Sunday, July 26, 2009

Please - Don't Drink the Mildew

Thursday - July 16th - 10 a.m.
I prepared for my ride with Chip and his daughter. I was excited to get out there. Missed the ride the Sunday before with the group. Hubby was working, it was one of those rare Sunday's that he had to go in. I didn't mind skipping the ride though, we had been at a graduation party late Saturday night. It was more like a wedding celebration. The kids danced and danced. It was good time and sleeping in felt even better. Okay, I'm getting off track here.

So, Thursday, July 16th, I got the bike ready, tires pumped, water cup in place. Had some dried mango for nutrition. I was ready to go. It was rather windy. We couldn't figure out the direction it was coming from so we just rode out to Monee. Loved the ride. Windy but I felt really good.

Get home and take the water cup off the holder, pull out the splash guard to drink the rest of the water and what do I see, mildew. Lovely, red slime resting at the bottom of my cup. I wanted to lose it right there. UGH! No way, there is no way I just drank 24 oz. of water with this gunk at the bottom.

Well, Friday, July 17th, I woke up and felt fine. HA! I dodge a bullet. Phew, I guess I'm pretty darn healthy huh?

Went to bed that night with a cough and sniffles but wrote that off to nerves - after all the next day was the Warrior Dash. Jumping thru flames and in dark caves....

By Saturday, July 18th, p.m. I was coughing constantly. Didn't sleep. The coughing turned into that awful barking yip - croup was back. So, I attempted to sleep in and skipped the ride Sunday, then skipped the run Monday, Tuesday, no ride Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 22nd, After being sleep deprived for 4 nights, I'm thinking crap. Why didn't I just check the bottom of that darn cup?! CRAP! I was bumm'n big time and then my phone rings ....

Me - Hello

Endocrinologist - Mrs. E. Dis is Dr. S. I have your labs from yesterday ....

Me - Oh, hi Dr. S. Geeze, how's your day goin'?

Endo - Listen to me, your thyroid leVels are Very low, you need to go on medication vight now ....

Me - Can't this wait, I see you in 2...

Endo - NO, dis can not vait, you must go on it NOW. You have to be experiencing the following symptoms .... (she names 3 out of 4 things I have been experiencing)

Me - (thinking it not saying it - crap, CRAP, CRAP!)

Endo - I need your pharmacy number to call dis in dis morning

Me - give her the number.

Endo - Do not worry. Just start the medication. I vill see you in 2 weeks.

I thought I dodged a radioactive bullet and wasn't going to have to take any medication. Heck, I was feeling so good with my workouts that I truly did ignore the symptoms I was feeling. Big mistake. Shouldn't have done that. I beat myself up about it until Friday. Well, at least I wasn't thinking about the mildew and the cough for a couple of days.

Sunday, July 26th, the croupy cough is finally going away and so are the hypothyroid symptoms, the worst of which was muscle cramping, which is so weird because I hadn't worked out regularly for so long that I just figured they were normal.

We can be our own worst enemies. Well, I can tell my water cup is cleaned dry. Part of me wants to just throw it away and get a new one. I think that's what I'm gonna do.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What a BLAST!

Some months back Dennis sends me an email about doing some run/obstacle race right near my house. Well, a couple months back I couldn't think about what I was doing the next day let a lone in 3 months, so I deleted the message and moved on.

In early June he reminds of the race. I'm feeling pretty good at that point and decided to do the race. Yeah! This is one of those things in life I've always wanted to try and I was really excited about doing it.

Here's the link to the race

Honestly, I didn't sleep Friday night. Thoughts of fire pits and dark caves were freaking me out. Plus, I heard from Ironman Louisville, they don't roll over entries but offered me $150 refund. I was disappointed and wondered was I making the right decision. To late now, the check's in the mail. (And yes, I'm making the right decision, I'm training about 5 hours a week, my ego is back to normal if I think I could complete and Ironman distance on that kind of training - DOH!)

So, get up Warrior Dash morning. Eat, stretch, no yoga though, didn't want to bend the wrong way and pull something - and waited for Dennis.

I was farely calm when we arrived at the race site. Even when I saw the fire pit, with the dark smoke and orange flames. I was really excited about just getting out there, trying something new, something different and just doing it.

Got to see Rick as we all lined up in our respective waves. Ended up getting in the wrong wave, so I guess I was nervous. Got out and into the correct one.

And before I knew it I was off. I loved every single step of this thing. It was a lot like trailing running but no real trail just a heavily traveled grassy area. It was a 2 loop course, the 1st loop was running with some rolling hills at the very end. When I say rolling hills, I mean it literally. Not little tight rollers like in a 5 or 10k, these rollers are the kind of rollers like when you are a kid and you're riding your bike home from the library and you purposely go by the new houses they are building cause there are mounds of dirt you get to ride up and then down consecutively. FUN STUFF!!!

