Saturday, January 24, 2009

Working my way back

It seems like almost a hundred years since my crash last April and all the recovery from the injuries. Over the past several months I have hit many obstacles and setbacks- mostly in the form of work and lots of travel. My body itself has been healing much better than I ever dreamed. The knee doesn't bother me at all when I ride- if anything, the other knee bothers me. The right arm still doesn't fully straighten, but I am beginning to learn how to cope with it. The neck, fractured in three places along with the fracture of my skull, is still stiff and sore when I ride much of the time, but I contribute that to so much muscle/ strength loss from wearing the neck brace for 2 months. The thumb... with that ugly reattached tip... is nearly completely healed now. It isn't a pretty thumb or nail, but it is closer to "normal" and fully functional again.

The night of the crash on April 29th, I was feeling super strong. Not the best I've ever felt, but certainly the strongest I've felt in several years. I could feel that a win was coming and I was excited. Also, on the night of the crash, I weighed a more respectable 205 lbs. By the time I left the hospital the second time in mid May, I had dropped to 184lbs. Just last month, in December, I had ballooned up to just over 225lbs. After a visit to my doctor for a blood test found that my cholesterol is too high- like it probably has been for the past 6 years- I decided that all of the waiting for a break in my schedule was going to have to be thrown out and I was going to ride again and at least give myself an even better shot at a longer life. I'm still watching my diet and taking my Prevachol, but I have gotten back on the bike as well. In the past 4 weeks or so, I've really only missed 3-4 days of riding. Granted, much of this riding ranges from a simple spin on the rollers with my fixed gear for an hour to 2 hour rides on the weekends... but it's a far cry from almost NO riding over the previous 4 months.

Today, according to, I managed to get out for 68.64 miles ridden in about 4hrs 20min along the coast and up and down the numerous hills along the way. It's not exactly like doing a scorching team training ride or group ride, but for me it is a big day. When I reached what would have been the half way point for a 35-40 mile ride, I decided that I still felt pretty good and just kept rolling. Again... it's not like I was blasting along at race pace or anything, but I was riding for longer than I had set out to ride. I had hoped to ride for 4-5 hours today, but the realist buried way, way, way down deep in me thought it impossible. I'm as tired as I can be right now, but I am extremely happy about my ride. And, if my legs arenot so totally cooked that I can't walk in the morning, I'm going out again for a much shorter 1-2 hrs to get the kinks out.

My "official" team picture, taken about 2 weeks before the crash on 4/29.

My retake of the picture today, after my ride- not exactly April's fitness, but improving.

The thumb... still a little misshapen, but FAR better than it looked a few months ago.

It's a long way to go before I am in race shape again, but I am closer now than I was in December- and frankly, that's a damned good feeling.

I hope you had a great day of riding too.



The Donut Guy said...

It's all good Tim, coulda turned out much worse.

You're a brave man for posting before and after pictures of your fitness....actually, your "fat" picture isn't really very fat.

I'm sure you'll be ripping it up in no time:-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! That bionic thumb is looking much, much better since I last saw a photo. Good to know you're mending well and getting back in shape so you enjoy the rides.