By Hammer Nutrition
It was a beautiful day for the Mt. Hamilton RR, which includes one of the highest peaks in northern California. I was off to a great start and took the day's Queen of the Mountain at the top of Mt. Hamilton. I had just come back from the Pan American Championships in Bogota, Colombia, was set to go to the Mt. Hood stage race, and then off to Europe. Things were looking great. However, 60 km later, coming into the finish, the worst thing happened. I had a mechanical going 40 km per hour; my chain jumped and got stuck between the frame and the cassette. My pedals completely locked up and I was ejected violently.
I immediately tried to get up, but fell over again when my arm gave out from under me. I collapsed and as I touched my clavicle I realized it was in two pieces. As I gasped for air and cried like a baby, I saw blood on the pavement. I knew that I was in trouble. After cat scans for brain damage and concussion came clear, the x-rays of my lungs/ribs and clavicle confirmed the damage: broken clavicle, four broken ribs, and a punctured lung. I spent seven days in the hospital thinking my season was over.
I just couldn't accept that. I had told my husband (who was a superman throughout the whole thing) that my goal was still to go to Brazil to do Nationals in three weeks. We were both doing the best we could to cope with the hospital and get out of there as quickly as possible. I did all the breathing exercises, even though painful; I was determined to get better and get back home on my trainer. I was afraid I was going to lose too much fitness and muscle tone/strength by just lying in bed. It was awful.
Albeit the unfortunate circumstance, I must say that I am very blessed to have such an amazing cycling community where I live (East Bay area, San Francisco, CA). Everyone offered a helping hand. One of my closest friends (and mentor and moto-pacer . . . the list goes on!) is one of Hammer Nutrition's most respected cyclists, Mike Freeman. He knew that I was trying to get back to Europe for the rest of the race season. I had a big fish to fry, as one of my main goals is to represent Brazil in the next Olympics. I can't afford to take three months to recover. This is a crucial time; everyone is trying to get UCI points in order to give their country the best representation at the Olympics. Brazil only has three female riders that race at the international (UCI) level and can produce those much-needed points.
Mike talked to me about the Compex and how he used it in his training, not just for injury, but also when he isn't able to get in all the training that he needs. He uses it to prep for special races, and also in the winter for strength training. It doesn't end there; it has also pre- and post-race options too. I tried it once at Sea Otter Classic 2011 after I finished the last stage of the women's pro race and really liked it.
Mike contacted Brian Frank at Hammer Nutrition, and just a few days after surgery on my clavicle, I received my Compex Performance. I immediately started training with it. I was on an "intense" recovery road since the season was in full swing. I had commitments to fulfill and goals I wanted to achieve. I started riding my trainer a day after my collarbone surgery and I can't express how much of a difference the Compex made in my recovery. I had ten days between surgery and Brazilian Nationals to regain some muscle strength and endurance. From there, I was off to Italy to race the Giro d'Italia Donne. The Giro was very difficult, and the broken ribs and collarbone didn't make things any easier. With a lot of willpower and daily sessions with the Compex, I produced a decent race and finished 24th overall.
I use my Compex on a daily basis, along with my Premium Insurance Caps. I try to use the Compex Endurance program and the Strength program alternating between muscle groups: Strength program on a particular muscle, and then Endurance program on that same muscle the next day. I regularly run the Active Recovery program after rides.
I also use it religiously when I am on the road traveling; I can use in the team vehicle for long drives between stages. For that I am grateful. It is now a must-have in my racing suitcase. If I go, the Compex comes with!
Thank you Hammer Nutrition for making great products and helping me achieve my goals! HN