Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update

Well, I'm still here and I'm doing okay.  Thank you so much for all your kind messages and words of encouragement.

I have decided that since my season is effectively over, I will be embracing the off-season with the same determination I usually train with.

Pumpkin spice lattes? Great!

Sea salt caramel chocolate? That sounds good!

Candy pumpkins? Don't mind if I do!

Never fear, my friends.  I promise I won't be sitting on the couch, watching Netflix in a state of ongoing sugar shock forever.  I'm giving myself a couple of weeks, though, to indulge.  Of course, I'm getting my share of healthy foods too, thanks to my wonderful friends who have given us dinner every single night since my accident.

Speaking of the accident, many of you wondered about the driver of the car who caused the accident.  From what I hear, she did end up returning to the site of the crash.  Apparently she had a car full of children and told the officer she was waiting for us to pass.  I don't really buy this.  Really, she was waiting to pass and when we crashed right next to her vehicle she decided that it was then okay to turn and go around us?

The reality of it, though, is that I will never really know exactly what happened.  And the interesting thing to come of this is my complete surprise over my own lack of anger towards this woman.  I'm sure it wasn't on purpose.  She had 5 kids in the car...maybe I should just feel sorry for her?  Even though she might not have been completely truthful as to what happened, she did come back and obviously felt somewhat responsible for what happened.  Hopefully next time she passes a cyclist on the road, she will proceed with great caution. Forgiveness is certainly a great healer, and I need all the healing I can get these days!!

I did get the stitches removed from my face today.  I've had a couple of people mention to me that now I will really look "bad-ass" and have a great story to tell.  I don't know about that, but it certainly cracks me up when people say that!!


Even though I'm trying to enjoy my "off-season" I have noticed that I've been a bit testy today.  I'm guessing my body has decided it has had just about enough sitting around.  I might have to get a bit bossy with myself over the next few days in order to continue the recovery process.  Pray for me.

Better yet, pray for my husband!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Day I Met the Road

Saturday's ride started off like most rides.  My good friend, E. and I, planned on riding about 3.5 hours. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the route we were riding delivered with beautiful views. It was a little odd to be riding in the afternoon, but since the boys had a mid-day soccer game, it was the time that worked best.

E. had been gracious enough to join me, despite the fact that she isn't really training for anything, and I was so grateful for the company.   We were just a few miles from home, and I decided to take a route that would give us a few more miles.  It was sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and I had been daydreaming about the bacon and egg sandwich I was going to make myself for dinner. Kel had planned on taking the boys out if I wasn't home by dinner, which we both knew would be iffy when I left.

We were riding on a fairly busy road, but one which I feel safe on because of the very wide shoulder.  I was leading and we were both in the shoulder, probably going around 17-18 mph.  All of a sudden a car accelerated quickly past us and then started breaking with its right blinker on.  In a split second I realized it was going to turn right in front of me.

I braked hard and the next thing I remember was seeing paramedics all around me asking me questions.  I wasn't sure where I was, and at the time, couldn't even remember being on a bike ride.  I started to panic and then remembered E. and I had been riding.  I asked if I was dreaming.  I asked for Kel, who I was told was on his way.  My sunglasses wouldn't come off my face.  I don't remember being in too much pain.

And I certainly don't remember crashing.

E. and I were sped to the hospital in separate ambulances.  Kel was able to see me before they took me to the hospital.  He had to find someone to take care of the boys, so he could come to the hospital.  Thank God for my wonderful neighbor who ended up staying with them until after 11 that night.

After piecing it together with my friend, it sounds like I braked and went over my handle bars bringing my bike along with me in a terrifying feat of acrobatics that should never be performed on or off two wheels.  She ran into me and followed suit.  The car did not stop.  Fortunately, the car behind did and called 911.  Although I don't remember anything until the paramedics were around me, I am told I was alert and talking.  I told someone my name and our phone number, so she was able to call Kel before the ambulance even arrived. E. was unconscious for some time.  Everything between the car braking and the hospital is a blur, and for that I am truly thankful.  Honestly, that is not something I would like to remember, even though my mind seems to be trying its best to defy me and figure everything out.

