Monday, June 13, 2011

On the Mend

Last week my hip and elbow were pretty painful. My hip developed some really lovely shades of purple and hurt so much I had difficulty sleeping. The road rash on my elbow was healing nicely, but the underlying injuries didn't seem to be doing as well. I had pain radiating from my elbow into my wrist. So, mid-week I made an appointment with my acupuncturist to see if we could re-balance things and get my body back to normal. It's amazing what a few carefully placed needles can do. Within 2hrs of treatment my hip was much better and the pain in my elbow vanished.

I took a few more rest days to allow my body time to heal itself and by the weekend I was ready to see how it felt. Saturday morning the Lowell Ladies had planned a group run in Dunstable. My training plan called for 10 miles, but considering the recent injuries I scaled it back and did the 8 miles that everyone else was doing. It was kind of a grey and dreary day. We started the run around 9:00am and the sun was no where to be found. It was misty and even a little foggy maybe in the 60s - perfect for a run. Dunstable is very hilly and the run went up and down and all around the area. It's pretty, but damn some of those hills were never ending. Normally I love hills and I think last year when we did the same run I said "I eat hills for breakfast", but this year was different, my body still not 100% recovered from being hit by a car, the hills hurt a little more than last year. We finished the 8 mile run in about an hour and twenty minutes averaging just under 10:00 minute miles. Not great, but not bad either. The important thing was we finished and we all felt great.

Just as we finished our run the morning mist turned into heavy downpours and pretty much ruined our plan to go for a short bike ride. We ate breakfast and hung out for a bit and then headed home. I spent the remainder of the day lounging on my couch and watching a Criminal Minds Marathon.

Sunday was the true test of how well I had healed. My friend Kim's husband was doing his first triathlon and I was going to help him, but couldn't resist the urge to race it myself so I signed up with him. It was the Greater Nashua Y Tri. A 1/3m swim, 16 mile bike, and 5K run. We had picked up our race packets the day before. So at 6:45am I drove to their house and helped Bill load his bike into my car and we went to the race. Kim was going to meet us there later. We got there a little early but it worked out great because we were able to rack our bikes and set up our transition areas before the massive chaos and confusion of tons of people crowding in occurred. The only downside was after we were all set up we still had about 90 minutes to wait before the race started and it was only about 50 degrees out. The water temperature was about 70 degrees and there was steam coming off the lake, but the air was definitely cooler. I was shivering and had goosebumps all over my arms.

Kim showed up around 8:30am with baby Ryann, Bill's mom Janet, and our friend Moe came to cheer too. Kim was nice enough to lend me her jacket while we stood around waiting for the race to start. Before we knew it they were calling all swim waves to the water. I was wave 4 and Bill was wave 6, so I got a 6 minute head start on him and challenged him to catch me. The course was kind of cool. It was a treading start off of a small dock and then a triangle swim back to the beach. Once you got to the beach there was a long run through a path in the woods back to the transition area. I felt really great in the water and for the first time ever I was actually passing people.

Once I got to my bike I felt comfortable and I took off. The bike course was two loops over rolling hills, but mostly flat. I finished it in 55 minutes and threw on my running shoes for the last leg of the race. I saw Bill at about 3/4 of a mile out on my run as he was approaching the finish of the bike so I knew he could catch me and I'd be a little disappointed if he didn't. He's a much faster runner than me. Sure enough, just as I passed the 3 mile mark and I had almost given up on him, he yelled from behind me and passed me with only a few yards left in the race.

We both did really well. Bill finished in 1:34 and I finished in 1:40. My hip was a little sore in the last mile of the run, but overall I felt really good. I didn't do well enough to place, I was 16th out of 46, but the age group was 30-39 and not 30-34 like some races so who knows, maybe I would have placed if the age group was smaller. Plus, my age group is the most competitive so I'm happy to just be in the top half. Plus, I started with 25 girls in my swim wave so that means I passed at least 9 of them along the way (it's possible that some of the girls in wave 5 passed me too). Either way it was a fun race and I finished it.

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