Reunited and it feels…. Well it feels pretty damned good. I did my first run in almost three months today and my first since the hospital. My training calendar was beginning to look like a barren wasteland. Truthfully, I tried not to think about it. Not being able to exercise when it was such a key part of how I define myself was, and continues, to be very difficult. But after my one month post-hospital checkup, I was cleared to return to exercise and it was all I could do not to leave the office and try to run home.
The difference is so distinct and so much better that it feels like a year since I hobbled out of the hospital. In reality, it’s only been a month. A few days ago, I had yet more tubes of blood drawn (which didn’t conjure up pleasant memories, but I guess I need to get used to it) and then yesterday, I had my one-month check-in with the endocrinologist.
What has the last month been like? Mostly managing fatigue, resting, taking some meds, resting some more and letting the body recover. It’s probably not unlike what people go through after a major surgery.
At the ten mile mark, over seven hours and 67 miles after I had started, I turned to Laura and said I thought I might be able to run to the finish. She wished me luck. I took a deep breath in, let it out and before I could take it back I started, well, not running exactly, but shuffling more quickly than I had been for the past three hours. I just wanted this over now as quickly as possible. This was not how today was supposed to go. At all.
It was the hubris the brought me down. Fresh off winning my age group at the Rev3 Poconos Olympic event, I thought I’d wrap my season by putting that AG winning fitness to good use and lower my half marathon PR, or even get under that 90 minute mark, at the Newport Half Marathon. Knock off a a dozen or so miles at 6:50 pace and duck in under the wire. That was the plan. The race did not going according to plan.
My final ‘A’ race triathlon of 2014 was at Rev3 Poconos. The Poconos area is not unfamiliar to triathlons, and on paper does appear to have all the elements a race could want, but it does seem to be a bit cursed. Ironman has tried repeatedly to put on events here only to have logistics or acts of God (a hurricane) scuttle their efforts. They pulled the plug last year. Rev3 stepped in and gave it go this year with a half and an Olympic event. Like all debut races, not everything went perfectly and there are areas for improvement, but it has all the elements to be a successful race venue for Rev3 in the future. I’d race it again.
In conversations with other athletes or just people around town, the swim is by far the biggest thing detering more people from giving triathlon a try. Which is a shame, as one, most people my age learned to swim as a child and could easily pick it up again and two, it’s the shortest and generally least stressful part of the race.