They can’t all be pretty

March 23rd…first triathlon of the season….USAP Event’s Half Moon Bay Triathlon. About and month prior, I decided that I would race the International distace (.9 mile swim, 27 mile ride, and 6.2 mile run) since I would have completed a half marathon just two weeks before ( I didn’t write a blog about that race because I am lame and forgot). I had great intentions of getting out there and racing the longer distance. I had great intentions to actually train. I had great intentions. I had…..well…..yeah….life happened.

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The week leading up to the triathlon, I struggled with life mentally. Stress was high. Emotions were high. Energy was low. I had not trained. Other than running (preparing for the half marathon) I hadn’t trained at all. So the Wednesday before race day, I made the call and dropped to the sprint distance (500yard swim, 11 mile ride, and 3 mile run) I dropped the distance for fear of injury and to save myself more stress. Although I wasn’t real happy about making the decision and feeling like a slacker, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Race weekend was here….headed to the beach…wooooo hooo! I SHOULD have been excited. I SHOULD have been excited to race. I SHOULD have been excited to get out of town. I SHOULD have been excited for girls weekend. But…I wasn’t. Not even close. My head was clouded with negative thoughts. I couldn’t shake it. I tried faking it but didn’t make it. I tried looking for the positives that were swarming around me, but fumbled to find them. I tried breathing exercises to calm my mind. Sadly, nothing helped. I was in a funk.


Race morning quickly approached and I woke up feeling a bit better. Still very unsure about racing and lacking confidence. I don’t think I have EVER headed into a race feeling this way. I got to transition early, set up my things, checked in with friends, and wandered around. I saw the excitement and anticipation on all the athlete’s face. It was a look I knew well, but a look I wasn’t wearing. Focus! Focus! Focus! On repeat in my head. I jumped into my wet suit, grabbed my cap and goggles and headed down to the water.

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As the International distance racers took off, I knew it was time to get in the water and start acclimating to the cold Pacific waters. I was paralyzed on the beach. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get myself into the water. I stared off into the distance and thought to myself ” I could just not start and cheer my friends on instead.” I honestly gave this more thought than I should have. I was so very close to turning around and walking back to transition and calling it quits. BUT…..out of all things, I am NOT a quitter. I packed up my pitty party and got into the water. Luckily it wasn’t as cold as I was anticipating and began to get excited to swim. I found my place among the other green caps and waited for the gun to signal our start. The first triathlon of the season had begun….

The swim went fairly well. I got kicked, brushed shoulders, hit hands, as I made my way around the buoys. I exited the swim feeling good and headed to transition. It was a long way on a paved road and I didn’t bring any shoes for the trek. My feet were ice cold and I ran over more rocks than I ever thought possible. Ahhhhh…transition….crawl out of the wet suit, dirty feet into my cycling shoes, helmet on head, glasses on face. I was off…

The ride took us along highway 1. The wind was present but I didn’t feel it on my face on the way out. That only meant one thing….head wind at the turn around. Recognizing this, I worked hard to keep a strong pace, using the wind at my back to my advantage. My heart rate stayed pretty steady and I managed to stay focused through the first 3 miles. As we hit the turn around, we were slapped in the face with a strong head wind and strong cross winds. I tucked my head and fought to keep a strong pace, but couldn’t keep my head down for long as the cross winds would catch my wheel set and push me farther into the shoulder. Mile after mile, pedal stroke after pedal stroke. As I began to lose focus, I began to lose motivation to work hard. I didn’t want to ride in the winds anymore. I wanted to be DONE. Not just with the bike portion, but in general. Then we made a left hand turn and my wishes were answered….I have never been so happy to feel a tail wind. The roads were smooth and the cross winds were gone. I tucked my head and dropped my shoulders. I felt like I was flying but didn’t feel like was I working all that hard. I managed to look down at my watch and see that I was holding a steady 27mph. Ah yeah!! These are the moments I live for on the bike. I took advantage of every second and rode into transition with a smile on my face.

