tour de victoria 2012

I’ve been meaning to do a Tour de Victoria post but I haven’t felt inspired. A few days ago, K asked me (via email), how it went, and here’s my reply to her:


My ride was great. I was trying to not have high expectations, mostly since I’d had a three week break from training because of Saudi, but I had the thought that if I finished it in 4:15, I’d be ecstatic. I told Greg to expect me at around 4:30, 4:45.

It was a great day weather-wise. I remember the ride a bit more this year than I did last year, maybe because this year I rode it mostly by myself. Last year I had Ann and I’m sure our chatting distracted me. That and the pain. 🙂 I think I was a bit more aware this year, too. I found it a bit odd that I couldn’t remember huge portions of the first one, so I think I tried to be more aware of where I was.

Anyway, we had to do Munns road this year, which is a brutal climb (that we didn’t do last year). I had ridden it four times before the race, so I knew I could do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard!! It turned out that Greg caught up to me on this climb (earlier than expected — he was doing the longer portion and was whizzing along), so that was a nice boost, and then I started chatting with another girl for a good portion of the climb. Which made me not so conscious of the fact that my legs were complaining loudly and I sounded like I was going to have a heart attack.

Munns was near the beginning, so it was nice to have that under my belt. We then continued along through Brentwood Bay and every Saanich municipality under the sun, out to the ferries. During this time I again chatted a bit with another woman, and then she eventually took off. I found this part of the ride the hardest. I remember looking down and seeing 30 km and thinking that we were not yet a third through, and I was tired. How was I going to make 100 km? (For the record, I’d never actually ridden 100 km before the race…90 was my furthest). But I kept plodding along. I passed the half way point and that was a mental milestone. I was on my own for the rest of the ride…it’s not that I didn’t want to find a group that I could draft with, it’s just that every group that came by was too fast, and I didn’t actually pass any groups — just individual people. I am definitely a loner when it comes to exercise, though, as I was fine by myself. There were a few aid stations along the way but early on I decided not to stop, and I literally did not get off my bike for the whole race.

Going through Cordova Bay I was pretty pooped, and I knew I had two large hills left — Ash and King George Terrace. Friends had told us they’d be at one or the other. I went up Ash looking for them, but they weren’t there. I was a bit disappointed, but it turned out fine, as knowing they were going to be on KG Terrace really helped me along. I had internal conversations with myself saying that once I reached 80 km, I was going to start pushing it a bit more. Turns out I didn’t have a lot left, so that changed to 90 km, and in the end it was only the last three km that I was able to give anything more to.

When I got to King George Terrace I knew L and T would be there, and sure enough they were at the top of the second hump, cheering and ringing their cowbell. It was SOOOO nice to see them. After that it was pretty much downhill to the finish line, and less than 10 km to go.

From about 50 km on, I kept looking at my bike computer and the time, and attempted to do time math in my head…a great way to keep myself occupied. I realized that I was making some good time, and realized I just might make my 4:15 goal. I tried to tell myself that it would be fine if I didn’t. It was apparent that I’d get in under 4:30, unless I royally screwed up, and I think I would have been just fine with that…but I ended up getting in at 4:13. It was awesome, except Greg
missed me at the finish line because he wasn’t expecting me so early.

After 4:13 hours on my bike, not getting off at all, I was pretty sore when I got off. The only thing that helped was squatting. And the beer I had right afterward.

I don’t know what the plan will be for next year…whether I do this race again, or maybe do the 140 km. Or maybe something entirely different. But I do know that I really enjoy riding, and every time I get on my bike I feel like I belong on it.

like a ton of bricks

Yesterday morning I was about 20 minutes into my run at Thetis and I took a step over a rock and didn’t lift my foot up enough. The tip of my foot grazed the rock, and it was enough to trip me. I wasn’t able to right myself (I think because I was going downhill, but I’m not sure what actually happened) and I went down hard on my left side. You know how when you fall your instinct is to go down with hands and knees first? I don’t think I had time to do that…I just went down. Full left side contact with the (rocky) ground. Knee, thigh, elbow, shoulder, head and both hands all took damage. I think my knee and shoulder are the worst in terms of tenderness.

I stayed down for a few seconds assessing the damage. At the time I was acutely aware of the fact that I hit my head. Not because it hurt that much, but because it just seemed so odd to fall and not be able to protect my head. Then I was aware of the different parts that were hurting. I slowly got up and determined I could walk with little trouble, so I started making my way along the trail. About two minutes later (and this is where shock and adrenaline are amazing things), I decided that I wasn’t going to let a fall ruin my run, and I ran 10 more minutes back to the car. As I write this a day and a half later I have no idea how I managed that.

I drove home a bit concerned about how I was going to get the dirt out of all my cuts, and feeling really apprehensive about the shower that I would have to have. The shower was excruciating, and it made me nauseous. I was able to clean up most of the cuts, but there were two on my right hand that were chock full of dirt that I couldn’t get it out — it hurt too much. I tried again after the shower (with a nail brush of all things) and I almost puked. So, feeling like an idiot I went off to the clinic to get them cleaned up. By this point all shock had worn off and my whole left side felt like it had been pummelled.

The doctor at the clinic agreed that the dirt had to come out. He tried to loosen it up a bit by running my hand under water, and then he proceeded to take a gauze pad and scrub. Like you’d scrub burned food off a frying pan. I was sitting in a chair while he did the smaller of the two cuts. He kept asking me how I was (sweet man), and before he started on the bigger cut he insisted I lie down. I was thankful, as it was awful. But he got it all out, and I left the clinic with a fresh bandaid, a bright red palm, and two cuts that were stinging like the dickens.

I went to work which was a good distraction and then had a beer at lunch which I think helped with the pain a bit. I got home and popped some Ibuprofen. Greg is camping with Amy this weekend and I was very thankful to have just one child, and the more independent child at that. While I’m mobile and certainly able to walk, both leg and arm movement hurt. If I lie down for a while and then get up, there is some pretty intense pain in my knee as all the blood rushes back down to all the cuts. And the top of my shoulder is extremely tender. The lightest touch makes me cringe. Oh, and when I took my bandaids off this morning to change them, they all stuck to the cuts so I had to rip them off. I borrowed some Polysporin from my neighbour when I reapplied the bandaids, so hopefully that won’t happen again.

With the exception of a trip I had on a pipe while running in a school field (which I don’t really count because the pipe was totally hidden), I’ve never fallen when running. I do tend to not pick up my feet as much as I should, though, and based on this experience I think I will try to be a bit more aware of my footing. Because this is a real inconvenience. I’m in pain, I’m kind of grumpy, I’m very tired, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do any exercise for at least a week.

I feel like a total dweeb for doing this to myself, and I feel old…this kind of fall 10 years ago wouldn’t have hurt me as much, I’m sure. But it could have been worse. It could have been the Friday before my bike race. I would not have been able to ride, which would have been extremely disappointing. And I could have hurt myself a whole lot more, especially if I’d cracked my head harder. But the experience has reminded me how vulnerable we are.