. We made it back to the truck on wet, slick roads without further injuries.
5. I’m going to believe that I’ve HAD my crash. As embarrassing as it was, if you’re going to crash, doesn’t crashing at 0 mph sound ideal?
So, I’m thankful. I’m a little achy. I need help gripping to open a jar. But I’m healthy, I’m safe, and I am ready for a great training week ahead.
Are you ready, Carla? I have some miles to make up!