Friday, November 8, 2013

Making Lemonade

Ironman training is months and months, sometimes years, of making lemonade.
In our everyday lives lemons are thrown at us.  What we do with those lemons determines who we are.

At the end of August I raced an Olympic distance at Clear Lake.  This race was considered part of my training so the day was about collecting data, trying out some nutrition and having a good time.  The swim was very good practice as it was one of the rougher swims with more contact than any other triathlon I have done.  I was excited to get on the bike.  At the time I was riding the Litespeed with aero bars, the same bike I rode at Bridgeland.  Unfortunately out of T2 I crashed, completely my fault. Helplessly my husband and sister were only a few feet away but could not help me.  I popped back up and started pedaling.  I soon realized my rear derailleur was no longer working so the race was done in the only two gears I had, big ring and small ring.  Lemons.  Made it through the bike and suffered through the run.  It was wonderful to see Ken and my sister, the first triathlon she had been able to attend, along the way.  Unfortunately, the crash had some lasting results.  Lemons.

My shoulder was sore but I pressed on.  September 22 I was in Oklahoma with a good friend, Trisha, to race the Redman Full Aqua-Bike.  I felt a full distance swim & bike would be better training for me than the usual half Ironman distance most triathletes use in their full distance training.
The swim was great!  I swam 2.65 miles in traffic and negotiated well finishing in 1;29:29.
Once again I was excited to get on the bike but shortly after the Litespeed and I left T2 I had a very sharp pain in my side.  I kept telling myself it was a stitch and would work itself out.  While on the bike I tried stretching and every position I could manage to get more comfortable.  The intense stabbing pain got worse and I could only sit straight up (so much for aero bars).  I had many arguments with myself over those 56 miles.  Sadly at the turn around I knew I could not continue.  Trisha saw me at half way and told me to get off my bike.  At this point I was hyperventilating and couldn’t speak.  I had not taken a deep breath in almost 4 hours.  The folks in the med tent were lovely and did their best to make me comfortable.  Two IVs and several students and a couple doctors later their best guess is intercostal muscle strain.  They were sympathetic and assured me stopping was the smartest decision I made all day.

When I got home I was determined to get whatever this was fixed, I have a race to do, bigger fish to fry and all that.  I met with a local chiropractor who specializes in ART and is a triathlete himself.  At my first appointment he asked me if I had been in a car accident.  I assured him I had not.  He told me he usually sees ribs in this kind of shape after somebody has been broadsided.  My ribcage was completely locked up like a solid mass. 
At our second appointment he discovered I had a fractured rib.  He asked if I had crashed my bike.  Well, now that you mention it I did crash my bike!  LOL  My focus post Clear Lake was on my shoulder but apparently when my body hit the pavement my ribs took the brunt.  “The good news is you can continue with your training, the bad news is it will all hurt.”  Lemons.  Gee, thanks Jonathan.  For me the good news was I knew what the heck was going on.  My ribs had been spasming on and off since Redman and let’s just say it was very uncomfortable.  Knowing there was a reason helped me realize this reason will heal and this is something that will end.