Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kite Boarding on Deer Creek

Chris has found a new expensive hobby - Kite Boarding! He recently took some lengthy lessons, got himself a kite and a board and is well on his way to getting into a new sport.

There were a ton of kite surfers at Deer Creek yesterday.

Deer Creek Reservoir in Heber, UT

Everyone is setting up their gear getting ready to go.

Chris making his way back to the car to get some more gear.

Yesterday it was nice and windy for them all too. Wind = good for kite surfing but annoying on the bike. Chris NOW says "Yey there is wind!!!" and I say "Bah hum bug" to that! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh Boy is this Ever True

I found this in the PT Office today.

I went in to see the Hand Therapist again today and got some great news. She measured my hand and found that in one certain position, I had made a 15 degree increase in 2 days!! Her eyes widened and said that is HUGE!! That psyched me up for sure because I will tell you what...I have been doing EVERYTHING that I can to get my hand functional again. I will sit down for an hour in the middle of the afternoon (not wanting too of course) and do all my hand exercises and therapy; then I will do it again at night. It is so time consuming but so dang important if I want full function of my hand ever again. In fact, my Hand Therapist is darn certain that I won't need more surgery to get my hand going again. What a HUGE relief!

I mentioned to her that I thought my middle finger was bent the wrong way too so she poked and prodded and thinks I dislocated it in the wreck. So THAT's WHY its been hurting even more than the broken hand bones. I wondered. Guess those take a long while to heal up.

I also graduated to using clothes pins as resistant training for my hand. We are high tech aren't we? And after a lot of "Are you SURE'S????" to the therapist, I successfully popped all my finger joints in the broken hand. It felt totally disgusting to do but my Hand Therapist wanted it done; she said it breaks up the scar tissue. I normally pop my fingers but since its all inflamed in there still, it felt all crunchy munchy and sick. Plus it is a bit unnerving to sit there and pull on the fingers of the hand you just got put back together on. Eeeeeooooh. Yucky. She congratulated me on it too after I did it. I guess its a big ta doo because it means you are getting near normal. Me? Normal?? Ha!!! :)

Riding is still going well and I now able to go over train tracks no problem. Before I was lifting my hand and now I don't have to! Yes! And along that score, my Hand Therapist said she wanted to see some pics of me racing cross so that we could work on the exact areas of my hand and arm that need strengthening. She rocks I tell you. To have a therapist that gives a rats about your life is amazing and so important too.

This isn't something you see everyday while training unless you live by a bunch of birds and wires.

I continue to meet amazing people in therapy with such terrible stories. Today I met a guy in hand therapy that was involved in a car accident that left his hand mangled. So mangled in fact that they considered lopping it off. Talk about having to go through hand therapy! So sad. That accident was in April and he continues to need ongoing surgery and therapy. Wow. It really makes you look at your situation and think that you are one lucky ducky. And then you look at his and think he is one amazing person to be taking this all on so well. It has changed his life drastically and he is probably only mid 20's I bet. Good on him for getting after it and living his life the best that he can right now.

And I will leave you with.....more Heber sites of the non dead variety this time:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's Up Next?

Everyone has been asking about what I am doing next and what my plan is. Let's put it this way......I just booked my flight up to WA for the first UCI Cyclocross races that are taking place on Sept 20 and 21. Ok ok, so its a bit premature and I will need to get my doctors oak-ee-doke-ee early September but I will still probably go up since my brother lives 5 minutes from Redmond race and my parents live 5 minutes from the Steilacoom race. It is just a matter if I bring the bikes or not I guess. And if I don't race in those races I will certainly be racing cross in October along with hitting all the USGPCX races!!

My Hand Therapist said to plan on going to WA but I still need to get the ok from my Hand Surgeon. And if he says no then I won't go. I don't want to push things - it has been far too much trouble and trauma to go race and ruin everything!

The good news is that I am training again full on. I was soooooo excited to do my first intensity ride that I jumped the gun even and continued to hammer for longer than I was supposed to. Why does killing myself make me feel good? I am going to guess it is because its a sign that I am back to normal again after quite the ta doo.

And getting my hand to grip my bike firmer is coming along. At first it took about 30 minutes to get my hand totally wrapped around and actually holding on to the bars but now it does that right off the bat. That is progress!!!

And my wrist and fingers are getting happier with each day too. It is a lot easier for me to shift now and getting on the bike is easier too since I can put more weight on my left wrist. It's about time since its been 7 weeks since I broke my wrist!

These are some pictures of a beautiful sunset we had a few nights ago in Heber City.

So yeah, things are coming together again for me and I couldn't be happier about that. I have worked hard to get this far this fast but its not over yet.

