Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jumper Cables Anyone??

Wow, it's been a while since I've blogged ... that can't be good!  It's not, really.  So I just reviewed my last post ...and I need to rewind and tell you about Rev3 ...  I had a fabulous time at Rev3!!  Truly! It was such a fulfilling weekend in so many ways for me, despite pulling out of my race.  I got to reconnect with three FABULOUS friends, fellow Triabetes peeps! I got to cheer on so many friends from CTC and Grunt Girls. I was race sherpa for my peeps with the 'betes! It was actually a bit stressful!! I was responsible for 3 diabetic athletes' insulin, insulin pumps, and CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors - Dexcoms) and 2 were doing the half, one the full. I had to be sure to keep their stuff separate, and get it from them as late as possible before they went off, then be down to hand it back as they exited from the swim!  It was really very challenging!!  I had a bike jersey on, by design, as it had 3 pockets, so I was sure to keep everyone's stuff separate.  Then, I - very literally - ran up and down that beach - FAST! - 3 full times!! It went "kinda" smooth, just a tiny hitch as I missed Andrea's exit :(   But wait - it was because the Muscle Milk balloon was deflating and falling on us!!! We were trying to hold it up for the athletes.  Fortunately Andrea's uncle was a suit stripper, so he told her right were I was - just a tiny hiccup, but I felt terrible!! Otherwise, everyone got their accoutrements and had a good to great swim! The water and weather conditions were FAB too!! 

I found out early how tiring it is to ironfan! I wasn't even drinking :)  I got up at 3:30 with the rest of them ... I forgot sunscreen. I had a backpack and water - boy did I go through the water that day! I also had cowbells. Now, I'm here to tell you, I love a cowbell when I'm racing ... but being the cowbell ringer?? NOT SO MUCH!!  First off, people hate you. Not the athletes, but other spectators. You're annoying!! Second, those damned things are brutal! I literally had cowbell injuries!! My fingers got beat to shit. I started with my index finger, after that was sufficiently bruised, moved to my middle finger, and so on. By 11 am my hand was beat to hell and I was DONE with the cowbell!  

One of several highlights was Ed Slovenkay's super speedy half!! He was on fire!! I was worried his wife and kids were going to miss his finish, so I sent some texts to let them know how quick he was chunking off the miles. He got first place in his AG!!  Very well done, and a super finale to a super season for him!! He worked SO hard and really is quite an amazing athlete!! He is a friend to Triabetes (his step-daughter was my triabuddy!) and he also very generously lent his back up bike to Annie Bacon, who was doing the full. Also, not to be forgotten, John Norris - a virtual stranger to me - stepped up and lent Andrea his back up bike so she didn't have to ship hers from Hawaii!!  How amazing is THAT???  I'll tell you ... it's touching and amazing and I am blessed by the support of this amazing club!  Not to be left out, Bike Authority was beyond generous in helping to fit these ladies to their respective lent bikes!!  Huge, huge shout out to Sherm, Doug and Sean Gilbert!! Sean did most of the fits, and Doug ... Doug saved our butts by allowing Ed's bike to come out of transition with Ed (not Annie) because he knew the entire cast of characters, including Ed's bike! That saved us a trip back to CP on Monday and we were immensely grateful!!  (Boys got some Christmas Ale coming your way!!)

I met a new friend - Miss Laurie Perduyn, who I spent quite a bit of time getting to know as we watched friends race. We found out we knew several people in common and that six degrees of separation thing was going on! She was a cool chick and it was very nice to have company!!  She's quite the athlete, I can tell, and is a "go big or go home" gal ... and she can pull it off, I have NO doubt!! I look forward to seeing her again  ... maybe Rev3 2012???  :)

The rest of the day was tiring, but really very fun! I have to admit that after the 70.3 peeps were in, I was bottoming out. I hated to whine, as I didn't even race, but it sure the hell felt like it!! I realized I had forgotten some meds due to the schedule so I was a hurting pup by evening. Fortunately Annie was on fire and had a super 140.6!!  It was awesome to watch!

We headed back to the hotel (I had made 2.5 more runs down and back the beach, in addition to the morning runs, so I'm pretty sure I did several miles that day!!) I DROVE to the finish so that Annie wouldn't need to walk back to the hotel. I remember when I finished ... I was kind of bummed to learn I had yet one more mile to walk to get back to my hotel, but with Ted and Liz for company, it wasn't as bad as I thought ... but I feel like I can officially add 142.6 to my mileage for that day (morning walk to weigh in and drop off special needs bags).