Helmet off. Glasses off. Cycling shoes off. Running shoes on. Race belt on. Visor on and I was off. Or was I?? I ran out of transition and the smile that was just smeared across my face moments ago, silently disappeared. I ran down to the path along the ocean, but I didn’t even notice how beautiful the run was. I DIDN’T WANT TO RUN. I didn’t want to be out there anymore. The lack of confidence returned along with the lack of motivation. I made the mistake of looking down at my watch and seeing that I was only a half mile into the run and my pace was not impressive. I felt like I was working a million times harder than I had just two weeks prior at the half marathon. It was then that I thought about quitting yet again. I wasn’t going to podium. I wasn’t going to be happy with my performance. What was the point in even finishing? Sad, but true, this is where my thoughts gathered. Ugh….

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Somehow, some way, I crossed the finish line. I was not happy. I was not impressed. I grabbed some water and headed back out on the run course. This time walking towards the rocks that lined the waters edge. I sat on those rocks for over an hour.

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What if I am not meant to race in triathlons anymore? It was who I was, but maybe I am meant to do something different. I could not find the motivation to train leading up to the race. I did not have fun on the course. I had NEVER felt like this during or after a race before. I use to love doing this. I use to train for hours a day. I just don’t know.


Not all races are going to be pretty. Not all races are going to hold up to my high expectations. Not all races are going to be all rainbows and butterflies. I needed this race. I needed to struggle. I needed to learn that if I was the results, I have to put in the work. I learned that this sport definitely takes a lot of physical effort, but it takes just as much (if not more) mental focus. I learn things the hard way. Always have, probably always will. It is who I am. But one thing remains….I WILL NOT QUIT. I didn’t at this race, when life was stacked up against me. I managed to push through. I crossed the finish line. And for that day, that was all I could I do.


As for what’s next….Morgan Hill triathlon. That’s what is on the schedule. Life is still kicking my arse. I have trained twice since the race. I have great intentions of training more and putting in a better effort in Morgan Hill.

Stay tuned my friends……

I’m baaaack!

Oh my goodness…it’s been a long time since I posted on here. In the past 6 months, my life has been flipped upside down and A LOT has changed. That is another post for another time. This post is about tackling my comeback into the triathlon world. I am 3 days shy of the 1 year anniversary of the ankle break. We will not be celebrating that day. However, we are celebrating that the ankle is feeling pretty darn good.

I am fortunate enough to be named an ambassador for USA Productions again this year. I plan on participating in almost all of their events this year. First up was the South Bay Duathlon this past weekend. Running has obviously been the hardest for me to regain, but I have been working on it. In a duathlon, you run and then bike and then run again. Ugh….running. No swimming. WHY??? I agreed to race it and so I did.

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I signed up for the sprint distance so I could push the ankle in a race setting but not kill myself. This particular race called for a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, and another 2 mile run. Because I am who I am, I looked up the times from last year and got an idea where I wanted to set my goal time. According to last year’s times and my training times, I could possibly land on the podium. This is always a goal for me, but coming off a year off and not really pushing myself during training, I wasn’t holding any real expectations. And besides, it all depends who shows up on race day.

Off to Morgan Hill we went. The sprint distance had a late start time, 9:34am. It was foggy and cold race morning, but the forecast called for temps in the upper 70’s, low 80’s. I watched as the longer distance race took off at 7 am and headed back to the car to stay warm. There I looked up how many ladies were racing in my age group. There were 8 of us. The thought of a podium finish crossed my mind again, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. This would be a new approach for me. Breathe…breathe….breathe.

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Finally the clock approached 9:30am. I took a short run to warm up the legs and then headed to the start line. As the gun fired, we all took off for our 2 mile run. The lead pack of ladies took off VERY fast. I stayed in the middle of the pack, but when I looked down at my watch and saw a 8:05 min/mile pace, I KNEW I had to slow way down. I let the lead pack take off and knew then and there that I needed to race MY race and let the idea of a podium finish go. I knew at least 3-4 ladies in my age group were in that lead pack. I settled into my run rhythm and pushed a pace I knew I could handle. I finished the 2 mile run in a 8:50 min/mile pace. I was satisfied with that, but according to my training runs, I knew I could run faster. The legs were heavy, but I accepted it and switched into riding mode.

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I hopped onto my trusty pink machine and took off.

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I kept my cadence at a good pace and passed several people on the first few miles. I even caught up to one of the ladies in my age group. As I passed her, I called out ” Catch me on the run”. I knew I would have to create a good sized gap to hold her off on the run. My ride continued strong. I pushed on the flats and kept a high cadence up the single hill on the course. The 10 miles were broken into 2 five mile loops. The second go around, I was able to push more since I knew what to expect.