And I am certainly going to miss being at Brianhead, UT this weekend for the MTB Finals but I came to terms with the fact that my mtb season was WAY over the second I looked at my index finger bone trying to come out of my skin in NY. Nasty nasty!

So it is on to cross now and I cannot wait............

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lumpy Hand

The swelling in my hand has decreased a lot but that doesn't mean it's not lumpy from the scar tissue among other things. At least the hand is coming along in the right direction though. My hand therapist measured the progress (in degrees) and confirmed that I am making head way too. Yey!! But in the meantime my hand gets to look like a sack of potatoes. I guess its going to be like that for many many months. Nice scars hugh?

My mom was here visiting this last week which was sooo wonderful. I miss my parents a lot cuz they live far away.

Hand Therapy is going well too. I do about 10 hours/week at the physical therapy place and I do another 10 hours/week on my own at home. And I wonder why I am tired right now between that, training full on, doing pilates and yoga, running and weightlifting too.... Hmmmm??

Did I not tell you that the hand therapist was going to have her day with me too? Well, whew.....she sure did. One day she was working my hand so hard that she had me literally sweating bullets in the seat and the other day I ended up almost passed out on the table. It works like this:

Heat er up:

Then offer your hand to the therapist so she can twist, push, pull, manipulate and bend it every way you don't want it to go. I have become really good at running in place while she wrenches on my hand. I figure the running in place is good cyclocross practice. And even when I start running she won't stop what she is doing. Oh man it doesn't feel great but we all know it is for the best. It doesn't help either that my wrist is broken. Sometimes I think both of us forget that fact until she hits a sensitive area in my wrist when trying to loosen up my hand muscles. Aye yie yie.

After that it's hand exercises and then a little pegboard action. Notice I have gone type A with the pegs. It didn't take too long for that to happen did it?

Reaching for yet ANOTHER peg:

Then the part when you know you are done with the pain - ice time. Ahhhhhh. Relief!

I also got this little niffy contraption that is supposed to help me make a (pretty forced) fist. And I must say it does the job well. I am supposed to wear it like a bracelet so I can do my excercises every hour like a good little girl. You know you want one of these cool looking things for yourself don't you? So yeah....


Then close....

Open again....

And repeat, repeat, repeat. Ugh. It is all resistant training and seems to be working. My life is soooo boring right now!

I continue to meet some pretty amazing people with horrific stories about their hand and wrist injuries. Most seem to be related to cycling or motor cross but that is par for the course in the Park City area. One 9th grade kid did BOTH his wrists and got a major concussion while he was at it when charging the Deer Valley Downhill course in a race. He has been told to not do ANYTHING that could risk another concussion for 6 months. Let's just say he is going to be a darn good swimmer when its all said and done. It is funny too when you are chatting up a storm with a kid that age about bikes and then realize that you have more in common with the kid than his mom who is my age! But you know, I wouldn't have it any other way being a complete kid at heart!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Way to Represent Ladies!

See the entire Women's Olympic Cross Country Mountain Bike Race HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I just barely got an email from our XC buddies in Beijing. Sounds like the Women's Cross Country race has been postponed do to heavy rains. What is that all about? So now the girls go Saturday August 23rd at 10am.

Passing the word on.......

Some vague info about where to watch our races....both the men's and women's MTB races will be streamed live in real time at There is also an updated TV schedule on there. You just select the date and click on the sport and it should give approx. air times. On television, the women's race will be on MSNBC and the men on NBC. Keep in mind these will most likely be taped cut-ins, so don't get discouraged if you turn it on and see another sport.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hand Update

It has been a week since I got cleared to ride outside and my outlook on life couldn't be much better. I feel better, I act better and I am better! Thank heavens. That downward spiraling rut I was in was NOT me but I was in it deep. It was the scariest thing ever but riding outside has done wonders to lift me back out.

I think a lot of my change has to do with the fact that I am training again and am therefore on a schedule. I live for structure and I feel so lost without it - I already knew that about myself. I knew I was in for a rough ride when I initially got home from the East coast with my blown apart hand and aimlessly plopped down at the kitchen table with my luggage at my side. I didn't know what was next. It was the worst feeling ever and I lost the plot. But now I am back and feel like have a purpose again with my new goals for the cross season.

Riding outside is going really well. Last week at this time I was terrified especially on that first day out. I was slow out of fear and I was also not able to hold on to my left grip very well because my hand wasn't into making a fist yet. I was so bad at holding on that I would have to STOP my bike to take a swig of water vs risking trying to "hold on" with my left and reach with the right. This is what I am talking about....I am making a fist the best I can with both hands:

And now this week I am happy to report I have a much firmer grip on the left (still not stellar though) and I am flying down the roads at full speed. Ok, so maybe its not the smartest thing to do but it's what I live for!

