Since I haven’t written in a while, due to a million excuses I could write, I should prob rewind my life for a little….
Earlier this year, Revolution 3 (www.rev3tri.com), a company that hosts triathlon’s, announced that this year was the first year they were going to have a age group championship series and the rules were: race at least two Revolution 3 events, more if they fit in your schedule, and the two fastest finishing times will get you points. So then, a percentage of each age group, included is also Athena and Clydesdale division’s which are weight based, will be invited to race in Rev 3’s championship 70.3 triathlon in Tennessee in May of 2014. And get this, they are actually awarding money at this championship race!! Well, as soon as I heard about this, I decided I needed to give it a go, so I fit 2 Rev 3 triathlons into my schedule.
August 25, 2013 marked my second Rev 3 triathlon of the year that was held in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I had raced the Rev 3 Quassy triathlon in June, in Connecticut, and managed to bring home a silver medal in the Athena division, which is the division I race in. (Female triathletes over 165lbs) I figured I had a decent chance of qualifying for Tennessee if I placed in Maine, and I felt comfortable racing in Maine because I had raced the Rev 3 Old Orchard Beach 70.3 triathlon last year. My goal was to just really concentrate and focus on my training, so I could blow it out of the water in Maine!
Everything was going according to plan until exactly 1 week before my race. I headed out on my last “long” bike ride before the race and was very positive, and excited for my trip, but that didn’t last long. I always head out for my rides from the city I live in, and when I was riding, on the correct side of the road, no stop signs, and I was going straight, a car came up next to me, and quickly hooked a right hand turn in front of me. Now I ask you, would you go over the car or fall to the ground? I, as quickly as possible, un-clipped from my pedal, and when I put my foot on the ground, the cleat slid on the street, and i fell down, landing left shoulder first on the ground. I felt my shoulder go out-of-place, and when I jumped up and shook myself off, I felt my shoulder pop back into place. I thought I was fine, I told myself to be fine, but when I got back on my bike, I couldn’t even lean forward on my handle bars. Now I will say, the person that did nearly run me over did stop, and even gave me his contact info in case I was more injured than I seemed, which I thought was not only nice, but the right thing to do. I ended up heading to the ER to make sure there were no broken bones. No broken bones, phew! But why couldn’t I move my arm?! I was told that when you dislocate your shoulder you end up damaging all the ligaments and what not inside, and if the pain didn’t subside, I had to go for a MRI. I left the ER with my left arm in a sling, and tears in my eyes wondering if I could race.
I spent the bulk of the week leading up to my race icing and babying my shoulder, hoping it would be good enough to race. To my luck, the ocean temp in Maine was in the very low 60’s, which is not only perfect water temp for me, but I figured it might help my shoulder too.
I ended up making the decision to race. I still had pain in my shoulder, but I could safely swim. The bad part was, “pulling” the water was the part that was the worst, so I knew it would be a very slow swim. I made it out of the water and now have a “slowest swim time ever” to put in the books. I knew I had a lot of time to make up, so as soon as I got situated, and hydrated, on my bike, I put the hammer down and was in beast mode for the next 25 miles! I managed to average 20.09mph during that 25 miles, and my spirit was better than ever!!
The run was hard, and after the first 3 miles, I had to splint my left arm to my body because it was too sore to swing. As I was rounding to the finish line and I saw my mom, holding a sign and cheering for me as usual, I yelled out to her, “I need my sling,” and knew it was going to be a long night.
I ended up finishing in 3rd place in the Athena division. Looking over the results, I was in 6th place when I exited the water, and passed enough people to make it into 3rd place by the time I got off the bike, which is where I ended. I’m still hopeful that I will qualify for Tennessee, but only time will tell now.
Looking back at the race, I was bummed that I wasn’t %100 because had I been, I most likely would’ve been in a battle for first place in the run, which just sounds like a neat thing. I always wonder if I would be able to dig deep enough and hold on for the win……but I can’t obsess about that. I raced, with a bum “wing,” and not only finished, but landed on the podium, and most importantly, landed on 2 feet.
I decided, that very day, that my triathlon season would be over. It was a very hard decision for me to make, but seeing that I was back to barely being able to move my left arm, I knew it was the right one. Since then, I’ve been working on healing myself, inside and out, to be ready to take on all the mental and physical challenges of training for and racing in my Ironman next year.
Now that my off-season is here, it is a time to focus on strength training, running, and NOT gaining weight, on top of staying injury free.