Thursday, September 25, 2014

Did I Ever Mention That I Have An Incredibly Understanding Wife?

I can't honestly say if I'm a type A or type B personality. The question was asked of me the other night in the ER at Ridges Hospital and Tammy answered that I'm a nice type A (I suppose rather than an obnoxious one). I can't disagree with her assessment but there are things about a type B personality that I very much identify with (see the image to the left) such as being reflective and creative. That's a huge part of who I am but I also see some type-A traits in me as well, like being goal-oriented and driven to achieve. It's good to have goals in life but I suppose it's in how one goes about achieving them that matters.

I'm kind of type A when I'm on my bike. I want to be as strong a rider as I can be and not just someone who leisurely devotes a few hours here or there to the activity. I was the same way when I was a runner and it's pretty much why I had to stop running in 1992 after years of pounding the pavement to be as fast as I could be. I enjoyed those years and my accomplishments on the road in addition to my fitness but was it worth it? If my knees could talk, they would say no.

I don't race my bike because I know I'll push myself harder than I should in training and on race day and that my riding will soon go the way of my running and be no more. My knees are happy with this decision.

But just because I'm not racing doesn't mean I'm not still being competitive on my bike. Strava is a site where people can upload data from tracking devices used in cycling and running plus some other activities. Once your data is uploaded, you can analyze it and see how it compares with others who are training over the same routes. It's not ideal because too often you're comparing activities done in varying weather conditions but still, it gives you somewhat of an idea about how you measure up against those in your age group or overall. The easiest way to see this is through what are called 'segments'. A segment is where someone will identify a stretch of road (oftentimes a hill but not always) on the Strava site and if you know where that segment begins and ends, you can give it your all and see how close to the top of the leaderboard for that section you can get. Do you have what it takes to capture the KOM (King of the Mountain) for a segment? Strava tracks it all. It's fun and adds some motivation to a ride when I'm feeling up to it.

I went out last Friday, intent on placing my name toward the top of one of the segments I often ride. It's a two-mile section of road not far from where I work out in the cornfields of Farmington. It didn't help that I had over 350 miles of riding in my legs from the previous week but it helped that I had a nice breeze to aid me.

Video of my KOM attempt.

How quickly things can change. I couldn't do that ride again tomorrow to save my life because it appears I let the type A part of my personality get the better of me.

I went out Monday after work intent on trying to get in 70 miles before the sun went down. All was going well until 47 miles into my ride when I fell asleep. I actually fell asleep out on the road on my bike and I crashed hard!

I couldn't believe it!

There was a man and his son who witnessed my fall from the oncoming lane and came to my aid. Jeff said it appeared to him that I passed out just before I went down. I thought about what he said while we waited for help to arrive and no, I couldn't recall the moments before my crash although I could distinctly recall sensing that I'd lost my line on the road and I was very much conscious in the moment where I tried unsuccessfully to make a correction just before going down. I think I must've felt my center of gravity shift from possibly slumping from my position and that's when I awoke and realized too late what was happening.

It's easy to get into a rhythm out there, in fact, that's what you strive for. Couple that with Pink Floyd's Echoes which was playing in my ears, it appears it was too much for my sleep-deprived body having only had 4 hours the previous night.

What's really odd for me is that the data collected by my Garmin Edge 705 shows that right up until about 4 seconds before I nodded off I had a good cadence and was generating no small amount of power. The graph on the left shows my speed, power (measured in watts), heart rate and cadence for the mile before the crash. I would've thought that there would've been a gradual decline in output leading up to the crash but there wasn't; just maybe 4 seconds where I simply stopped pedaling.

Jeff asked if I needed him to call someone. I felt that was a good idea as I sat dazed and hurting on the shoulder of the highway. Deputy Sheriff Duane arrived a few minutes later and asked me some simple questions to determine how best to proceed: what's today's date and who is the president? I passed but he still felt it best to have an ambulance crew look at me. They would eventually arrive from Shakopee 15 or more minutes later. After checking my vital signs and answering some questions for them, they gave me the all-clear to proceed home with the recommendation that I go in for X-rays.

I was so grateful for Officer Duane's offer to take me the 25 miles to home. Tammy was working in her office and the last thing I wanted was for her to get a phone call telling her that I'd crashed my bike. One of those calls is enough and I wanted to be there when she found out.

After several hours in the ER at Ridges Monday night, they determined that I didn't sustain any fractures, just contusions and soft tissue damage to my tailbone, hip, and ribs. Painful stuff though that makes some of the simplest movements nearly impossible. I'm thankful for pain meds! It was all I could do to shuffle my way upstairs and into bed after finally getting home.

But I'm on the mend.

Did I ever mention that I have an incredibly understanding wife?

(The video below begins 60 seconds before my crash)


Rich Kessler said...

Not sure where this "A" & "B" list of traits came from, but after all these years of thinking I was a type "A", looking at this I'm almost exclusively type "B". What a surprise.

Kevin said...

Rich, I would've never figured you to be type A. I know you're motivated and have many interests in your life but you go about them in a way that I wouldn't associate with being type A. I suppose there are some good things about type A but the title typically seems earned by those who are self-centered, pushy and run over anybody who gets in their way. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding what it means to be type A.