E. had been gracious enough to join me, despite the fact that she isn't really training for anything, and I was so grateful for the company. We were just a few miles from home, and I decided to take a route that would give us a few more miles. It was sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and I had been daydreaming about the bacon and egg sandwich I was going to make myself for dinner. Kel had planned on taking the boys out if I wasn't home by dinner, which we both knew would be iffy when I left.
We were riding on a fairly busy road, but one which I feel safe on because of the very wide shoulder. I was leading and we were both in the shoulder, probably going around 17-18 mph. All of a sudden a car accelerated quickly past us and then started breaking with its right blinker on. In a split second I realized it was going to turn right in front of me.
I braked hard and the next thing I remember was seeing paramedics all around me asking me questions. I wasn't sure where I was, and at the time, couldn't even remember being on a bike ride. I started to panic and then remembered E. and I had been riding. I asked if I was dreaming. I asked for Kel, who I was told was on his way. My sunglasses wouldn't come off my face. I don't remember being in too much pain.
And I certainly don't remember crashing.
E. and I were sped to the hospital in separate ambulances. Kel was able to see me before they took me to the hospital. He had to find someone to take care of the boys, so he could come to the hospital. Thank God for my wonderful neighbor who ended up staying with them until after 11 that night.
After piecing it together with my friend, it sounds like I braked and went over my handle bars bringing my bike along with me in a terrifying feat of acrobatics that should never be performed on or off two wheels. She ran into me and followed suit. The car did not stop. Fortunately, the car behind did and called 911. Although I don't remember anything until the paramedics were around me, I am told I was alert and talking. I told someone my name and our phone number, so she was able to call Kel before the ambulance even arrived. E. was unconscious for some time. Everything between the car braking and the hospital is a blur, and for that I am truly thankful. Honestly, that is not something I would like to remember, even though my mind seems to be trying its best to defy me and figure everything out.
The good news is I will heal. I had to have 10 stitches on my face where they cut my sunglasses off. My shoulder is a grade 3 AC separation. I'm still not sure what that means, but I will be seeing a shoulder specialist sometime this week for more definitive answers in that department. I have quite a mess of road rash on my shoulder and my ear, but no broken bones, and very few bruises, which is just amazing. The paramedics told us we were lucky to be wearing our helmets. I don't even want to think about what it would have looked like if we hadn't been, although I always ride with one, it's still shocking to realize why I do.
Of course I had to have Kel take a picture before I left the hospital. This makes my race pictures look like I'm winning a beauty pageant to be sure!!
E. is also okay. Lots of road rash on her beautiful face and a concussion to boot. No broken bones anywhere, thank the Lord. And, yes, our bikes are fine. I know that is a question everybody feels badly about asking but still wants to know. My guess is that our bikes probably fell on top of us, so were pretty cushioned from any damage.
I am very sore and very tired. Yesterday my face was definitely looking better, and I was feeling pretty good.
The most surprising feeling I have had during the whole experience is how NOT upset I am about probably not being able to race at Rev3Tri South Carolina. I was really looking forward to that race as my last chance of the year to go sub-6 in a half-ironman, and I really doubt that will happen. I am okay with that. I am not going to ask my body to do something it is not ready to do. I'm taking it day by day, so we will see.
I guess the reality of being alive and loved has a way of putting everything into perspective.