Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Furnace Creek 508 ready or not!

It has been a great challenge to get to this point. Was I going to the race, was I going to have to back out. This has been going back and forth for a few weeks now.
The end result: today we will pack up the bikes and hit the road and by the grace of God I will put my best pedal forward to complete the Furnace Creek 508.

The journey of this event has come with my father being very ill again. My emotions of do I need to be with him right now or do I follow through with this race.
God has tested me over and over, has brought me to tears many times.
My father will have yet another open heart operation in a few weeks and the date was just decided yesterday. There is not anywhere I would be but right there with him if the operation was going to be this weekend! He wants me to follow through with my dream of completing the Death Valley Cup and God willing I will. The emotions of ill friends and and ill parent is the reason I will get through this 508 miles. So many people are suffering, I will ride to honor them and pray for Gods healing.

My back has been hurting to the point of tears. We have tried every possible thing on the bike to help the pain but it never went away and it continued to get worse and worse.
I have had many doubts that I would be able to take the pain for such a long period of time. Yesterday I went to see a Sports Medicine Doctor and she gave me a great deal of hope! I woke up today and the pain is 30% gone, by Sat. it may be gone!
My pelvis has rotated around close to an inch, causing me to look like my left leg is one inch shorter than the right leg. This has caused a great deal of pain to the SI joint in the lower back. All the nerves and muscles have been fighting against each other. I went to the Chiropractor (a friend who I trust and adore) it would feel better but right when I would start to ride again it would begin to hurt. The pelvis would not stay in place.
The muscle spasms started with my lower back and ended up going all the way up to my shoulder. Only on the right side and my back would burn and go numb with pain.
Doctor put me on a high dose of 2 medications to help relax the nerves and the muscles so that the pelvis could shift itself back into place.

This morning I can bend over!
Wow..I have learned so much through all of this training and pain.
Those of you who have chronic back pain, I understand the level of how debilitating this can be. I pray that you can find an answer to the pain.
I have never in my carrier gone back and forth about will I or can I do this race. It was so dependent on many things. God has taught me even more that my family comes first..balance comes first...your training and the race is lower on the list.

I have not come this far without the help, love, support and prayers of many people.

My family who has sacrificed there time with me so I could train. I pulled my kids on some rides and this was wonderful, but you can only ask a child to sit for so long:) I feel these rides pulling 50-75 pounds has given my legs strength that they have never had before but many have also been part of the back issues.

Cathy who has spent hours fixing bikes, watching me cry and has never given up on me so how could I give up..

Colleen: who did some rides with us but also had to listen to my whimpers:) Thank you for your help watching our kids to!

Barb Lindquist who I did some rides with: she pulls her twin boys!

The list goes on and on and you who are reading this blog are a big part of it all.
Thank you for the emails, blog posts with your love and support but really your belief in me as a friend, athlete and coach. This means the world to me. I will be looking forward to getting your race report on this blog about your races this weekend as well. My crew will be doing live updates and they will be able to tell me how you did at your own event so I can draw on your energy:)

Tracy Fawns: who read my blog about my sore butt and offered to send me her bike saddles to ride on. Tracy has done the 508 and RAAM. Thank you Tracy...I think your seats just my save my butt:):)

Crew: Paul Byron...check out his web site for his beautiful work:) Great gift ideas. Paul will be giving photos for some of the 508 awards!
Sparrow Hawk Photography
Wildlife and Nature Photography

So...ready or not??? This is the first bike race I have ever competed in. I will go to participate and to finish. I have a race plan but this will be dependent on many thing. The weather foracast looks like it will be much cooler than they expected but it also looks like high winds. Wind..I can deal with, bring it on. I am ready now emotionally, no more turning back. Ready physically: we shall find out. Never have doing a bike race it is hard to know if you are ready. I will give it my best and leave the rest up to Gods plan.
Here's a little more detailed forcast for specific points along the route:

29 Palms

This looks good...could be the coolest 508 in history (it usually gets up to about 105 out by Amboy on the 2nd day). The wind might be a little problem.

I have 3 bike jerseys that I will wear and they all have great meaning behind them.
1. Barb Lindquist, Olympic Triathlete gave me one of hers to train in and I will wear it with pride and drawn on all the energy she used while wearing it!

2. Paul Byron: sent me his 508 me this one is going to really help me when the going gets tough.

3. My husband Jay's one and only jersey that he said: you can wear it if you want to:):) I will wear it and hold my family close to my heart

I leave you with this today: sent to me from my friend Lauire.