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As I came into transition, I was feeling hungry and didn’t have any nutrition on me or waiting for me in transition. Bad move.

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I hopped off the bike, grabbed my running gear and heading back out for 2 miles. The legs still felt heavy, but I had a goal and I wouldn’t let it slip away. At this point, I knew I hadn’t caught enough ladies on the bike portion to think about a podium finish. It was now about racing MY race and push my body to perform. I ran and attempted to hold a 9:00 min/mile pace. That pace slowly slipped away as the legs got heavier and heavier. I shortened my stride and dug deep. As I made the last turn, with .2 miles to go, I knew I had to turn it up and finish strong. I dropped into a sub 9 min/mile pace and crossed the finish line.

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I wasn’t super happy about my performance since my legs felt heavy and weak. I was disappointed because my training runs had been strong. Regardless of my time, I was happy that the ankle didn’t bother me hardly at all during the race. I had set a time goal for myself and I ended up crushing that. I raced my race, and beat my goals. That is what success is all about.

I hung out with my mom and daughters and waited for my friend to cross the finish line. After she crossed, I noticed that they had posted the finishing times. I headed over to check out how I did against the other ladies in my age group. I was SHOCKED to see that I had finished 3rd in my age group. Oh. My. Goodness. I had given up on the goal of standing on the podium and I was okay with that. I would have been happy finishing anywhere in my age group because I beat the goal I set out for myself. That is really what the day was about. Finishing on the podium just happened to be an added bonus.

I collected my award and congratulated the other two ladies that finished before me. I thanked the girl I passed on the bike for pushing me to run hard to the finish line. (She finished only a minute or 2 behind me.)  I love the triathlon community for this reason. Everyone is so supportive and friendly. Yes, it is a competition, but we are all there to push and challenge each other, as we push ourselves. I was proud to race among that group of ladies.

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So, what is in store for racing this year? Well, like I said, I will be participating in as many USAP events as I possibly can. I will likely bump up to the longer distance as my running miles increase. Hopefully as the race season continues, my training will become more consistent.  With all my life changes, training has really suffered. With that being said, I bit the bullet and signed up for a 1/2 marathon in Santa Cruz on April 9th. Again,  I will be going into this race with zero expectations. I really just want to see if the ankle will hold up.

Now to get back to actual training……

photos courtesy of USAP, Gary Brooks, and Roy Kikunaga

 

Testing…testing….

When I broke my ankle on March 17th, I asked the orthopedic surgeon to be honest with me. I asked him when I would be able to race again. I didn’t want the sugar coated version. I didn’t want to hear anything but reality, even though I wasn’t prepared to hear the words. After getting over the heartbreak of hearing my dream of racing Vineman in July was NOT going to happen, he continued to tell me that it would take 6-9 months post surgery to be able to start running and a good year to feel “normal” again.  You have heard my story. You all know what emotions ran through me. It was like a hurricane, tornado, and earthquake all wrapped into one. Emotional roller coaster doesn’t begin to describe it. 
You read all the time of stories where people beat the odds.

5 and a half months. I am running short distances, biking on mainly flat roads, and swimming. But, knowing exactly where you are in recovery is sometimes hard to determine. What better way than to sign up for a super sprint triathlon and put the ankle to the test? Brilliant idea, right?!? I thought so too.


 So, on August 28th, I re entered the triathlon scene. Santa Barbara Sprint Triathlon. I didn’t tell many people I was signing up. I didn’t want the pressure of “racing”. I wanted to go out in a race atmosphere, and test the ankle, see where it felt okay, and where I needed to focus my time and energy to improve. I am a VERY competitive person, so going out on the course and not worrying about placement or time would prove to be very difficult. I was so grateful to have a very good friend there with me. Thankfully, in the same age group so I would have her support throughout the course, not to mention, before and after the race as well. 

The swim was 500yards in chilly ocean waters. I got kicked, pulled, pushed, and bumped the entire way. I couldn’t find a way to break free or drop back. I was so relieved when my fingertips hit the sandy ocean floor and it was time to stand up and exit the swim. It was the first time, in a race, that I exited the swim feeling tired. I took my time jogging up the sandy shore, making sure the uneven surface didn’t cause the ankle to roll or fold. Ran through transition, managed to get out of my wetsuit, threw on my bike gear and headed out to the street. 

