It’s May but in the Northeast you would swear it has to be October - anyone who lives in these parts knows that this winter has to be one of the longest, coldest, wettest that we have had to deal with in a long long time.
Each year I’m lucky enough to escape the cold by heading south to Florida for a couple weeks. I always try to plan this stay in a way that I come back to New York just when the weather turns to spring and I can ride outside.
This year I got lucky I headed south earlier than normal to join my team for a training camp in Clermont. I personally am a huge fan of our training camps - it’s great motivation to train with others on the team as well as get to know other athletes that are not part of QT2 at all - which normally changes after camp - most are “converted” after seeing why our method just works.
Camp had the extra bonus of being able to spend some time with Patrick - who had moved from NYC to Florida in the fall and whom I had not seen enough since then.
Camp threw us some curve balls - all of us had traveled quite a ways to escape the cold to get some solid training in and some sunshine - well not so much - of course the 5 days of camp Florida went through a cold spell combined with non-stop rain.
We did get some solid training in - but also loaded up the tool shed as I like to call it.
Our long ride day was 6 hours of non-stop down pours in a pace line that was equal to that of a freight train - I can say I have never ridden so hard for so long - it was amazing.
I really feel like I gained a ton of fitness in those few days and some amazing friends.
After camp I headed south and stayed work out of our Palm Beach shop for next month and could not be more grateful that life allows me to do so - while I was getting weather reports from up north about he worst winter of all time the weather down South could have not been more perfect it almost seemed unreal - I submerged my self into training and eating clean it was time for the winter training layer to come off and get back to racing shape - everything could have not been going more perfectly - I was feeling strong, solid and focused - weight was coming off nicely and I was back to training weight during my last week before heading home to taper before heading out to CA for Oceanside - when my world got flipped upside down.
My last long training ride I drove north on my parents for 45 min to get away from too much traffic and road north brand new stretch of road to explore for 100+ miles - just heaven - everything was going so well it was cool when I started so the HR stayed nice and low for the first hours and then built nicely - I could not see the numbers I was seeing the final days after putting in the hours that I had at camp and then overload into Oceanside - I was getting really excited to race - only an hour left to go in the ride coming over what I think was the highest bridge in Florida I had every ridden over everything change in 2 sec….. I can not even recall how it all went down but I was flying over the bridge when I felt a car right behind me then a honk then a tap then I went flying and found myself sliding across the side walk bottles flying everywhere - my Garmin recorded that I most have hit ground at about 35 mph.
F… is all that went through my head - OCEANSIDE - the car of course kept going - no one stopped - this was not my first dance with the pavement so I got up “shook” it off collected my bottles and assed the damage to me and the bike - looked up and down my right side discovered lots of road rash but thankfully my hip felt ok but I also knew I had about an hour before the shock would wear off and the pain would set in. I had about an hour left in my ride to get me back to my car and I knew the only help I could call where my parents who were at least 1:30 - 2:00 - so I asked myself if this were race day would you quit - of course the answer was easy no - so I got back on my bike and tried to get home - all didn’t seem to bad - my right shoulder felt a little stiff which made me think of my teammate Amy Javens - who had just crashed at pro camp and injured her should and was out of the pool for 10 day - and I thought 10 no problem still good to race in CA.
Then I came to the first stop light and had to get up out of my aero bars and put weight on my shoulders - the pain with through my like lighten worse than anything I had every felt in my life it’s then I knew - game over.
I managed another 40 min to get closer to my parents in cold sweat from the pain that was getting worse by the minute - I managed to get to a CVS before my parents got to me - my father is not a fan of triathlon to put it lightly so I knew this was only going to be one more thing he could hold against me - so I wanted to make sure to clean my self up before they saw me.
To make this long story a little shorter - the next few hours day and weeks played out like this:
Urgent Care - for X-Rays - which showed yup I snapped my clavicle ( collar bone ) right off the tip into my should socket - form Urgent Care to the emergency room - all this with no fluids or food after 110+ miles in the saddle because they thought I would need surgery - after being left for dead in the hall way of the hospital and some back and fourth with Tara and Jesse I checked myself out after getting my hands on some pills to manage my pain and with the help of Colin made arrangements to go see a specialist on Monday.
The next week was humbling and painful - I do not tend to complain or even mention pain but man this hurt A LOT. For the first time in my life I had to learn to ask for help - my mother had to go back to giving me baths and the most amazing group of friend rallied around me to take care of me in ways that I never thought possible - nothing short of my friend Amy ( who happens to be a nurse ) flying down to Florida from NH to drive my arse home in time for my friends John’s Birthday - everything has a silver lining this one was to show my who my family really is and that is ok to lean on them with all your body weight and then some.
So needless to say I did not race Oceanside - but I am back to full training well almost and I did manage to get at least a 70.3 under my belt.