Monday, August 20, 2012

89 Days and Counting

This was a great weekend.

It started by being able to catch the cold that was lurking and stop it in its tracks.  Hooray for Emergen-C! 

On Saturday, we got in a good solid pre-race workout.  Funny how what you think is going to be one of those "why am I even bothering getting out of bed for this workout?" workouts, really helped to solidify my mental game throughout all of this training for IMAZ.  20 min bike and 20 min run = piece of cake.

Yesterday, I was able to participate in the third of Mack Cycle Trilogy Sprint triathlon series.  I felt great in the water (very relaxed), my legs felt good off the bike (I need to get in more bridge repeats), and my run felt really good.  I know I could have pushed more, but I purposely held back.  I finished a solid 8th in my division and I'm good with that.  I have go to keep my eye on the prize and that is finishing IMAZ.

I recall how I felt on October 9, 2011 when I finished 1st in a similar race produced by Multirace in Miami - the Miami Sprint Triathlon.  That was the race that put me over the edge.  I pushed so hard and so far and was in so much pain, but I finished at the top of the podium in my division that day.  Yet, the feeling of elation was overshadowed by the unbearable pain in my knee.  I finally realized that I had gone too far - I had ignored the pain for too long and now it was time to deal with the consequences.

I had my first appointment with the Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. James Voglino, on October 14th, my MRI on October 15th and on October 17th I had all of my results.  I needed surgery.  I remember asking Dr. V. if I could still race on October 30th in the Rohto Ironman Miami 70.3 (half-Ironman distance race - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run).  He looked at me and said it was up to me. 

I actually left his office thinking that I would race on 10/30 and schedule my surgery for the following week.  After all, that was my "A" race - the race I had been training so many months for.

As I drove home, I got my head out of my ass and thought, "If I am in this much pain after a Sprint - there is NO WAY that I will be able to finish Miami 70.3 and be able to do everything else that I am already registered for."  So I called Dr. V's office, made my appointment for my surgery. On October 27th, I had a meniscectomy - lateral and medial tear removal including the drainage of a cyst that had formed on the outer part of my knee.

I knew it was the only way that I would be able to be ready for IMAZ.  So three weeks after my surgery, when the day came to register for IMAZ 2012, I did it.  I was one of the lucky triathletes that was able to get a spot in IMAZ - it sold out in 10 minutes!  I knew that I had made the right decision by having my surgery and by this point, the stitches had just come out and I had been cleared to swim. 

I was on the bike 5 weeks after surgery and running intervals 7 weeks after surgery.  13 weeks after surgery, I finished the ING Miami Half-Marathon and 3 months after surgery, I finished Ironman San Juan 70.3.

So here I was, yesterday morning, almost 10 months after my surgery and exactly 90 days to IMAZ.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't do anything but my best and yesterday was no different, I did my best.  I did the best that I should do in order to be able to give my best on November 18th.

I was able to race alongside of some of my best friends and awesome teammates.  I was able to race alongside people who continue to inspire me and so many others - most notably, my friend, Hector Picard, who did a solo bike ride from Ft. Lauderdale to New York City in May/June 2012.  Then just last week, was the first double-arm amputee to ever finish an Ironman race.   He finished Ironman New York, I repeat JUST LAST WEEK, and came back to Miami to race in this sprint.  Is there nothing he can't do???  You should definitely read more about him:

So, yeah, this was a great weekend.  It's great to do what I do and it's great that I can continue on doing this knowing that I've given my best.

This week, we'll be ramping up training again.  So today,  I will enjoy a recovery day and head out for a nice swim later.  Until then, it is Monday.  Just another day that we must get through until the next weekend - that's when the fun happens!

Run for your lives!

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