The bike course was 6 short miles. Fairly flat, through neighborhood streets, with one slight incline. On the course, I would see my good friend many times. We played cat and mouse, joking each time we passed each other. The slight incline came towards the end of the bike course. I knew I would have to make the choice to stand and power up or remain in the saddle and climb steadily. Since I hadn’t practiced running off the bike AT ALL, this choice made me nervous. As I hit the incline, I stayed in my gear, got out of the saddle and powered up. As I hit the crest, my heart rate was high and my legs were letting me know that it was time to “spin out”. I cruised through the rest of the bike and prepared myself mentally for the run. Hit transition fairly cautiously, threw on my running shoes and visor and headed out for my 2 miles. 


2 miles. 2 short, flat, paved miles. I just needed the ankle to hang on. For the first 1/2 mile, I felt good. I watched my pace and made sure I stayed around a 9:30 per mile pace. This is where I had been training and knew the ankle could handle 2 miles at this pace. But, I hadn’t ran 2 miles after biking and swimming and the ankle reminded me of that. I started feeling the ankle lose stability. I had to focus more on each step to ensure it was landing smoothly. I slowed my pace and swallowed my pride as older male competitors started to pass me. “This isn’t about time or placement. This is just a test”. I had to remind myself over and over. I started contemplating switching to a run walk to see if the ankle responded better. But, I kept running. As I hit the turn around, the ankle was no better or worse and I decided to just go for it. I wasn’t experiencing any pain and stayed aware to prevent any rolling or folding.


 I managed to hold a 9:30 pace again and ran all the way back to the finish line. 

I had done it. I completed the entire race and had done better than expected. After crossing the finish line, I reunited with my good friend, congratulated her on an amazing race and headed straight to the medic tent for ice. 


5 1/2 post surgery. I am not only running, I am making my way back to successfully racing again. I have so many people to thank. I couldn’t have gone through recovery, or made my way back to racing so quickly without the love and support from my family and friends. My physical therapist and his staff were beyond amazing. They taught me how to rebuild my strength and flexibility. My entire recovery is ahead of schedule because of their guidance. 



This is just the beginning. I still have work to do. My recovery continues. My goal to finish a Half Ironman is still alive. Stay tuned…

Post Vineman feels and what the heck am I doing?

I am a little late writing about my experience at Vineman 70.3, so let me start there. We headed up to Windsor on the Friday before the race.I was feeling a bit anxious but as soon as I was in the car with Gabe and two of my teammates, my attitude quickly changed. That evening, our house (myself, Gabe, and 4 of my teammates and spouses) hosted a team dinner. This was so much fun and a great reminder of why I joined the team 3 years ago. We talked, we ate, we had fun.

Saturday, however, was much harder. That morning we headed to the Ironman Village to check-in, shop, and those that were racing, dropped off their T2 gear. I checked in just as if I were racing, not only because I wasn’t able to get my registration money refunded, but also to get the magic green athlete bracelet that would allow me to enter athlete only areas.

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After checking in and leaving the area with tears in my eyes, we headed to the athlete briefing.  I sat through this meeting, mainly because we had driven the housemates there so we had to wait for them to finish. This was a BAD idea. While sitting in the bleachers, listening to all the details of the race, it really hit me how badly I wanted to race. I held back the tears and put on a happy face for my teammates. I didn’t want to be a downer while they were preparing to race the next day. From there we drove over to Johnson’s beach and met a few teammates that rode there and checked in their bikes. I put my feet in the river and envisioned the race. Shallow, warm waters would have made for a fast swim. Man oh man, the thoughts that swirled around in my head. Again, the tears swelled but I managed to hold them back. It wasn’t until later that evening, when I was able to break away from everyone, that I let the tears fall. I was suppose to be excited and nervous. I was suppose to be organizing and preparing. I was suppose to be chatting about the course and my goals. Instead, I was in tears and heart broken. I can’t remember another time in my life when I was absolutely unable to reach a goal, no matter how hard I tried or worked. This was out of my control and I didn’t know how to deal with that. I let the tears fall. I needed to process the feelings so I could move on and support my teammates the following day.