The good news is I will heal.  I had to have 10 stitches on my face where they cut my sunglasses off.  My shoulder is a grade 3 AC separation.  I'm still not sure what that means, but I will be seeing a shoulder specialist sometime this week for more definitive answers in that department.  I have quite a mess of road rash on my shoulder and my ear, but no broken bones, and very few bruises, which is just amazing.  The paramedics told us we were lucky to be wearing our helmets.  I don't even want to think about what it would have looked like if we hadn't been, although I always ride with one, it's still shocking to realize why I do.

Of course I had to have Kel take a picture before I left the hospital.  This makes my race pictures look like I'm winning a beauty pageant to be sure!!

Post crash


E. is also okay.  Lots of road rash on her beautiful face and a concussion to boot.  No broken bones anywhere, thank the Lord.  And, yes, our bikes are fine. I know that is a question everybody feels badly about asking but still wants to know.  My guess is that our bikes probably fell on top of us, so were pretty cushioned from any damage.

I am very sore and very tired.  Yesterday my face was definitely looking better, and I was feeling pretty good.

Day 2
Today, still on the mend, although I am more sore today than yesterday.  It's actually a good thing that I am so sore, because otherwise I might be tempted to move around a little too much.  As it is, though, I've been very content to spend time in my bed with Netflix as my companion.

Day 3
My friends and family have been amazing.  I have an abundance of homemade food in my refrigerator, my inbox and facebook are overflowing with messages of concern and get betters, my phone is buzzing constantly with texts of people asking how I am doing or if I need anything.  Thank you all so much.  You are certainly making me feel loved and cherished.  Kel is taking excellent care of me and the boys.

The most surprising feeling I have had during the whole experience is how NOT upset I am about probably not being able to race at Rev3Tri South Carolina.  I was really looking forward to that race as my last chance of the year to go sub-6 in a half-ironman, and I really doubt that will happen.  I am okay with that.  I am not going to ask my body to do something it is not ready to do.  I'm taking it day by day, so we will see.

I guess the reality of being alive and loved has a way of putting everything into perspective.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trimommy Does Dunkin'

There is a group of riders that do weekend rides from the Dunkin' Donuts in my town. They are called the DD Rides.  I've known about them for a while and have been wanting to do one, but have lacked the time and the courage!  It is mostly guys on road bikes and they ride hard.  After thinking about it all summer and then talking with someone I know who rides them every now and then, I gathered up my courage and went out today.

Of course, I would pick the coldest day of the season to do it!  It was 40 when I left my house this morning at 7:45 a.m., and I am NOT a cold-weather rider by nature.   I layered up as much as I could.  I didn't want to get too hot, but I also didn't want to freeze.

I rode the few miles to the Dunkin' Donuts and was a little nervous about what the day would bring.  As I turned into the parking lot, I saw some guys with bikes and headed over.  At the last minute I decided to put my bike into an easier gear, and then I just fell over.

Yep.  Right in front of everyone.

Talk about a grand entrance.  My bike is fine, but I have a few bumps and a bruised ego.  Oh well, if you can't laugh at yourself what's left, right? (I found out later that there is a little email newsletter that goes out about each ride.  Guess who will be featured in that? Thank God, there were no cameras.)

So with the embarrassment out of the way, we were off.  I was one of two girls in a group of about 15 men, and the other girl was super strong.  It took me a while to get the hang of the style of group riding. Basically, you go easy, and then without any warning at all, the entire group speeds up and if you aren't paying attention a huge gap forms right in front of you!  Then, boom, everything slows down again.  My heart rate was all over the place.  I was gasping for air on the hills, and then I was trying to catch everyone with all my might to close the gap!  I didn't even take a sip of my nutrition until 45 minutes in!

