Friday, June 28, 2013

One long week!

As I sit here in the hospital waiting for the doctor to repair the nerves in my Gramma’s back. I look back to a week ago. Wednesday I had swim training at 5:30am, work until 4:30pm training for an hour and a half after work, dinner then bed by 10. Except I didn’t fall asleep until midnight and the alarm went off at 3:30am. My friends were getting married at the summit of Mt. Washington and I was the wedding planner and witness. It was the easiest wedding to plan! I connected Matt and Amanda with my friend Tami as their JP and my co-worker the Ernie Mills for the photos. I drove each of their parents up the Auto Road at 4am while the couple made their way up the trail by the light of the moon. Sunrise was at 4:50am and they arrived just after. It was gorgeous not a cloud in sight and hardly any wind. It really couldn’t have been any more perfect!

We returned to the base at 6:45am I had an hour and a half until work started. After work my workout was week 7 of the Salomon Trail Running Series. I had a 30 min ride before I ran my 3.3 mile race. After the race I had plans with my friend Tyler and his family to chat over dinner in the dining room at work about his first triathlon. We finished dinner at 8pm. My drive home is about 30 mins. I had to get up at 4:30am for swim training the next morning so I brought my wetsuit inside and hung it up in my closet. As I walked away I heard a big crash. One side of the clothes rack had pulled out of the wall. Great! Exactly what I wanted to do at that hour. I found some screws, put it back together and hung my clothes back up minus the wetsuit of course. Just as I hung the last shirt, the other side let go. Are you kidding me?! I couldn’t leave my clothes in a pile they’d get wrinkled. So I took a few and hung them on the shelf, well I hung a few too many because that came down too! I just laughed and left them there and because I’ve been so busy that’s where they lay now. Friday swim training again at 5:30am then work, I usually I have a pm workout but I told Steve how tired I was and he suggested I take the afternoon off. I came home from work took a nap tried to address my closet but didn’t have any screws. I was racing on Sunday and leaving right from work on Saturday. I packed everything for the weekend so I had time to enjoy a night out with friends for the first time in months. It was perfect, a few of us hung out around the campfire and I forgot about work, life, training and Gramma needing surgery. My roommate Leah and I agreed we’d leave around 9 but we were having a great time and didn’t leave until about 10:30pm, it was well worth it. Work early the next day so I could leave early to get to race packet pick up in Nashua NH, about 2 hours and 45 mins away. Gina and I always get a campsite to save money and to be outside but there weren’t any close enough so we stayed at a hotel instead-3 minutes from the race site. We arrived with 15 mins left before they closed packet pickup. We drove the bike course and I rode one lap for my workout. Not to hilly, really fun and 90% excellent pavement. Had a nice shower while Gina prepared my pre race dinner salad, chicken and veggies. It was game five of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and we got to watch it! Well I watched some of it Gina watched the whole game. 

The transition area didn’t open until 7:30am, so we got to sleep in an extra half hour.
Unloaded the car and I switched my front wheel to Steve’s 3 spoke race wheel with tubeless tires. I keep the rear stock wheel because race wheels are very expensive and I use the power tap hub to collect all my data.

As usual it was pretty hectic at the race venue with 450 triathletes setting up their transition area, getting body marked, figuring out the layout and warming up. Most races restrict the transition area only to athletes and are very strict about it, not this one, there were kids, dogs, friends, parents, everyone. I set up my spot and went out for my 45 minute warm up. I returned to work my way into my wetsuit, which again was a challenge being sweaty and especially because it was super humid. I walked down to the water it was a good four-minute walk from the trans area, the longest I’ve seen. Every race I’ve done each wave is separated by the color of swim caps. I reached the beach and everyone had yellow swim caps on. The water was pretty warm but wetsuits were still allowed. Juniors went first. Then my wave lined up and got checked in. The waves were three minutes apart and we had to tread water while waiting. I didn’t have a problem being in a wetsuit! I started all the way to the left, the course was all left turns and I wanted the shortest distance. I usually don’t start out front because I know I'm not super fast. This time I went for it. The horn blew and I stayed out front for longer then I expected! I think I was only passed by less then ten women. My mindset is the faster I swim the quicker I can get on my bike! I’ve been practicing swimming as far into the shore as possible so I don’t have to waste time running in knee-deep water like most do. I was out in 9:37.

