Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Horner around every corner

A week since seeing the pulmonary specialist - one more week off the bike to go - finally got a full nights sleep, in any position, without any pain last night. Progress. Baby steps. Staying motivated while your team and others around you fill up the podium and continue to ride into shape is as painful as the injury. I've been thinking a lot this past couple weeks about recovering - and going on.

Getting older = slower recover

Patience little donkey. While that's a fact, it's not an easy pill to swallow - in fact, most of the past week I have been choking down ibuprofen and pain killers with the same lack of zeal.

The Giro di Sardegna wrapped up last week and there he was, last year's Crashing Out poster boy - Chris Horner - finishing a tough second only 4 seconds back of Liquigas' Roman Kreuziger. Not bad at all. And not a scratch on him!

Horner (Chris, not Lena) has been sounding off in my head a lot this past week - especially every time I see an email from guys on the Echelon team, or read local race results, even hearing about the crashes and mishaps in the season's first Banana Belt race. So how did Horner (photo above by Graham Watson) do it? He broke several bones this past year. In fact, it got to be crazy stupid what this guy was going through. Clearly in some of the best form of his life - and a couple days older than teammate Lance Armstrong - he just couldn't stay on the road, at least upright, to show any of it. Yet, he did stay focused and positive (okay, there was that one negative stretch when he was left off the Tour selection... peloton politics). All right Ger, suck it up, this too shall pass.

Learning with each breath
Ya know, breathing is NOT over rated, in fact it's completely under-acknowledged as a ongoing activity of our bodies. This past couple weeks breathing has been a real issue - I think about it almost all the time, 5-7 out of the 20 odd times I inhale per minute. Fewer than 2-3 minutes breeze by without my struggling for a deep breath, inhaling and grabbing my ribs, or flirting with a cough or sneeze that sends me writhing in pain. Breathing. That simple. In the midst of a future race or training or climbing Logie Rd. I'll think, "wow, deep breath, wow!" and marvel at the simple act. I'm taping a reminder note to handlebars.

With doc approval I jumped (actually crawled up slowly) on the bike, locked on the trainer, for the first time since the visit to ER 10 days ago - a simple, very simple, half hour at 34x23 was sweat-breaking and was all my left lung wanted. I got off and wrote the note on the tape - it's going onto the bars now.


BTW - Chris Horner will be serving as the official Pro Ambassador for:

Bend, OR resident, and Team RadioShack® Rider will return to his home state to promote and participate in the state’s inaugural Echelon event

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