The ride was gorgeous!  It was a route I have never ridden before, so I'm glad I've done it now and have the route info from my Garmin. I will definitely ride it again.  We stopped in Skaneateles and stood around and froze for about 10 minutes.  I guess that was the social time.  I would have been fine with continuing on, but when in Rome...

I was feeling great on the way back.  There was one part where a pace line formed and it is pretty much all out for a mile.  I totally held my own there, which I was really happy about.  I was right in the middle of a group, and then, BAM, a hill and I lost them.  Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who got dropped and the rid leader graciously stayed with us until the end.  We rolled in about 5 minutes behind the others, which is not too bad if you ask me.  I was able to ride 53.5 miles at 17 mph average.

I had to bag my brick run after because the boys had soccer games, but really, soccer or no, I'm not sure I would have had much.  I did not fuel well because I was so focused on staying with the group.

It was a great ride for me.  It really took me out of my comfort zone, which is good to do every now and then. Those guys pushed hard, and I pushed hard right back.  It is not ideal training for triathlon, so I'm not sure if I will head out with them again until after Rev3 South Carolina (have you signed up yet?), but I will most definitely join them again.

And maybe next time I won't fall in the parking lot.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rev3Tri Cedar Point Race Report - In Kel's Words

I am happy to have a guest post this evening.  Those of you who know Kel, know that he is quite reserved, so when he told me he was writing a race report for my blog, I was ecstatic (and shocked!!).  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



First of all, a lot of “thank you's” are in order:
  • Thanks for all of you who sent the encouraging messages before the race. These truly helped to build my confidence and get me to the start line without having a panic attack.
  • Thanks to those who cheered me on during the race- especially Team Trakkers! I cannot tell you how uplifting it was to hear you all cheering, especially at the halfway point of the marathon where I needed it most!
  • Thanks to everyone who has congratulated me on finishing. The congrats keep coming in. Wow!
  • Thanks to Charlie, Eric, Carole and the rest of the Rev3 team for putting on an amazing event at a fantastic, family-friendly venue.  
  • Thanks to Team Trakkers Athlete and family friend Mark (A.K.A. Tridadoffive), who completed this race last year, and tackled it again this year with me as his protege. It was great to toe-the-line with someone I knew, especially since this race was my first iron-distance race.
  • Thanks to Jeremy at Bike Loft East for a fantastic bike fit. With only a couple of weeks before the race I, reluctantly, followed Kelly's advice and met with Jeremy to review my bike fit and see how it could be improved to take some pressure off my ailing left quad, which had been bothering me all summer long. Jeremy made a variety of fit adjustments which resulted in not only transferring some of the workload from my quads to my hamstrings, but also helped to correct some issues with my back as well.         
  • Thanks to my Mom and Dad, who stayed with us over the long weekend, to take part in experiencing the race, cheering, and help out with entertaining the boys. This really took a lot of pressure off both Kelly and me and is much appreciated.
  • Thanks to Ryan and Noah, who were (for the most part) very well-behaved the entire weekend. It really helps when these races are at amusement parks. Thanks again Rev3!  
  • Thanks to Kelly for putting up with my 6-hour training rides this summer, as well as my pre-race grouchiness. Thanks for inspiring me to get into this sport. Thanks for your encouragement. Thanks for your cheering. Thanks for taking care of me after I crossed the finish line. I'll be sure to return the favor next year when it's your turn to race the full iron.
  • Thanks to my employer, Klepper Hahn & Hyatt, offering a flexible work schedule that allowed me to squeeze in those long mid-week workouts.
  • Last but certainly not least, thanks to the Lord God Almighty for giving me a strong, healthy body capable of completing this race. Phillipians 4:13 was certainly on my mind while out on the course.

Pre-Race:

We had a home-cooked pasta dinner Sat. night for some final carbo-loading. Got to bed early but woke up at 2am and never really got back to sleep after that. Too much anticipation and thoughts running through my head. For breakfast, I topped of the fuel tanks by downing 3 Ensures, a cup of applesauce, a Powerbar and one of Mom's  chocolate chip cookies (~1500 calories total).