With a very early wake up call Sunday morning, Gabe and I headed down to Johnson’s beach. Here, we would write race numbers on athlete after athlete as they entered T1. Being as this was my first Ironman event that I have ever been a part of, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.vineman1

I can honestly say, I had a great time. I was able to see my teammates as they prepared to hit the water, as well as help others athletes in the process. I was thankful I was able to be so close and involved in the race. It was also here that I dropped my timing chip and OFFICIALLY was a DNF. Thankfully, I had had a good cry the night before and made this a  easier on the heart strings.

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After the last swim wave took off, we headed back to Windsor and watched teammate after teammate come off the bike and head out on their run. It was nice to be there and cheer them on as they headed out for the last 13.1 miles of their race. The finish line was just on the other side of the school, so eventually we headed that direction. As I stood there, for hours, I watched athlete after athlete cross the finish line. I was no longer sad. I was honored to be there to support my teammates and best friends. It wasn’t my time and I had accepted that once and for all.

The days following were still hard, but I pushed through them. I may not have been able to race a 70.3 in 2016, but that goal is still there. I will reach it. I just have to put in more time and more work. There is a lesson to be learned in there somewhere!

So, here we are. I am officially 5 months post break/surgery.5 months

I am done with physical therapy and out on my own. The scars are fading and the muscles are getting stronger.  I have started the couch to 5k program to help ease myself back into running. I won’t lie or sugar coat it…running hurts. The ankle isn’t a big fan, but I am committed to taking it slow and easy. Some days are better than others and I have learned that I have to take a day or 2 in between to let it recover. Again, a lesson in patience. Some days I am motivated and feel great about my progress. Others I am frustrated and find myself doubting my recovery. Every day I remind myself that the doctors told me I wouldn’t be running again until 6-9 months post surgery. I am ahead of the game.

As far as racing goes…..I am still unsure. I don’t want to race again until I am able to run 100%. If you know me, you understand why. I am competitive. It runs through my blood. When I race, I give it all I’ve got. I do not want to go out and race if I am not able to do that. I have my eyes set on Morro Bay Triathlon in November. I feel like that will give me enough time to work on my run and get it together. I also want to race one more time this year. I have only raced once and the itch is getting stronger and stronger. As far as 70.3 races are concerned….I’m holding onto hope that 2017 is the year. If I build slowly and take care of my body, I should be able to reach it. I thought about Oceanside in March, but that is still too early. I tried to get priority registration for Vineman 2017, but it didn’t happen. I will try one more time when general registration opens and if it doesn’t happen then, I will have to believe that it isn’t the race for me. My last and final choice is Santa Cruz in September. My only concern about this race is that it finishes on soft sand. With my ankle and the level of fatigue, this scares me a bit. But, I have a lot of time between now and then to figure it out.

So, there you have it. The past, the present and the unknown future. School starts for my 3 littles on Monday and hopefully I will be back in the routine of all 3 disciplines. I am ready. Speed bump after speed bump may slow me down, but it will not completely stop me. 2017 will be different, maybe even great.

 

 

Vineman 70.3 is here…


I have tried to get myself to write this post several times, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. As I sit here, getting ready to load up the car, and head to Windsor, Ca…I am forcing myself to write this blog. For me. For you. For anyone that cares to listen. 

About a year ago, I committed to racing this race. My best friend and I would do it together for her 40th birthday. Then, our triathlon club got priority registration so about 20 of our teammates also committed to racing as well. To be able to race my first 70.3 distance race with so many of my friends and teammates was the ultimate situation. Excited doesn’t begin to explain the feelings running through my body. I spent the winter months building my endurance. I sludged through slow, tedious workouts knowing that come springtime, I would be able to start speed work and reap the rewards. I then powered through speedwork, tempo, hard sets in the spring. My times were dropping and the power was increasing. 

You all know what happened next. 

I will still be with my best friend and my 20 or so teammates this weekend. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I would be lying if I said it is going to be easy. It’s not. I don’t know how I will feel being on the sidelines. I don’t know how to make it easier on myself. Maybe I will be fine. Maybe I will be an emotional mess. I just don’t know.  But I would hate myself if I stayed at home and pouted.

 Instead, I will go out there on Sunday and make the most of it. I will be in T1 body marking athletes before the race begins. I will stay on Johnson’s Beach until the last wave sets off and then I will travel to Windsor High and watch the athletes as they tradition from bike to run and eventually cross the finish line. It will be a great day, full of great racing. And I will be there to cheer, support, and congratulate.

