Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SO great until CRASH

My 2008 tri season has been wonderful.  Great races, fun new friends, training weekends, a family relay... and this past weekend was no exception - well, until I crashed.

Gail and I have had many conversations about riding to her parents place in Brevard, NC.  Through a few emails the trip came into fruition... Chris Giordanelli, Rick & Gail Kattouf, and I would ride from Greenville to Brevard.  Janis Giordanelli would drive our gear up and my parents would come over from Franklin.

So, on Saturday morning we met at the Kattouf's (overachiever G-man actually rode his bike there from Simpsonville).  Janis collected our stuff and we set off.  About 1 mile into the ride Rick already had to pee... and announced that he would be making frequent pit stops.

The ride was gorgeous.  Furman to Caesar's Head.  We climbed to the top - and I hoped they didn't have to wait long for me ;)  Making our way to Brevard was breathtaking: smooth roads, downhill, tailwind, clear day, cooler than avg temps... Gman and Rick even added a time trial effort for good measure.

Right when we pulled onto main street, we saw Janis waiting at a coffee shop.  A block later, we spotted Doug and Sally Long.  The decision was made to have lunch at a burrito joint - so, we all made our way to the restaurant.

Lunch was hilarious... Gail fashioned braces out of foil, Gman imitated himself trying to tie a cherry stem with his tongue, I showed off my tongue tricks, and Sally got pictures of it all.

After lunch, the 4 of us got back on our bikes for the 15 mile ride to Gail's parents home.  My parents and Janis would meet us there... after my dad made a stop at the Sears and ABC store - which were next to each other, heaven in his eyes.

Man, that last 15 miles were more difficult than the entire 45 that got us to Brevard.  The neighborhood itself is a roller coaster of asphalt - Gman's garmin even went into "rest mode" since we were going under 3.5 mph.

Finally, we made it to Gail's parents home (they are in Florida - so we were free to party down).  Oh and cut loose we did ;)  Gman busted out the grape Gatorade and we toasted to a great ride.  After a bit of R&R, we literally suited up and headed to the lake.  Beautiful, even though I was toasted - this lake was too amazing to pass up.  Dad, Gail, G, and I jumped in for a swim... I think Sally did her own 800.  Rick and Janis were great cheerleaders.  The ride had seriously spent my legs, so I did the 45 min without any kicking.  Gail and I tried to keep up with Doug (who rotated between breast, back, and free).  

When we finally climbed out of the water - Gail suggested a very easy hike.  Really, does this girl EVER slow down... I think NOT.  Normally, the hike would have been no big deal - but with tired bodies, G and I noted every hill and climb.  We hiked to the Falls - Awesome sight, and worth the extra pain.

Making it back to the house, we all cleaned up and went into downtown Brevard for dinner.  Wonderful outdoor seating at a restaurant called Maple - good food, good conversation, good times... and good marathon updates from anyone going inside to the restroom.

My parents split off after dinner - while the rest of us went on an ice cream hunt.  Rick, and the savvy use of his cell phone / gps / navigation thing found us some options.  We ended up at Sonic... in some horrible act of fate, we got a male server - on skates.  I haven't been that embarrassed since high school.  Rick and Chris - you guys are horrible.

We got home right as the Kenyan made his way toward the Bird's nest.  Perfect timing.  Some Olympic viewing, then it was off to bed.  I had no problems falling asleep.

Sunday morning was a relaxed pace.  Rick made coffee, we caught up on the olympics, people were stretching all over the place - and we got our stuff together for Janis to sherpa back to Greenville.

Again, Rick had to pee even before we left the driveway.  Then, we were off.  I knew the neighborhood was hilly, I knew it had rained during the night - and still, I took the first major downhill too fast.

By now, many of you know the story.  Thanks to Gman and Jen for getting the word out.  I hate that I had to interrupt this epic weekend with an epic crash.  I remember it all TOO well: going off the road, trying to stay on my bike, hitting some rocks, avoiding trees, then rolling and rolling and rolling.  Smashed my head during one of the rolls - but a great Rudy helmet saved my skull.  As I made it back up to the road, hoping Gail and Rick would see me, I felt the 1st signs of pain in my shoulder.  It hurt so bad, I couldn't yell for them to stop.  They did pass me, and see me... Chris made his way back. 
**thanks SO MUCH to Chris for fixing my bike while we waited for the ambulance, to Chris and Gail for collecting my gear (the lenses had even popped out of my sunglasses), and to Rick for flagging down a car and getting EMS on the scene.

It made no sense for Chris to come to the hospital, so we sent him on his way.  Rick and Gail came with me to the ER - and called my parents.  The next few hours included MRI's, X-rays, IV's, pain meds, a tetanus shot, etc...  My parents got there and my Dad took Rick and Gail back to their bikes.