Kelly and I drove the short 5 minutes to the park, dropped off the transition and special needs bags, pumped up the tires, and gathered my swim stuff before taking the long walk up the beach to the start area.

Got in a short practice swim, which I have always found to be helpful by calming the nerves. I was pleasantly surprised that Rev3 had cleaned up all the muck from the start area that was there yesterday that had been washed ashore during the recent storms. Although the water was still pretty murky, from what I gather a constant for Lake Erie, it was a perfect temperature for a wetsuit swim. The winds were also very light so the water was pretty calm.    



The Swim: 01:21:15

All the age-groupers (about 400) for the full iron-distance race went off in a mass start. There was some banging around, especially until the first turn buoy, but was tolerable. It actually was less physical than I remember the 2010 Green Lakes Tri being, and that was only about 150 swimmers per wave.

I felt really good the entire swim. One nice thing about having the quad injury this summer was that I was able to spend a lot more time working on my swim fitness. Although I am no speed demon swimmer, I did manage to complete the swim and not feel the least bit tired. I probably could of swam a little harder but I thought saving my energy for the bike and run would reap better rewards.



T1: 00:05:29

Had the wetsuit stripped off then picked up my T1 bag and made for the changing tent. Toweled off, applied a nice thick coat of sunscreen (forecast was for sun later in the day), loaded up my jersey with food, donned my helmet and sunglasses, hopped on the bike, clicked in and started pedaling. [Sidebar: I still have no idea why Rev3 made us put our shoes in our T1 bag and not allow the shoes to be clipped-in before the race (like every other race I've done). It seemed really dumb to have to carry my shoes to my bike, clip them in, and then run the bike out of transition to the mount line. It is impossible to safely run in bike shoes with plastic cleats!]



The Bike: 05:51:28

The bike course is generally rolling with a few short climbs. It starts out along the lake, heads through Sandusky then out into rural northern Ohio, through a lot of farmland and smaller towns. After getting out of Sandusky, I settled into a good steady pace that I felt I could hold for a long time. I felt really good the entire ride. My nutrition strategy seemed to work very well. Every ½ hour I took a salt tab and ate something (either ½ Powerbar, ½ Snickers bar, or a gulp of EFS Liquid Shot). I hydrated very well, drinking a total of about 4 bottles of EFS, 2 bottles of Gatorade and 2 bottles of water. I finished off the last of the Gatorade in my aerobottle just before getting off the bike.   

T2:  00:07:15

Hopped off and racked the bike, grabbed my T2 bag and headed back into the changing tent. Put on socks and shoes, more sunscreen (it was getting sunny and hot out on the course), visor, sunglasses, race number belt, switched watches to my Garmin 405 and put on the heart rate monitor strap. Left the tent, made a quick pit stop in the port-a-john then headed out for the run.




The Run: 05:05:52

Well, going into this race I knew my run fitness was in question. My ailing quad kept me from putting in much run mileage at all. I'd say I ran a total of 50 miles between late June and this race. I did do a lot of aqua-jogging, and extra cycling, but it's just not the same. This was discouraging for me since I am a decent runner and can normally move up quite a bit during the run in a tri.

Leaving T2 I did feel great. I think the cheering from friends and family gave me a jolt of adrenaline that propelled me effortlessly... for about the first mile. That's when things started to go bad. I had eaten and drank too much too late on the bike and my stomach was just too full. Since it was relatively cool during the ride (low 70's), I just wasn't sweating as much as I did on my long training rides this summer, hence the extra fluids in my system. The bouncing from the running made me get a wicked side-stitch. I just couldn't keep up my run pace (I was shooting for about a 9 min per mile avg). I thought about making myself hurl for some relief but I feared once started I wouldn't be able to stop and then I'd be left with an empty stomach and no fuel at just the beginning of the marathon. I guess I could have refueled at the next aid station with Coke and bananas but decided against it as I just didn't feel like eating anything substantial at this point. I think this was a good move because as I employed my run-walk strategy I very gradually began to feel better. After the first loop I became re-energized by the cheering from friends and family and was able to put in some longer runs between walks. By about mile 19 or 20 I actually started to feel pretty good. I actually ended up negative-splitting the marathon!

