I've spent a lot of my life wishing I were more normal. There are things that I wish I could change about myself to fit the "normal" box. But, you know what? Normal is overrated. I've known this for a while, but over the weekend, training with the Ironteam, I realized that none of us is "normal," nor should we want to be.
On Friday night I was feeling a little off. I had a slight fever, I had a headache and my dinner wasn't sitting well in my stomach. I took some Tylenol PM hoping to help the headache and get rid of the fever by morning. I woke up early to get ready for the day's bike ride with the team - 60 miles. It would be my longest ride yet. I had actually been excited about this ride all week (I know, me, excited about a bike ride? Who am I??). I ate my banana and peanut butter and as I was eating my oatmeal I started to feel queasy. I could feel the food I had just eaten gurgling around. Ugh. So, I took some Immodium (hoping that would prevent any unnecessary pit stops) and some Dayquil. I prayed I'd feel better by the time I got to Santa Monica.
I still felt crummy when I got there, but I wanted to ride. I told Coach Brad how I was feeling (and reassured him that this was not an anxiety attack - I do know the difference between anxiety and actually feeling sick) and told him that I still wanted to ride. He gave me a modified course, cutting out most of the climbing. I was disappointed. I asked him if I could just start doing the climbs and if I felt bad part way through not do them anymore. His answer? Nope. So, I set out with the other two members of the injured/infirmed list to do an out and back to Kanan (about 17 miles north on PCH). I was to reassess how I was feeling when I got back, and if I was feeling okay do an Amalfi loop and golf course loop. I was sure I'd be able to do at least that.
|A pic from a recent ride (not Saturday's), similar weather (photo by Cecy Cazares, teammate extraordinaire)|
I was doing pretty good on the way North, averaging about 17mph on the flats, which has been my goal for a while. I was consistently hitting it. Yay! And, I decided on the couple of climbs on PCH to push a little harder and see if I could go just 1 mph faster than the last time. And, for the most part I did. And, I didn't ride the brakes at all on the descents. I'm still not pedaling on them, but my braking has become less and less. I think the key for me is to not look at my watch so I won't see how fast I'm going. Once I know how fast I'm gong I freak out a little.
I got up to Kanan, to our SAG stop, and my stomach was a little grumbly, I rested there for a bit hoping it would settle. I knew I could make it back to the start. I rearranged my bottles and headed south on PCH. I tried eating my honey stinger waffle, but my body was NOT having any of it. I pulled over and rearranged my bottles again so my front, and most accessible one would be Heed/CarboPro/Endurolytes combination, knowing I still needed calories. I got to the top of one hill and Rommel, one of our teammates and roving SAG for the day was there. I stopped at his truck for a minute to collect myself. I wasn't feeling great. I decided to keep going though.
I got back to Ocean and San Vicente at the same time as Holly, one of my teammates, also on the injured/infirmed list, and told Coach Erin my time/distance (35 miles in 2hrs 20 mins). I knew that I didn't have an Amalfi loop in me. I didn't want to go for it and burn out, knowing I had a 13.1 mile run the next day. So, I prepped for my 30 minute transition run and got in 2.87 miles, not bad for feeling sick.
After practice I headed home, napped, woke up, ate some matzo ball soup and then went back to sleep. I woke up on Sunday feeling marginally better than Saturday. So I got myself ready and headed back out to Santa Monica for a 13.1 mile run with the team. It rained the whole way. Coach Brad told me the day before to ease off my usual pace and take it easy. So, I did just that. I ran about 12:00/mile, instead of 10-10:30 that I usually shoot for. I wound up running almost the entire run with my teammate Kristy. It was nice to run with someone and it helped the miles to go by faster. I finished 13.1, hilly, wet, windy miles (while still feeling sick) in just over 2:35. I'll take it (thank god it wasn't 2:45, my time for basically every 1/2 marathon I ran last year, I might've screamed).
|13.1 in the rain (photo by Paiwei Wei - our fantastic photo captain!)|
|It was very wet, my hair looks like i just took a shower, nope, just running in the rain :) (photo by Pai)|
After practice I warmed up a bit and then went and got in a swim. We were supposed to do 3,000 yards. I did not have that in me. I did somewhere around 2,500 yards (maybe as few as 2,000), I lost count a couple times. And, then I headed home for a hot shower and snuggle time with the pup. All in all a pretty damn fine weekend. And, considering I was feeling under the weather the whole time, I'm pretty darn impressed with all that I did.
None of what I did this weekend was "normal." Six months ago had I woken up and felt the way I did on Sunday I would have stayed home and in bed all day, and probably the next day too. I would've let myself be sick. But, now, with the encouragement of the Ironteam, I get myself up and get going. I work through it. Had I been very very sick, I obviously wouldn't have done all these things. I think I just had a little bug. Actually, I STILL have a headache. But, for the most part feeling better (stomach is still a little queasy). Thankfully its Monday, so a light day on the schedule.
Like I said, normal is overrated. None of my teammates, coaches, mentors or captains on the Ironteam are normal. They are all extraordinary. Thank you for helping me realize that normal is not where I want to be, extraordinary is where I want to be.
|Top of Inspiration Pint, a tough, fun run (not this past weekend). This girl, she's extraordinary. (photo by Cecy)|