We had fun at TGI Friday, where we - 4 diabetics, one a vegan, essentially - proceeded to drive the staff crazy with our requests for carbs! Whip out the Calorie King and we were crunching numbers like accountants in April!!  Let the carbs flow ... and push the insulin!!

That weekend was sort of an epiphany for me. I had a "reset" about a lot of turmoil that was going on in my life at one of the places I worked. The toxicity and negativity I was experiencing there was really so incredibly hurtful and uncalled for. I felt like I was in a major drama battle, and it was taking it's toll on me, and my BFF. This weekend gave me perspective to see myself from a positive light, and remind myself that I am better than the crap that was being flung my way!  I didn't deserve it - it came from a place of immaturity and insecurity, but unfortunately, those in power were unable to see everything and I ended up swallowing down a lot of shit, resulting in stuffed anger and resentment.  When someone attacks your reputation, and slanders you, spreading toxic untruths, and acting like the nasty clique in middle school, it tends to foster a lot of anger and resentment. And depression!! I didn't realize just how much this was eating at me. To have to defend your character, your reputation, without an justification, any hint of truth to what was being said, well, that left me pretty emotionally battered. It lead to my decision to pull out of Rev3 Full, (among other factors) and feeling pretty bad about my decision to work at this place.  In addition to all the bullshit I described here, I truly WAS over-extended in my course load. I was in way over my head!! The ONLY thing that was really GOOD about that time? I got to work with my BFF 2 full days a week and we did an amazing job teaching our group of students to be better surgical techs! We did awesome! No one can take THAT away from us! The students flourished, they had positive things to say, and ironically, I had many approach me and thank me for coming back. I suppose I will remember that much longer than all the negativity.

Anyhooooo... this weekend - Rev3 - gave me a lot of perspective, and I made the decision that I was likely going to return to relief work with Lighthouse and go back to that, while still keeping my courses at Lakeland Community College - which I love, by the way!!
I've had many wonderful relief stints, and I think it's a good fit for me! My employers are awesome, I am on board with their mission, and I do my best to assimilate into a practice and I get to meet new RVTs, staff and docs! I did a lot of emergency work over the summer and I remember how much I enjoy that!! Yes, it can be stressful, and physically taxing, but, in proper doses, it's really, really FUN!!  I think I'd like to relief one weekend a month in an emergency practice! It's just good medicine - fun and challenging cases, but also, often sad. The lack of closure can be difficult, but you get used to it.

Next up for me was a trip to KONA, Hawaii!!  Ted and I had a 6 day vacay - far too short, but that's all we could do for now. It would be our first trip to that island.  I volunteered for the World Championships Ironman race, where I would know 3 athletes - 2 very peripherally, and one very well - Vic Kinnunen!  It was such an amazing experience!  I got to hang out with Andrea (who lives in Oahu!!) and meet her new BF ... who, I think, got bit by the triathlon bug while we were there!! Nice guy, Chris! And I was grateful for the opportunity to stay with them the night before the race. We - Ted and I - had a condo about 40 min away, so he'd have to drive me in at 3:30 am and pick me up ... well, somewhere near midnight! Ted doesn't roll that way, and frankly, it was a lot to ask!  I was happy to grab some floor space and crash in Andrea's room for a day, and use it as a "home base" throughout the day. Boy, was it a fun day!!   All my peeps did AWESOME!!!  And I'm looking forward to watching it when it airs in December. I didn't get to see too many pros, but I DID see some!! :)

Upon return from a beautiful haven, I had to quickly shift to MIDTERM MODE!  I gave notice that I would not be coming back to previously-described "house of toxicity", then proceeded to foolishly make 140 question midterms. For all 4 classes. To be hand-graded. OMG - worst decision ever!!!  I will be embracing the scantron system for future exams!! That was BRUTAL!! When I finally finished - this past Sunday at 4:30 ... I was out of steam and pretty down. 

