Chicago Marathon Training Week 15 – Disaster Strikes

Things were going reasonably smoothly for my training until last Saturday. That’s when disaster struck.

Early on Saturday morning, I started the ride at 6:30AM with the Cyclologic group. There were about 10 of us. Everything was going peachy smooth in the group with casual conversation about nothing important. It was a lovely morning for a bikeride. We took the usual route going North zigzagging through a few roads with very little traffic up to Jomax Road in North Scottsdale. Since I only wanted to bike around 20 miles, I split up from the group to head back to the shop. Shelly decided to join me (she had Achilles surgery a few months back and is also on an easy schedule). We rode South on Pima Road and took a left on Pinnacle Peak to climb the last hill before cruising downhill all the way to the bike shop.

Shelly and G – just before the accident
Lovely morning in North Scottsdale

The uphill was against the wind and tough but we eventually reached atop the hill without any incident (the above two pictures were taken at the high point).

We started the easy ride down on perfectly smooth blacktop meandering through a few neighborhoods and ultimately ended up going East on Adobe Dr. We were going slightly downhill talking casually when it happened.

I saw a slight protrusion in the road at the very last second. It was a bump only about a foot wide and about 4 inches tall but my front wheel hit it with gusto and my whole bike flew at an awkward angle. By the time my front wheel landed, I had lost control. I tried to correct myself, over-corrected, swayed this way and that at 18MPH and realized that a crash was imminent. I flew off the handle (now I know where the phrase comes from), chest first, superman style and landed on my chest with a harsh thud. In that split second, there were two thoughts that went through my head, “how many bones am I going to break” and “there goes my Chicago Marathon!” As I fell, I heard Shelly scream something like, “oh no, watch out, holy $hit!”

Elbow scrape

I lay there for about 30 seconds stunned from the shock, afraid to move. I hadn’t heard a crack but had no idea what was broken. Shelly hastily came to me with a look of grave concern and asked me if I was okay. Fortunately, for as harsh as my fall was, I got away with no broken bones (that I know of yet) but lots of surface wounds and heaviness on my chest. She asked me if I hit my head. I didn’t. I hadn’t even cracked my sunglasses. They remained in place as if nothing had happened. My iPhone in my pocket was fine too!

Both of us were pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t badly hurt. When I got up, blood was oozing out of my elbows, knees and thumbs. My bike had scrapes all over (as did I); the chain was off and one of the brake levers was bent. Even with my limited mechanical skills, I was able to fix all of it quite easily. It took me about 10 minutes to catch my breath, get my bearings and hop on the bike again to ride back to the shop. If you are reading this, thank you Shelly for being so awesome!

Knee scrape

I drove home and had Binita check me out. She gave me first-aid, checked out my pain points, scolded me for not paying attention (I deserved it) and comforted me. My right knee was swollen. I put ice on it and rested for the remainder of the morning and afternoon. I knew I would be sore for at least a couple of days. I also knew that my surface wounds would heal eventually but would be irritants for at least a week. My biggest concern was my chest impact. It remains a concern as I write this (more on that next week).

Overall though, I am fine. My marathon pace will surely be slower but as of this writing, I still plan to run the Chicago Marathon on October 8 (again, more on that next week).

I was to run 10 miles last Sunday which I skipped. I will blog again from Chicago (before the race) and let you know how I am progressing. One thing I do know is that my race-plan which I had so carefully prepared is out the window. I wanted to run a 3:40 Marathon but now I have no expectations.

Here are my training sessions this week (in case you care):

  • Monday, September 25: Rest Day
  • Tuesday, September 26: Run | 5.3 miles | 43:59 mins | Parsus Office
  • Wednesday, September 27: Rest Day
  • Thursday, September 28: Run | 7.1 miles | 1:02 hrs | The Village
  • Friday, September 29: Rest Day
  • Saturday, September 30: Bike | 21.0 miles | 1:21 hrs | North Scottsdale (crashed hard)
  • Sunday, October 1: Rest Day (cancelled 10-mile fast-finish run because of crash)

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