The 2nd loop starts and you run around and then over old cars, hmm, what was next, um, you then run down a steep ravine, over a 2 x 4, back up the ravine and then do it again about 10 feet away, next you pull yourself over a ply wood wall and then do it again (this was the hardest thing for me and I probably lost about a minute on the 1st one but gained my composer and did the 2nd one no problem) I guess some folks had some real trouble because Rick told me he had about a 300 person wait when he got to this point. UGH! That would have sucked. Then you ran thru this stone fort (thankfully not the dark cave I feared), next ran thru a mud pit (where many lost their shoes) ran thru a city that looked a lot like an abandoned movie lot, next was the fire pit - which by this point was very low and finally crawled thru another mud pit which was about 5 to 10 yrds long. Which I loved!

Here's my complaint - let's see if I can make this clear without to many words. The athletes were complaining this event wasn't challenging enough. Hmmm. Hmmmm...... Ok, granted it wasn't some army training course but I think for $40 - I got what I signed up for. And, here's the kicker, these people complaining about the challenge, when we got to the mud pit, some of them were actually holding up the barbed wire and walking under it! Huh?! I started yelling at the guy in front of me that was doing that. What the heck - he was griping and complaining for 10 minutes and finally gets to a point where he can get down and dirty and he chose to be a pansy!

Anyway, I highly encourage everyone to do this race. I had so much fun. I said I wanted to finish in about 40 minutes and ended up doing it in 37+. When I was done I wanted to do it again - right then!

It was a blast. :) I'm thinking about signing up for the Men's Health Urbanathon. We'll see - :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Was Living a Nightmare

Yes - that is such an over dramatic statement - many times over used - especially by me but here's what happened ....

I've been on the MetLife Duathlon Race Committee for 4 years now. I have 2 responsibilities for the DU, food and portapotties. Very easy tasks. Make arrangements for the porto's by April. We order 16. It was done. The contract was typed, mailed, signed and returned.

About 4 weeks before the race I secure the bagels with a local bake shop and then call on local grocery stores for fruit and water donations. Oh, I also contact a flavored water company in hopes that they will support they race. Some years they do, some the don't. No luck this year. They couldn't help.

The Saturday before the race I pick up the grapes and banana's. Took them home. Washed the grapes. Cut them up. Store them in the fridge - Mmmm, they are so much better cold aren't they?! Then I go get the bagels. Bags full, the food usually fills the back of my car.

Sunday morning - race day. Get to the parking lot. Unload the food. I'm proud of the way I have cleaned and packed the grapes. I'm a little concerned about the banana's being soft. I unpack my bike. I'm racing today - YUP! RACING! I'm gonna try to go as fast as I can. Well, I'm just about to pull my peanut butter sandwich and mango out for breakfast when I hear the race director say - hey Pam - "Where's the portapotties?"

I pinched myself. Did I just hear him say that. They had to be here. How could I not notice they weren't. Well, guess what - they weren't there.

I was sick. it was 5:35 A. M. I called the company we ordered from every 5 minutes until 6. I knew then we would get no help from them. It's Sunday morning and the emergency hot line they set up was useless. I knew within 1 hour I would have 500 racers looking for a place to go and we had none.

I could now write about how I frantically talked to the village of Tinley Park as they tried to help us. How I ran from business to business up and down Oak Park avenue - looking for someone to be open and help us. I could tell you how I felt my pasta dinner from the night before trying to come back up as I ran across the rail road tracks. That's when I stopped myself. Went over my mental check list.

1. Order pots in April.
2. Gil confirmed contract came and was signed.
3. Called last Wednesday and confirmed 16 porto's would be there.

So why aren't they here?

I started to pray, ran to the corner of Oak Park and I think 172nd and saw the fire house. After pleading my case to the chief, we were given permission to use their bathrooms. The Bike Shop on Oak Park ave., a race sponsor, also let us use their 1 bathroom and 2 bathroom's at the train station became available to us after we assured them we would replenish soap, toilet paper and paper towels.

Also, I have to say thank you to my husband bringing all the toilet paper we have at the house - and for giving me his warm genuine smile when he brought because, I was ready to lose it when I saw him. I actually did start crying but stopped when he started laughing at me. It was a respectful laughing at me, not a a dasturdly, mean laughing at me.

Somehow, by the grace of GOD and the graciousness of the TP fire dept., The Bike Shop, Cavellini's and the racers, it all worked out.

After the craziness of the morning I wasn't going to race but at the last minute (and that's literally the last minute) I did the event. I was 7 minutes off my best times. I'll take it! I'll embrace it and welcome it with open arms. 2 minutes + slower on each leg o the run and 2 minutes + slower on the ride but for some reason I'm good with it.

Monday morning I got a tearful call from the girl responsible for not having the potties at the race. She could barely speak which is never a good way to be with me cause I'll start crying with you. The race director ended up calling the owner of the company who has agreed to make a donation to Together We Cope, which I think is an awesome and write an apology to all the racers.

I told Gracie and Zak that we will learn from this - that no matter how bad things seem, we can't just crawl into a ball and cry. A solution can be found.

Next year - I'm camping in the parking lot until the porto's are delivered Saturday night. I will also have the companies owner's personal cell phone number in case anything goes wrong because I NEVER, EVER want to experience this nightmare again.