The run up to the transition area was a slight incline for almost a ¼ mile. There were wetsuit strippers just outside of the trans area. As you run you pull the top half off so the strippers have you lie down and pull the rest off for you. I almost went for it but didn’t want to try anything new on race day.  I should have because I struggled, I was rushing. I switched to bike mode and was off. It was ½ mile to the first intersection. I took the wide corner at speed and something didn’t feel right I almost slid out. I rode for a few minutes and realized my front tire was flat. The tire is tubeless so the only way to fix it was to put slime in or change out the tire. I had neither. So my options were to ride for 16 miles or stop racing. I bet you know which option I went with! The course was two eight-mile loops with rolling hills. I tried my hardest not to let the flay get to me mentally, I knew I could deal physically. I ignored it but had to be extra cautious on corners.

I transitioned to the run in 39 seconds and heard the announcer say “heres the first female leaving T2” I was pretty sure he wasn’t talking about me but it made me feel good. I started my watch and did not feel fast. It was so humid.
I ran the first mile in 6:49 about 20 seconds behind pace. After the first mile marker the course gradually descended so I tried my best to take advantage of that. As two people passed me I hung with them for as long as I could. I ran the second mile in 6:53 frustration set in and I wanted to turn it into speed. I didn’t have much left. Just under a 1/4 mile left when I was passed by a female who was running at the pace I should have been. My plan was to stay with her and pass her just before the finish. I stayed with her for 30 seconds and started feeling horrible. I pushed for 15 seconds more and couldn’t hold it. I came through the finish shoot to the crowd cheering I gave it the rest I had.

The girl that passed me was still recovering I patted her on the back and she returned the favor. I wasn’t happy with my run but I’m not going to feel awesome at every race. It was mentally challenging but as I race this summer I am learning more and more about pushing myself and overcoming unforeseen circumstances.

That girl I tried to stay with was Lexi Abel she ended up in first place! She also raced in the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland New Zeleand last year.

With registration I got free ice cream, free lunch and a raffle ticket. Lunch was a small salad a dinner roll and 5 chicken wings! I took one bite of the wings and they were too spicy for me. Gina ate one and had to toss the rest. It would have been nice to know they were spicy I would have turned them down and not waste them.

Despite the flat tire I finished 5th female out of 166 and 1st in my age group!
I requested a late checkout at the hotel so I could shower and not stink up the car for three hours. 
We arrived in Randolph and had dinner then I had an hour drive to my house. Monday I had half the day off from work but swim training at 5:30am. I did some house stuff then to work for instructor training. I lead two five day mountain bike camps for teens for the Appalachian Mountain Club.
I arrived home at 5:30pm then had to pack for the next day's AMC training, my am workout and my short visit home to Connecticut take my grandmother in for back surgery. Tuesday morning I was up early for my am workout before work. AMC training and then the four hour drive to CT which ended up taking five hours.

Gramma's surgery was planned for 11 and we had to check in at 9:30. We arrived at 8:15 she likes being early. She went in right at 11 and the dr gave us the good news that everything went as planned at 2:15. She was in recovery for 2 hours before Gene, her husband and I got to see her. She did well and had to stay the night. Gene and I arrived home at 5:30 and got some take out dinner. It was raining so I couldn't do my bike workout. I was pretty wiped and figured I'd do it the next morning.

We planned on getting her at 1pm the next day but awoke to a phone call at 7:00am. She was ready to come home whether the drs gave her the ok or not. We got through the discharge papers and were on our way to the comfort of home. Her recovery at home is to walk as much as possible no twisting or bending and to have her incision bandage changed twice a day. She has 19 staples in her lower back but they look great. I stayed an extra night to make sure she was adjusted to home. I'm glad I did because I woke up at 3am and found her on the floor with Gene trying to help her up. He couldn't manage. I picked her right up and checked her over she was sore but ok. I didn't hear her calling because of the air conditioner and fan. Then I was up for an hour. She woke up at 6:30am needing her pain medicine. I'm so glad I was able to take some time from work and be here for her. Of course there are many details I've left out over this period of time living with two 80 year olds who can't hear well, but to sum it up- thank God I've got lots and lots and lots of patience.

It's been two days since I started this post and I'm heading back home in about an hour. It's heart wrenching to have to leave them and I'm trying to be strong and not cry. I really wish I could stay but I just have to trust she will take it easy, ask for help from the family and friends and remember to stay on track with her pain medicine.

I still have a workout when I get home, not sure I'll have much energy for it.

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