Thirty women signed up for Ttowns UCI Fastest [Woman] on Wheels event last Friday night…. thirty women signed up for a keirin. I’ve never been to an event in the USA that has yielded so many women for a sprint event. Maybe a points or scratch or something a little more tame and well natured, but never a keirin. A field representing more than 5 countries, including the Netherlands, USA, Australia, Barbados, Trinidad, and Canada, all lined up for the second to last weekend of UCI racing at Ttown. With Class 1 points on the line, I knew it was important to not only be the top America rider to cross the line, but also to break into the top 3, to get the maximum points scoring opportunity.
I made it through my first round with ease, and also won my semi-final ride, when I found myself in the final with 2 fellow american riders, and 3 dutch women. I ended up with the motor, and as it pulled off, i kept looking around. With Colleen Hayduk on my wheel, I knew she had the motor and nerve to stick it no matter what, and I took off with one lap to go. Coming around corner 4, Shanne Braspennencx of NED came up alongside and overtook me, but I held off for 2nd place.
In addition to racing, I had an MRI scheduled for Saturday early afternoon, to hopefully give us an answer for the back pain I’ve been experiencing over the last 8 months. On Wednesday, I experienced immense pain in my left leg, followed with complete numbness in it and my right hand. The MRI results showed signs of a L5 Pars Stress Fracture. What is it? Here’s a definition I found:
“Pars stress fractures involve a small connecting bone in the lumbar spine, called the pars interarticularis. The pars bone is a small bone that connects the facet joints that are a chain of joints found on each side of the spine. The facet joints spread apart and have no pressure on them when you are sitting or bending forward, but they press against each other and are under pressure during activities such as running, jumping, kicking, rotating or arching backward.
During sports, due to the repetition of these activities, pressure is exerted on the facet joints and this stress is transmitted to the pars bone, which connects the facet joints. Most pars stress fractures occur at the lowest part of the lumbar spine, usually at the lumbar five level, but may occur at other levels. The pars stress fracture usually develops first on one side, but will develop on the other side if it is not treated early. Once stress fractures develop on both sides, the healing rate is much lower and can lead to permanent pars defects that won’t heal.”
I will still be racing this weekend UCI Festival of Speed, competing in the sprints and keirin here in Ttown, but following my return to Los Angeles, we will reevaluate where I am, get a few more tests done, and rebuild, get healthy, and heal! I have an amazing team behind me who are helping me in any way possible. Despite having this injury over the past 8 months, I’ve still taken top honors at the UCI Los Angeles Grand Prix, UCI Japan Track Cup I, UCI Japan Track Cup II, and met the international elite time standard at the UCI Memorial of Alexander Lesnikov in Moscow Russia a few weeks ago. Even here in Ttown, Ive taken top honors, and had a few incredible results, despite dealing with these problems.
As always, thank you to this incredible man for taking such great care of EVERYTHING for me. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have even gone into the doctor (I despise doctors offices). I’m one lucky girl and will never be grateful enough for all he does.
One more week until home! One more sprint and keirin tournament to go…