I can’t stop myself from thinking “what if”. What if I hadn’t broken my ankle? Where would I be right now? Would I be in the best shape of my life? Would I feel strong and ready? Would I be mentally ready? Would I still be excited about the sport? What if? 

The questions to those answers will have to wait. I did break my ankle. I did have to pull out from the race. I did have to adjust my goals. At times I’m okay with that. Right now, it’s a little harder to swallow. Vineman 70.3 will have to wait until another time for me. 

My healing and recovery progress is moving along. I am just shy of 4 months post surgery and I was cleared to start jogging by my physical therapist. I have to start slow and only jog for short distances but this a huge step in the right direction. Typically with a tibial pilon fracture, you expect 6-9 months recovery before running again. I am 2 months ahead of schedule! I was blessed with an amazing surgeon, supervised by a great physical therapist, and followed the plan. I remained patient in the recovery process and it has paid off. 

And so with that, we are off…… 

Windsor, Ca or bust! 

12 week update and F.O.M.O. 

It’s finally here!!! 12 week post surgery. I know, I know. It doesn’t seem like it’s been 3 months. I hear it almost everyday. HOWEVER, when it is your foot stuck in a boot, it seems like a lifetime.

I am officially done with the boot. Seeeeee ya! I wish someone would have warned me how uncomfortable it would be the first week or so out of the boot. Every step is thought out, to ensure the foot lands evenly on the ground, or the fire ignited inside your foot and you don’t dare attempt another step. Okay, maybe that is a bit exxaggerated, but you get the point. I did wear a lace up brace for a week and a half, until I felt stable enough to walk without any added support. I kid you not, I felt like a baby giraffe learning to walk again.


So, here I am. Boot free. Brace free. And walking semi normal. X-rays showed new bone growth and my orthopedic doc sent me on my way. That means I can race?!? YEAH RIGHT.

I laid in bed one night (every night actually but this one night in particular) and got the bright idea that I would do the swim and bike portion of Vineman 70.3. I would turn my timing chip in at T2 and DNF, but at least I would get to race SOME of the race I had once trained so hard for. I went to my PT (physical therapist) with this bright idea and once again my dreams came crushing down. Swim portion, yes. Bike portion, don’t even think about it. With just 5 weeks until race day, I wouldn’t have enough time to get the ankle strong enough to ride 56 miles with rolling hills. “Just not worth it” were the words used. Ugh!! This is stupid. I pouted and stomped my feet like an upset 2 year old (not really but in my head I did). So…no racing.

The. Fear. Of. Missing. Out.

Sitting on the sidelines watching all your bada** friends compete in races is fun. It gives me a whole new perspective to the sport. HOWEVER, afterwards, it sucks emotionally. I want to be out there training and racing and pushing myself to the limit. Three weeks ago, it was Morgan Hill Sprint. The month before was Millerton Lake Triathlon. The month before, Ca Classic 1/2 Marathon. This weekend, Folsom.

As we inch closer and closer to Vineman 70.3, it gets harder and harder to be sidelined. I am so close, and yet so far from racing again. I promised to be honest throughout this process and this is it. I do not feel sorry for myself. I KNOW I will race again. You can BET I will come more determined to the 2017 race season. But for now, I have to accept that 2016 wasn’t my year to race. I hate it. I am not patient. I am grateful for the time away from the sport to spend with my family and friends. It’s just….hard.


I will be at Vineman 70.3. I will not be racing. Not even the swim, but I will be there. I will be there at the finish line to see my best friend cross the finish line in her very first 70.3. I will be ecstatic and proud. I will cheer, scream, cowbell, and give hugs to all my teammates as the take on the course. I fully expect the days following to be hard emotionally. I will do my best to prepare myself, but to be honest, I don’t know how I will handle it.


Stay tuned. For now…I will slowly start riding my bike outdoors and begin speed walking. Progress. 

Top 5 things they should have told ME before having surgery. 

  
I am currently 6 1/2 weeks post surgery and there are definitely things I feel like the medical staff should have warned me about. Everyone is different, I get this, but here is my top 5 “You should have warned me” list. 

#5. No sleep…. to sleep ALL THE TIME. 

