Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crash Course

I spent last week on a relaxing vacation, enjoying my first camping experience and a motorcyle trip to Vermont later in the week.

I even managed to get in a couple of runs while camping in Maine. The change of scenery was nice and I'm loving my new shoes.

Unfortunately, my vacation ended with a bang -- and when I say 'bang' I mean the sound of an 800-pound motorcycle being hit by a minivan when a less-than-attentive woman decides she's going to make a right turn into a parking lot from the left lane.

The problem was that we were between her and the parking lot.

Yep, just a few minutes after we packed the bike and started on the 200-mile trip home, we were hit. I doubt we were even two or three miles from the hotel.

It's a funny feeling as you see the van starting to make the turn directly into your lane, knowing that there's no way that we'll avoid the collision.

Charming Friend did an excellent job trying to maneuver us out of the way as much as he could (don't worry, Mom, he is a good driver), but we still ended up with our left legs pinned between the van and his bike as we were dragged about 15 feet, the bike scrapping along the pavement.

Eventually we broke free, somehow jumped off the bike before it went down and evaluated our injuries -- and the bike's condition.

We seemed fine. No scratches, scrapes or blood. The bike, it seemed, had more damage than we did.

The woman immediately took responsibility for the crash, the police wrote up the report and the brigade of parents we were on the trip with rushed to the scene of the accident. Even though none of them were my parents, I still got plenty of mothering, hugs and concern -- especially after I started crying for no known reason.

I usually don't let people see me cry, but I couldn't help the tears from flowing -- despite the fact that it was a good 15 minutes after the accident and we were fine. Maybe it was the shock of being hit or the thought of how much worse it could have been if we'd been going a little faster.

Over and over, the parents (all six of them) asked if we were okay. Each time, CF and I had the same response: "We're fine."

I knew my left leg hurt, but I didn't say anything. It wasn't bad. I was sure CF must have had some aches, too, but he didn't say anything.

The bike's crash bars took the brunt of the collision -- thankfully CF had gotten them installed last year because he thought they looked good. I was glad to learn that these aesthetically pleasing bars also served a purpose and told CF that they were worth every penny he spent on them.

The left crash bar was bent and the foot pedal was twisted against the bike. We would not be making the trek home that night -- plus, there's no way the parents would let us get on the road again that night.

The guys in the group banged the bars and adjusted things until the bike was again drivable. CF's dad got on to test it out. It seemed to run okay, with only a slight rubbing sound coming from the front tire. A last trip to one of the vendors helped straighten everything out a little more and we made plans to leave in the morning -- after a slumber party in CF's parents' hotel room because there were no rooms left for the night.

We all took a dip in the pool that night, and CF and I quietly talked about our slight aches and pains, knowing that if the parents heard us, they'd be alarmed. I'm sure we would have been forced to go to the hospital. We took a couple of pain relievers before bed.

The rest of the trip home was relatively uneventful -- except for the rain that soaked us as we make the ride down 89. Otherwise, all was fine.

As my calf ache persisted, I began to wonder how I'd keep up with my running schedule. Thanks to a couple of runs on vacation, I wasn't behind. My original plan had been to get in my long run after we returned on Sunday. That wasn't going to happen.

Just to be sure all was okay, I made an appointment with my doctor's office yesterday. She checked me out and told me I had a 'crush injury' to my left calf. Nothing serious, but the muscle was swollen in its pouch and causing the pain. She prescribed anti-inflammatories and ice -- and just a bit of patience. Muscles take a bit longer to heal, she told me.

I told her I'm training for a marathon and she referred me to physical therapy to make sure I'm healing properly. A slight injury can turn into something serious if it's not dealt with correctly.

As far as running goes, I just need to listen to my body. My leg will tell me when it's okay to get back to a regular running schedule.

CF visits his doctor today, and I'm pretty sure he'll be okay. I least I hope so -- I hope he's not more hurt than he's letting on.

It really could have been a lot worse. I think we all know that. If a little ache and a few days of light running is the only price I have to pay for a motorcycle accident, I think I'm pretty lucky. We both are.

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