General Discussion Triathlon Talk » I got back on the horse today! Rss Feed  
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2013-12-28 11:45 PM

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: I got back on the horse today!

Figuratively speaking...  three months ago I crashed and broke my collarbone, ending my training for my 10th Ironman (Arizona).

Today I went for my first outside ride since then, and of course I went right back to the same trail I crashed on back on 9/29 and repeated the route.  I rode for 20 miles, out to the scene of the crash then back.  Looking at the turn it's sadly obvious how I crashed.  I wasn't paying attention to the road, having twiddled my rear derailleur barrel a quarter mile earlier and thinking about how the bike was shifting instead of the road itself.  And the break turned out to be what is called a butterfly break with commination - in short, a bad break with fragmentation.  So I am not cleared for running or swimming yet, but I can bike as long as I don't crash :-)  Come mid-January I see the doc again and we'll see if the healing is coming along enough so I can start swimming and running again.

Anyway I had a great ride.  Slightly damp, 40 degrees, partly sunny partly cloudy skies. 



Edited by brucemorgan 2013-12-28 11:56 PM




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2013-12-28 11:55 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Veteran
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Morgan Hill, California
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!
That looks like a hairy corner. Glad you were able to get back out there!
2013-12-29 7:24 AM
in reply to: kmac1346

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Veteran
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Concord, MA
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

Glad you got back out there.

That is, indeed, one hairy looking corner.  Did you go down into the metal rail and concrete stanchions?  Yikes...

Hope you're able to get back to running and swimming soon!

Matt

2013-12-29 7:31 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

Glad you are getting back out there but be careful! Maybe you should stick with the trainer for a while .

2013-12-29 7:50 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Master
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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!
Good for you Bruce!

Glad you rode the same spot. Getting out there is half the battle. Never let fear control you, you stay in control.



2013-12-29 8:24 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Master
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Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

I'm glad you were able to get back out there!  That looks like it could have happened to anybody.  Hope you are healing physically and mentally.



2013-12-29 10:49 AM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

Originally posted by mcmanusclan5

Glad you got back out there.

That is, indeed, one hairy looking corner.  Did you go down into the metal rail and concrete stanchions?  Yikes...

Hope you're able to get back to running and swimming soon!

Matt

Thanks!   No I didn't hit the railing, thank god.  That's there to prevent people from going down the 12 foot embankment into the river, which would be even worse. Here's a closer view of the actual turn; it's a sweeper of about 120 degrees total, with the entry just a bit sharper (as you see in the picture above) then getting shallower through the rest of the turn. 

I crashed just a bit past the yellow arrow on the right hand side of the trail (the photo is in the direction I was going).  My right wheel slid out and boom I went backwards hard onto my left shoulder.  I was still on the aerobars when I hit the ground.  I proved it's impossible to for me to take this turn at 18mph on the aerobars on a tri bike with race tires.  Not paying attention, on auto-pilot. 

Now that I look at the picture, it's possible the yellow arrow itself had something to do with my crash.  Pavement paint is well known to be slipperier when wet than the asphalt pavement itself. Perhaps that's yet one more factor in my crash besides speed and conditions.  Still it was 100% my fault.



Edited by brucemorgan 2013-12-29 10:53 AM




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2013-12-29 10:53 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Champion
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Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

I'm glad to see you out riding and revisiting the scene.

Hope you get good news from your doc next month so you can get back to doing more.

 

2013-12-29 12:04 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Master
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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!
Congrats on being able to get out there and ride again, Bruce. That must have been a painful and frustrating past 3 months. I hope you'll be able to enjoy the gradual journey back. Not sure when your doc will allow you to return to swimming, but for what it's worth, my own experience from my collarbone break 3 years ago (less severe than yours) was that swimming seemed to help a lot with recovery. I had ongoing numbness in the shoulder until I started swimming.

(Since my break I've been a committed indoor biker, I almost never ride outside these days, except for organized races/rides. At first it was for the safety/peace of mind, but then it got to be just more convenient and controlled. But less scenic for sure.)
2013-12-29 1:27 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!
Welcome back, I bet it's a relief to at least be cycling again. If this is the turn on the SRT I'm thinking of it's a fairly tight turn. I can see how you might have missed it if you were distracted.
2013-12-29 2:11 PM
in reply to: cnsegura

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

Yes it's a relief to be riding again. And it was just like riding a bike - everything felt normal, although I think I may have been little-old-lady slow on some of the turns.

It's likely the one you're thinking of - locals know this is the turn with all the ducks and chickens.  This is the turn on the Sammamish River Trail (SRT) just before 9 3/4 mark.  The road above is 102nd, and just past that is the gravel parking lot of the Sammamish River Park.  It's a tight and blind turn; in the first picture above you can see a mirror on a pole near my bike.  That mirror lets us see if someone is coming around the corner.



2013-12-29 2:52 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Master
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ann arbor, michigan
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!
I crashed pretty impressively last summer and it was a case of me just zoning out during a hard interval and I stopped paying attention.

I saw my front wheel go in to the groove in the pavement and the next thing you know I was eating asphalt. The road rash and elbow pain was a great reminder to me to pay attention.

It is so easy to lose your concentration out there for just a few seconds and the consequences can be impressive.

Glad you are back out there again.

No surgical correction of the collarbone? Would you go non-surgical again if you had the option of surgery or not?
2013-12-29 4:26 PM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: I got back on the horse today!

Originally posted by wannabefaster No surgical correction of the collarbone? Would you go non-surgical again if you had the option of surgery or not?

Yes I did have surgical correction because I had no real choice - a butterfly break with comminution (fragmentation around the site) has essentially zero chance of healing well without surgery. The plate has 8 screws, 4 on each side of the break. The idea is to stabilize the bone so the break site can heal; to help with that I had to wear a sling for 9 weeks which ended about 2 weeks ago. That checkup went well and the bone is healing well enough; one fragment has fallen slightly out of place but that's OK. I just now can feel a weird indent in the front of the collarbone where the piece used to be. :-)  In the scheme oft things that's not bad at all.  I have a good chance of having 100% range of motion and no long term impact. 

I will likely keep the plate forever; they are not designed for removal but they can be.  That would be a second surgery and then my bone has 8 holes that need to heal just like 8 little breaks.  So removal would be something of a big deal all by itself.

And yes, it's so easy to be distracted. All the little things add up. For me it was "rainy day + very familiar with the trail + fiddled with derailleur minutes before + headphones + second loop of the day past that exact spot + sharp turn + painted arrow on ground = crash"  Perhaps you could subtract just a few of those and I wouldn't have crashed.  The biggest factor was the derailleur adjustment a quarter mile earlier. That's what I was thinking about.

 

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