October 16th marks 5 months since my crash. I’ve been cleared of the head injury, and with just six more weeks of blood thinners, I’m cleared from my pulmonary embolisms. Sometimes it feels I just got over this, other days – it feels like years have passed.
When folks ask how I’m feeling, my answer is — with a shrug — “great.” I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
The shrug comes because I feel like there’s something, some symptom, some lingering injury that should be affecting me, but there isn’t. According to my hematologist, the head injury I suffered usually takes 4 to 6 months to resolve – mine took less than 6 weeks. The neurologist, pulmonologist and hand specialist all kicked me to the curb weeks ago. My head is clear, my body physically feels better than it has in years since I’ve lightened up on training and even my “lump” (hematoma) on the outside of my right thigh has mostly disappeared.
I’ve given up on getting all the feeling back in the places in my face where I had stitches, the spots right below my lower lip and above my right eyebrow. So much so, that I even gave in and scheduled a dental check up that I’d been avoiding because opening my mouth is just different now.
From a training perspective, I’m ready to jump back in. I’ve run a few races – a 10K, a half-marathon part of 70.3 relay, a half-marathon and a 15K. This weekend, I’ll run the Denver Rock n Roll Half. I don’t feel like I’ve put any real training into these; I’ve just been going out for a run when I feel like it. No GPS watches – just running for feel and time. It’s refreshing, enjoyable and truly what I needed. I jump on the trainer occasionally, swim a couple times per week and teach. Devoting more time to my yoga practice and strength training, too.
With 2015 winding down and 2016 on the horizon, I’m already scheduling next year’s season.
I’m off the bike (outdoors) still as the blood thinners make it risky if I were to fall and reopen the head bleed. But, soon as Thanksgiving hits, I can hit the road again (weather permitting). I’m sure my bike training will be more concentrated indoors – everyone has felt it their duty to tell me the horror stories of people they know getting run down on their bike on the road. Most of these stories make me so very thankful for where I am, but they don’t help any mild anxiety I may have had in returning. I don’t have a visceral fear of crashing – it’s all in my head. But the head is powerful.
For 2016, I’ll be focused on the New Orleans Rock N Roll on February 28, then on to the Boulder Ironman 70.3 June 11 and full Ironman on August 7th in Boulder. I’ve got some work to do and, hopefully, am not interrupted.