I felt really great making my way back into the park and hearing the music and cheering from afar. Kelly and the boys joined me for the last run down the finish chute. Awesome!       



Overall Time: 12:31:19

I finished 32 of 68 in my age group and 123 of 303 for all men. I'm happy with it.

Will I do it again? During my low points of the run I thought definitely not. Immediately after the race I thought probably not. As I write this I'm thinking maybe. Next year is Kelly's year for her bid at the iron-distance. I'll be there to support her but not compete with her. Perhaps 2013. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rev3Tri Cedar Point

Wow!  I can't believe it's been 4 days since Kel raced his first full iron distance tri at Rev3 Cedar Point.  I'm still completely exhausted.  In fact, I think Kel has recovered faster than I have!

We had a wonderful weekend.  I'm going to let Kel share about his race in his own words tomorrow, but I have a few things to say as well - shocking, I know!

We decided to rent a house just outside the park for the weekend.  Kel's parents made the trip with us, which was a God send for me especially.  There is no way any of us would have had as much fun if Gramma and Grampa hadn't been there to help.  We pulled in Friday evening and got settled.  Saturday was a practice swim and some fun Team Trakkers meetups.  I was excited to see so many Trakkers peeps out there!


Since I wasn't racing, I took the opportunity to help out wherever I could.  My first job of the day was helping Mark (tridadoffive) stay off his feet.


I was also able to get a nice half-iron swim in during the practice swim.  Bonus!  After the swim, we laid low for the rest of the morning with the boys at the house, and then headed over to the expo so Kel could get his bike checked in.  I could tell he was feeling a little anxious about the race because he started to get kind of grumpy.  I tried to just take as much pressure off of him that I could.  The hardest part for me was trying not to ask him a million questions about what he had in his transition bags, or if he had enough nutrition.  The coach in me felt like that would have been helpful, but the wife in me knew that would just make him more nervous.


Kel was less than thrilled with me trying to document every move he made!

We had a lovely pre-race meal at home and hit the hay pretty early.  I did not sleep well at all, and I woke up with Kel around 4 a.m.  I was so nervous I felt like I was racing! Kel, on the other hand, seemed much more relaxed than he had been on Saturday.  We both got ready and headed down to transition.  Gramma and Grampa were at the house with the boys, so they all just slept in.

Kel and Mark on race day!
Soon enough, everyone headed down to the swim start and there were hugs squeezed and kisses given.



Since it was September 11, Rev3 had a beautiful tribute to those that had fallen on that tragic day 10 years earlier.


Before I knew it, all the racers were being ushered into the chute and waiting for the start, and then they were off!


I'll leave the race for Kel, but I will say we all had a fantastic time.  While Kel was on the bike, I met up with the boys and Gramma and Grampa for some fun at Cedar Point, which was literally steps away from transition.

Ryan was so excited to get his picture with Charlie Brown and Linus.
Noah, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with them.

Ryan and I enjoyed a peaceful ride on the Ferris Wheel.

We made sure to make it back to cheer for Daddy!!

One of the most surprising things of the day was that Ryan went on this
ride with his Grampa!!  I was very impressed.
I was so grateful to be able to hang out with Colleen, one of my awesome Trakkers teammates, all day.  Spectating at an iron-distance race is hard work, let me tell you, so it was great to have some company!

Did you know Moonpies are the breakfast of champions?
The absolute highlight of the day, though, was when all of us ran Kel through the finish line.  Rev3 believes in the family finish line because no one can finish a race like this without the support of their family.  I just can't say enough about the experience that Rev3Tri offers all of its racers and their families.


Sunday was a very special day for me.  I got to see my husband achieve something that neither of us ever could have imagined.  We were able to share it with our family and friends.  I was able to see the place where  I will hopefully become an iron-distance finisher. I was able to cheer on so many people I know to great finishes in the half and the full rev. Big congrats to all of my teammies who crossed the line on Sunday!