I'm struggling right now ... with my direction. With my schedule. With what fulfills me. With motivation. With loneliness and isolation. It's difficult to not have a training buddy to be accountable to!   Oh, I had missed a key event in the rundown of the last 3 months: Columbus Marathon.   Was I "trained"? Nope! But I knew I could finish (like Akron - which I'm kind of proud of, given the lack of training and preparation, and the hilly course!), and I do love the Cbus Marathon!! It's a chance to visit with the bro and his family. My kids love visiting, too, and they came along! Ted stayed home this year, because after missing a week of work, he felt kind of panicky himself, and that extra time to stay late, go in on the weekend, and kind of decompress from traveling was what he needed. The only problem that posed for me was the drive home. Now, I cannot fully explain just how difficult driving over 45 minutes for me is. I have been struggling with Narcolepsy while driving and it's SCARY AS HELL!  And I had my kids with me!!  This began over the summer, and I actually pulled out of the Champ Monroe Falls Tri due to 4 episodes of falling asleep at the wheel on the way down. I've found no correlation to the 'betes and this, and it's not a regular occurance, but certainly after a big race it is.  Well, Cbus was a fun weekend, but let's just say that race day did NOT go well. GI Revolt. Let me say over 60 minutes spent in over 7 portopotties, and ejecting at mile 10, and leave the remaining gory details left out!!  It wasn't good. I was SICK!!  A friend was prepared to get me, but I'd essentially crawled to my car and was headed back to my brothers. I walked in at 10:30 and he said WOW, that was fast!! Apparently he didn't read my FB posts. You know it's bad when you are in a POP long enough that you start to FB!!  Seriously though, I needed to let friends and family know I was DNFing, and essentially okay. Yes, I know it's gross. Everything about that day was disgusting. I've since given my phone a very good disinfectant wipe down.

I napped for a few hours then around 3:30 decided to head home, not too optimistic. I got just north of Cbus, in the Polaris area, and I knew I was done. We stopped at several hotels - but I was looking for a deal!! I was NOT going to spend $100 on a room for us. We kept heading north and the next exit, bingo! Hit the jackpot with $69. It was pretty nice, too!  So I went to bed and let my kids go all Lord of the Flies. How much trouble could they cause??  Sent S and J to get food (for them, no way I was eating!) and, frankly, my kids behaved very, very well for me. They KNEW I was very, very sick and they put themselves to sleep. I was out by 5:30 pm.   We got up at 5 am and headed north. Still struggling with narcolepsy, especially as I got onto 271 North. I had a very scary moment so we stopped and I threw back 2 espressos, which did the trick!  Got them home, to school, and had some time to nap before my classes.

So, here I am. Nothing on the race calendar for the foreseeable future. Kind of lost. In limbo. Lost that eye of the tiger ... that drive I had. I've put on weight. My eating has regressed. I'm struggling!!  It happens. I'm trying to think of how I can pull myself out of this slump. I don't know exactly what will do it for me.  One thought is to finally study for the HFS certification exam (I've taken the classes, just need to sit for the test) and get that designation. I think that would make me feel proud and promote a "walk the walk if you talk the talk" attitude adjustment.  I'm just kind of ... LOST.    Another idea I have, which will go off next Wed. is a "spa day" with Elizabeth! She took the day off and we are going to LTF and spending the day doing a spin class, running, swimming, hot-tubbing, then grabbing a healthy meal at the cafe. Liz is so inspirational - I think that will help a lot. I would also like to get back into the gym more regularly. I just am not going. Lack motivation and drive right now :(   I was recently talking with Ted about this year and I called it the year of SUCK ... because I barely raced, trained, and I kind of lost my way. I hate that!!!  I don't want to wax and wane, ebb and flow. I want to look forward to my workouts again!! I feel tired too much lately ... that's possibly something medical, but also because I'm not exercising as regularly as I should, as I WANT to. I'm just at a low point.  I see my endo this week - I dread the A1c :(  I know it'll be higher than it was last time (last time it was good!)   Also need to avoid Halloween candy, closet eating, and not let cravings get to me. I have been having food issues of late, too. Couple that with far less exercise and you have someone transforming into a slug. I don't want to be a slug!!!   I want to feel better, set a goal, and work toward it. And I'd really like some friends to train with. I know that there are GG and CTC training stuff going on all the time, but it's FAR from me!! I need some local peeps to connect with. An occasional jaunt out to the west side or CVNP is fine, but I should be taking more advantage of NERC! There's no reason why I'm not, I'm just not! 

So... jumper cables. I need them.  I need the juice!!  I am hoping to find it within - because that is ALWAYS more effective.  But I haven't found it yet :/   Soon, I hope!