The race was on Saturday, so I opted for a Monday night bike ride. I was just getting over horrible shin splints, so I didn't want them to make a grand appearance for my very first half marathon. I've never been a runner and training was spent doing walking and running intervals. I was certain I couldn't run the entire 13.1 miles straight through, but walking doesn't mean I failed. Finishing is what matters.
We were about two miles away from home when the bike accident happened. I heard someone coming behind me, so I turned my head around. I saw him approaching very quickly. Side note, my husband thinks that my mind is filled with thoughts of small children playing, butterflies, puppies and unicorns, which might be true. I prefer happy thoughts, especially when I have down time to just think and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. So, I probably was closer to the guard rail than I should have been, due to my spacing out and happy thoughts.
I turned straight again to yell at my husband to move over since someone was approaching, but really the dude had enough room to pass us. Before I knew it, I crashed straight into the guard rail, which was 30 feet above the highway. I flipped over the edge of the guard rail and just when I thought I was going to fall to my death, I held on by one hand. With all my strength, I pulled myself up and collapsed on the cement sidewalk.
Just kidding. It wasn't that heroic, but that certainly makes for a better story. Here is the true version:
I did slam straight into the guard rail. The entire right side of my body scrapped against the cement guard rail, which later resulted in first degree burn on my arm, really scrapped up knuckles and bruised ribs that made it so painful to breathe. But that wasn't enough; I then flipped straight over my bike. All of my weight landed on my elbow and then my hip. I literally thought I broke my elbow.
My first thought was, "Am I dead?" After I realized I wasn't and later concluded that was slightly dramatic, I thought about my half marathon that was only five days away.
My husband didn't see any of this happen because right before I crashed, I yelled out a "Whooooaaa!" sound. Justin later compared my exciting scream to the ESPN announcer, Boomer. He thought I was having fun....but once he finally realized something was wrong and rode back, he slightly chuckled and said, "Ohhhh baby- are you okay!?"
"I think I'm dead- don't move me." I said.
Then I had my third thought: I should have just gone for a run tonight.....
So, Justin and the guy who was coming up behind me helped me up. The random guy tried to lighten the mood and told me that he fell off his bike just last week when he was reaching for his water bottle. I laughed, but deep down I knew he would go home and tell his wife about the awesome wreck he saw that night. And tell everyone at work tomorrow. Oh well, I'm a fan for stories.
"Thank you for stopping," I told the guy. "You are very sweet."
And then I just started crying like a little kid who just did something wrong and didn't want to get yelled at.
"You know, I looked back and thought- dang, she is really close to that guard rail," Justin said.
We started laughing about it. I told Justin what happened since he was ahead of me and missed the big shit show. Then we saw the bike. Ruined. I completely bent the front rim.
We had to walk 2 miles home. Pushing the bikes, and mind you - my bike was busted and squealing the entire way home.
Every few seconds Justin would make the "WHOAAA" sound I made and we would just start laughing. Then my ribs would hurt. So I would cry. It was a vicious cycle of laughing and crying...
"It wouldn't be so funny if you were hurt worse baby girl," he said. "I love you- I love you so much my clumsy wife. Yes, I married the clumsiest person in the world."
Race day came and up until Thursday, I was still debating if I should run or not. But I made a decision to at least give the race my all. It will hurt. I will want to give up. But it will be the most rewarding experience ever to finish this race - with busted knuckles, a bruised hip, scrapped elbows and extremely bruised ribs.
I was right. It was a magical moment to cross that finish line. I danced across it like I told everyone I would.