The first week after surgery, sleeping was quite a chore. Just as I was about to fall asleep, I would want to turn over, and well, good luck. With my foot propped up on two pillows to prevent swelling, turning from one side to the other wasn’t easy. 

However after the first month, and the fear of rebreaking my ankle while I slept faded, all I wanted to do was sleep. I would wake up with the kids, get them off to school, have some breakfast, and head back to bed. And by back to bed, I mean in bed, “napping”, until the kids got out of school and I was forced to leave my bed.  “Your body will recover faster if you rest”. Yeah, yeah. But let’s be real….sleeping ALL day isn’t healthy for the mind or body. Someone should have told me I was going to feel like a sloth while I adjusted to the crutch life. At what point do you need a “Get your arse out of bed” intervention? A day? A week? A month??? Send in the troops! 

#4. Oh, you thought you were independent? Not anymore. 

The medical staff taught me how to walk on crutches before I left the hospital. What they failed to mention was the fact that my independence was taken away the moment they handed me the crutches. Imagine life with NO hands. Yep. That’s what walking with crutches is like. Need to carry something from one room to the other? Hopefully your husband is free to help. Need to move laundry from the laundry room? Ask your kids. Grocery shopping? Walking up the stairs? Hahahahaha. You are kidding, right?!? 

For the first 3 weeks after surgery, I was fortunate enough to have friends and family help with dinners. I couldn’t stand long enough or move around the kitchen well enough to fix my family dinner. My mom stayed with us the first week to help take care of the kids. Cleaning the house wasn’t even an option. For a stay at home mom, I literally couldn’t do all of the things that needed to be done on a daily basis. Mentally, this was a very tough adjustment. Who would think  I would miss cleaning the house? I must be losing my mind. 

#3. Menopause? On top of a broke ankle? This is a bad joke. 

Back to sleeping. As if turning from side to side and finding a comfortable position wasn’t hard enough, add night sweats in the mix. I would wake up in the middle of the night SOAKED in sweat. Right after the surgery, it was the worst. The first couple of nights, I was so freaked out that I had an infection, I crawled out of bed and took my temperature. Night after night, I would wake up sweaty. It gets old real quick. It is only now, 6 weeks later, that I wake up and don’t feel like I peed my pants or took a shower while sleeping. It’s a wonderful feeling, let me tell you (enter sarcastic tone). But it wasn’t only at night. I would be standing in the kitchen and out of now where, break a sweat. Standing in line at the grocery stor, break a sweat. Sitting on the couch, break a sweat. These sweats weren’t nearly as bad as the night sweats, but none the less, weren’t fun to deal with. 

#2. No matter the task, big or small, it feels equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. 

Think about how many times you walk from one room to another…how easily you walk to the bathroom, get a drink of water, fill your car with gas. Everyday tasks that we complete without much thought. Someone should warn you that crutch life will make these everyday tasks feel impossible. It would take me 10 minutes to get up, hobble to the bathroom, and hobble back. Not to mention, I would break a sweat and need to sit for a minute to recover afterwards. Grocery shopping would literally take ALL of my energy for the day. How in the world did I go from training 1-4 hours a day, to this? Even 6 weeks later, these everyday tasks are still challenging. 

And last and most important….

#1. I have the most amazing and supportive friends and family. 

This obviously is something I knew before my injury, but I can’t yell it loud enough from the mountain tops. With all the challenges and negative feelings that came with my injury, I was flooded with text messages, phone calls, Facebook comments, and visitors that made even my hardest days so much easier. For three weeks, we had friends and family help with dinners. They took time out of their busy schedules  and money out of their pockets to help us. I had friends help me find doctors, medical equipment, and gave medical advise. There were random text messages that stopped the tears from rolling down my face. Friends would stop by just to say hi and make sure I was doing okay. Others got me out of the house for workouts and lunches. The list goes on and on. The medical staff could not have known just how wonderful my friends are, but love and support is the number one thing that has kept me from going to the dark side of depression. I am forever grateful and saying “thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough. 

So here I am, heading into week 7. I am feeling stronger. The good days out number the bad. I have graduated to one crutch and am allowed to swim. Recovery is long and hard (understatement of the year) but it isn’t forever. 

Until the next blog….get out there, love life, have fun, and love those around you!!