It was certainly a day to remember.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a day.  The first day of school at our house is a mixed bag of excitement, worries, and tears (mostly my own.)  Today was no exception.

Rain was beating down on the windows this morning as we made the trek to the bus stop.  Noah has half-day kindergarten, so his bus doesn't come until 12:15, but Ryan was ready with a thumbs up at 7:50 a.m.


It was pretty chilly this morning along with the rain, and Noah was content to cuddle up in the drapes of my sweater.  I think he was a bit nervous about starting the big K today.



After Ryan got on the bus as was off, Noah and I had a little date at Starbucks with a latte (for me) and a cake pop over a game of checkers. I wanted to relish the last few minutes.

His bus was supposed to come around 12:15, so we headed outside about 12:05.  The kindergarten bus comes right to our driveway, which was nice today since the rain was still coming down.  Here is Noah doing some of his "cool dude" moves while we were waiting.


And then we waited, and waited, and waited.


Both of us were getting pretty antsy.  I texted and called a few other moms, just to make sure we hadn't missed the bus.  Finally, 40 minutes later, the bus rolled down the street.  Noah had a moment of uncertainty, and then he hopped right on that bus and was off.


Believe it or not, I was really okay.  I think all the waiting took the steam out of my fears of seeing him go off to school with the big kids.



Ryan and Noah were both all smiles at the end of the day.

Thank you, God.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend Escape: A Race Report among other things

Yesterday I escaped from this...


I did the Escape from the Judge 1 mile swim in Skaneatelas Lake yesterday and it was great!  It is a race I've wanted to do for a few years, but I have always raced the Skinnyman Tri on the day before, so never did it.  Well, yesterday morning turned out to be a beautiful morning for my first escape.

I boarded "the Judge" with about 150 other swimmers (the other 150 had to take buses to the dock) and was taken a mile out into the lake, then we jumped out, swam to the start line and waited for the boat horn to signal go.

With 300 people in the water, it was actually the biggest swim start I have ever done.  It was a deep water start, so after we jumped off the boat and swam about 100 yards or so to the start, we were chatting and treading water, and then all of a sudden, the horn blew.  No warning or anything, and we were off!!  I had tentatively planned to try to draft off a couple of fast swimmers I knew, but I lost them in the rush of the start, so I was on my own.

The swim was a straight shot back to shore, which ended up being a little weird for me.  My sighting was good, but I never realized how much I rely on the turns during an out and back swim to help me get through the swim in the sense that I know how much I have left!  It was very interesting, too, to know I didn't have to hop out and do any more racing, with the exception of the short run to the finish line.  I would definitely like to do another swim race now that I have one under my belt.  It is definitely a different kind of beast.

I was gunning for around 30 minutes and crossed the timing mat in 31:11 (1:49/100 yard pace), so I was pretty happy about that. I ended up placing 7/16 in my age group, which is a really tough AG, 37/139 women, and 83/217 overall.

Of course there is no escaping the first day of school!! For me, I'm back to teaching full-on tomorrow, although this semester I will only be heading down to Ithaca once a week.  The boys head to school on Wednesday, and it will be Noah's first day of kindergarten.

Be quiet. I don't want to talk about it.

Of course, we will be escaping all this school business for a weekend at least, when we pack up and head to Ohio on Friday for Rev3Tri Cedar Point!!!!!!!!!!!

Kel is racing the full, his first, on Sunday, and I will be there as mommy, wife, daughter-in-law, Trakkers teammate, and spectator extraordinare.  I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself to perform, but I will only be cheering for my husband's first 140.6 once, and I want to get it right!  I'm super excited to watch him and a load of my Trakkers teammies, as well as some of my Train-This teammates race.

I will also be scouting out this race, because it might very well come into play in my 2012 season...

I hope you were able to escape from something this weekend too!!  Happy training!

ShareThis