So yeah, the doctor tells me not to fall on my bike right? And what do I do instead? I slam the heck out of the top of my hand on the door at BlockBuster. Nice. It left a red mark right IN BETWEEN my two scars. At least the door had good aim and didn't do any real damage that I can see or feel.

My hand at this point is doing better but isn't great. Looking on the bright side of things, all the experts are amazed that I am doing so well and are surprised that my hand looks as good as it does (swelling, movement, and scar wise). I am happy to hear that because apparently I should be a lot worse off 1 month out of surgery. Worse off? Wow. Is that possible because I already feel like a gimp? Guess it is....

I have been doing hand therapy on my own twice a day for 1 hour of hell each time. It hurts but it's working! I did start intense hand therapy yesterday with a Hand Therapist too. When asked whether I wanted to get aggressive with it and come in several times a week (vs 1 - 2) I was like (duh) "YES!!!!!!" So that means I will now go in three days a week to have my hand wrenched on. And since I was there yesterday for 3 plus hours I am going to be spending a good amount of time there it sounds like. Oh joy. Better set up Camp Kathy!

We even play games at camp too

While I was there they had me doing "put the peg in the pegboard", the therapist "massaged" my hand and arm (which felt more more like....if you go one more mm down into my ligaments I am going to hit the roof!!!) and she bent my hand beyond its limits too. I also did some other weird hand exercises, we iced it, we heated it and we did some electric stim on it as well. We did it all except ultrasound. I guess you are supposed to stay away from that unless you feel like getting a sweet bone burn from the metal plates holding your bones together. That is nasty!!

So at this point I am happy that my hand is numb in areas because I couldn't feel half the stuff that was going on thank god. But really it wasn't excruciating and it wasn't horrible but I am sure the therapist will have her day with me soon.

If I have to do one more stupid hand exercise I am gonna put this peg where the sun doesn't shine lady.........

While in therapy I found that it is nice to be surrounded with others that are going through hand hell too. There is something strangely nice about having others around that are going through the same thing. We found ourselves swapping war stories of course too. I did the peg board with one guy that chopped off part of his right thumb in a boat rotor. Oh man, that isn't good! He has had to learn to hold a pen differently in order to write! Another lady was in there for a mountain bike accident too and we laughed the whole time we were there. Tomorrow she is bringing wine and I am bringing the cheese and crackers so we can enjoy our hand torture together.

Making the best of this interesting scenario.............

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tour of Utah - Day 4

Today the boys went from Park City, UT through Heber City on to end the day at Snowbird Mountain Resort. I think that is about 100 miles.

Here are the race leaders coming down into Heber City.

And the follow cars:

There was good gap after the race leaders and this random car snuck in between the leaders and the chase group (you can see the chase group in the background). That group was probably going 60mph down this hill towards him too!!! It was so scary!!! My husband and I YELLED at the guy to get out of the way numerous times as we watched the peloton approaching at a high rate of speed. There was NO room for error. This guy HAD TO PULL OVER NOW or there was going to be the worst crash ever. So frightening. The guy got the picture FINALLY and pulled over just barely in time. I was sick to my stomach after that one. Road racing can be so frightening sometimes!

And the peloton comes through SAFELY

These guys were going so fast heading towards the other side of the valley that Chris and I driving the backroads barely made it the other side to see them. We had about 5 seconds to spare when we stopped the car. These guys were hauling on there way towards Provo Canyon!

They roll by with Timp in the background.

A support vehicle.

And another with gorgeous views too!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tour of Utah - Day 3

After getting some yummy dinner with Tiffany and party we headed to crit across the street.

The crit in downtown Salt Lake City was awesome to watch.

They were speedy heading around the corner!


There were quite a few people around too!

It was like a reunion of all the bike racers and cyclists in the entire area. So much fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tour of Utah - Day 2

The Tour of Utah Road Race is here this week and is taking place all around the surrounding mountains that we live in. So cool! I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to be out and about in a race setting and see all the people that I haven't seen in months who also came out to watch.

The top of Big Mountain near Salt Lake City waiting for the race leaders to come through.

Fox and Bart

The race leaders battling a massive head wind:

A group of two trickle through.

And more make their way to the top.

And then some more.

Heading down one of the final descents before hitting Salt Lake City.

The race was so incredibly blown apart as you can see with all the different groups that came through. The wind was fierce and so was all the climbing they had to do today (10,000 plus feet today for these guys!)

Try doing THAT (10,000 feet) at race pace. Ugh.

These guys are just machines.

Nice views from the top!

And devil?? Too funny!