I was released from the Transylvania County Hospital that afternoon.  Diagnosed with a broken clavicle and 1st rib.  Not too much road rash, but a pretty sore left hip (pulled hip flexor).

I stayed at my parents place in Franklin, NC until Tuesday.  My mom gave me a bath and force chocolate milk down my throat.  Yesterday, I saw an orthopedist at Piedmont Orthopedic.  They took another x-ray - and said I'll need surgery to pull the clavicle bone back down.  Can't do much for the rib, except avoid laughing.

Right now, I sit here in major pain - but disappointment is setting in.  I'm bummed about missing nationals, and the rest of tri season.  However, up until now - I've had a great 2008.  I've made so many new friends, friendships have grown stronger, and training/racing was the best I've known.

Thanks to everyone for the voice mails, emails, text messages, blog comments, etc... It reminds me why I do these crazy things.  Athletic accomplishments are one thing - but Epic weekends and Epic friendships make this ride of life worthwhile.


Mendy said...

Wow! Ashley. If you need anything at all, please let David and I know.

The pictures of ya'lls weekend are Great, and looked like a wonderful time up until the crash.

I like your positive attitude, keep it up - you'll heal faster than you think.

Mendy said...

BTW, that pic of Chris is freakin' hilarious. He's a nut...

Sally said...

So sorry to hear about your broken bones. I know you enjoy the biking and your friends. Please be careful. I'll be here thinking about you. with lots of love,

sunshine said...

So sorry about the crash, Ashley! I'm sure your super disappointed, but I'm glad you're okay. Sending you heal fast wishes!!!

P.S. Netflix is fabulous when you can't do a lot of moving around... :)

Beth said...

OH MY GOSH Ashley!!!! I am so glad to hear you are okay (relatively) but WOW!!! I know you must be disappointed but it sounds like you already have good perspective and a great attitude about the whole situation. I'm bummed for you. But (unfortunately) it's part of the sport.

I hope the pain isn't too bad!! Although I know broken ribs are about the worst possible pain around. Hang in there. Hope surgery goes well and I am sending many, many healing vibes!! Take care - you are in my prayers!!

David said...

From what G-man said about the helmet (looked like a shark had taken a bite out of it), I want so see some pics of the damage.

Glad you are okay and in good spirits! Looking forward to you doing the one-handed clapping while cheering for me at upcoming races!

Get better, okay?

Danni said...

I am sorry about your crash Ashley!
I hope healing goes well and it is speedy. Keep those spirits up!

Andrea said...

I broke my clavical last year - at the beginning of the season and had to sit the whole year out.

I was not as lucky (unlucky?) as you though. I did not have surgery for mine. I hear the recovery time is shorter with surgery...and I would assume you'll be less likely to have a huge bump on your shoulder from the re-calcification...but then there is a scar...

ANYWAY...heal fast and soon!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Okay Ashley, my South Carolina Soul Sister... I was so sad to hear about your epic crash, but grateful that you're (for the most part) okay. I've heard that broken ribs are pretty painful, so do your best to avoid laughing - I do not recommend going into Publix with an unnamed friend who propositions men for dates on your behalf. Jazz apples or not. ;)

Hang in there - I'm cheering for you from Florida... you've had a fantastic season and I know that 2009 will be even better. :)

Donna Stullken said...

Hey Ashley,

Thinking about you here in Atlanta- sorry to hear about your crash, lots of good healthy healing vibes your way!

Donna (from gulfcoast half) :-)

Meredith said...

Dang, girl! I am catching up on blogs and just saw this! I am sorry to hear of the misfortune...but you have a SUPER attitude and you know, it's gonna heal quicker than a least you'll be able to run sooner, your fave of the 3, right??? Hang in are lucky the 'rents are close by to help with stuff....Thinkin of ya!

Chad Crocker said...


Sorry to hear about your crash. I clicked on your blog from Katie's page. I broke mine a few years ago. You can google chad crocker broken collarbone and see a 5 month report on my healing process. If you had surgery and they put a plate in, you should be back swimming and biking in less than a month. I used to race motorcycles with guys that had it done and they were racing within two weeks. Take care.


Alicia Parr said...

Oh CRAP!!! Serious bummer about Nationals. Hope you heal up fast and with nary a complication. Now the part about it hurting to laugh-- that REALLY stinks. No fun at all.

Anonymous said...

Ashley, Lindsay told us what happened... and we are so glad you didn't break anything else. Thinking of you and hope you heal quickly.

Say hi to your mom, dad and Sarah.

Take care, Mrs. G

Mira Lelovic said...

I am so sorry to hear about your crash. The clavicle is one of the most painful bones to break. Hope you heal fast! I know you will, and Jen will have you back at it!