"In my dream, the angel shrugged and said, if we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination and then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand".

May we all go and have a weekend full of grace, dignity and gratitude.

God speed,


"Sherpa" John Lacroix said...

Tons of faith in you Lisa that you will conquer all this weekend. You are by far the single TOUGHEST woman I have EVER met.

You know what needs to be done, you know how to do it.. your strength is in that HUGE heart of yours... you'll do fine.

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Go Lisa, you can do it and yes by the grace of God you go.
We love you.
The NYC gang

J.M.Pawelsky said...

Safe travels Lisa! May your incredible physical and mental strength pull you to the finish line. You are a great inspiration to us all.

Just a quick tip (I hope it's appropriate here): You can use ENGO patches on your bike seat to cut the friction. Give it a try and let me know how it works.

We'll be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa,

Reading your blog and must admit I am worried about you - I hate to see you
in so much pain but know you are driven by forces far better than mine. I
know you will achieve all you set out for! So sorry to hear about your
dad. If there is anything I can do from here please let me know. God
speed, love ya kiddo! xxxoooo Gayle

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Jason..great idea about the patch! Thank you..

The rest..don't worry about me. I am not in this sport or any sport to hurt myself to the point of no return. I feel good about what the Doctor said and her belief that I will be ok to go and ride. I ride for you to my friends

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Jason..great idea about the patch! Thank you..

The rest..don't worry about me. I am not in this sport or any sport to hurt myself to the point of no return. I feel good about what the Doctor said and her belief that I will be ok to go and ride. I ride for you to my friends

Meredith said...

Good luck Lisa. I will be following your ride as best i can via the internet. I am sending you good vibes to your back all the way from PA!!!!!!!!!!! I wish i was a drive away, i'd try my best for you and your back.

I hope your father has a good surgery and you are able to be with him soon.

Anonymous said...

sorry about the back pain, I have been down this road before and it is not a fun one. sounds like you have a good mind set and we all know your mind is about as strong as it comes. stretch often and know that all of Texas is pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

That is right! You have me there in spirit, kick some ass girl, like I know you always do!!!

olga said...

Live in a moment, and the moment will come. Much love to you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

I know about that lower back thingy. Did a double century and they had to peel me off the bike at the end because it seized up.

Later I found that forcing myself to stand 1 minute out of every 10-15mins helps to minimize it.

Here's hoping the winds are at your back the whole way.


Dane said...


My best wishes for a speedy ride and the least pain and discomfort possible go out to you.

I would say "Make us proud" but you have long since stopped needing to do that. If we aren't proud by now, it is our fault!

Anonymous said...

508 miles is a cinch. My advice: do a double 508 (yup, 1016 miles). There and back. All jokes aside, may the grace of the ultraendurance Gods shine upon matter what the result, the journey itself is the destination (as always).

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

We are here!
Cathy and I drove all night!
Sunny and perfect today. My back is better, I am so thankful.
Thank you for all the calls and emails.
God willing...we shall see the finish line.
Love to you all

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

We are here!
Cathy and I drove all night!
Sunny and perfect today. My back is better, I am so thankful.
Thank you for all the calls and emails.
God willing...we shall see the finish line.
Love to you all

Christopher said...

Sorry to hear that you've stumbled into the world of S-I joint/pelvic rotation that I know and love so dearly. If anybody has the tools and the know-how to keep that sucker stabilized and functional over the next 508 miles, it's you. With all that rotation the ligaments aren't going to do you much good for a while, so you need to keep the core muscles well-fueled and happy so that they can do the work that your ligaments are too stretched out to do. Who knows more about proper fueling and hydration for endurance events (particularly those involving Death Valley)than Lisa Smith-Batchen? Nobody. So, keep those hip flexors "loose," change position from time to time, and do everything you can to keep your core muscles from getting too depleted and you'll be fine! I'll be thinking happy back-thoughts for both of us this weekend! Go get 'em!!!

Lora said...

So glad to read your back is better. As one who had a slipped disc followed by 5 weeks in traction, I don't wish back pain on anyone!! If I was Queen of the World I'd eliminate all pain!!!

I'll be thinking of you throughout the weekend--especially through mile 21 of the Chicago Marathon. Strength to both of us!!

Here's to a great weekend that will make you "qvell" with pride for many years to come!

Lora - a lucky soul who gets to call you "Coach"

Meredith said...

Glad you arrived safely!!!!! Have an incredible journey.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, may the wind be at your back.
keep inspiring.