Well after a month of sitting on my butt and letting my tailbone heal I was finally able to race this past weekend. I wish I could say that I had this awesome "comeback race" where I felt amazing, was super fast and everything went flawlessly. But that only seems to happen in the movies :-) If anything my race was the exact opposite of "super fast and feeling amazing."
Here's the low-down...
I left for Minneapolis bright and early Friday morning with my friend Steve and little Lolo. Our mission was simple-drop Lolo off to her new family and then make it to Minneapolis at a decent hour. Lolo was THE PERFECT passenger in the car and slept (and snored) the entire way. I couldn't believe it! Steve and I were very nice and shared the "puppy holding time." Note: I should get friend bonus points for letting Steve hold the puppy because I really, really didn't want to share :-)
I will be the first to admit that I was blinking back tears as we got closer to Lolo's new home. Luckily I didn't bust out crying because that would have been awkward..for both Steve and I :-) I would be lying if I said I didin't get attached to her. I mean, I get attached to dogs that I see in commercials...haha. However, once we arrived at Lolo's new house I was happy. She won the lotto when it comes to her new family and I know she is going to have THE BEST life!
After dropping her off we hit the road again, went to packet pick-up and then settled in at T6 Brent's house (my race home away from home). For the last couple of weeks I had been waking up every night for puppy potty runs and let me tell you...I had zero issues falling asleep that night.
Even with a good nights sleep morning came way to quick. It was cold out. The type of cold that hurts to breathe.
From the start I knew that I was going to have a rough day in the saddle. I know I mentioned that I have asthma a million gazillion times on this blog but I'm going to mention it again. I've outgrown it for the most part but it still flares up in really cold weather. I've been really fortunate so far this winter because temps have been fairly mild. That came to a grinding halt at the Frozen 40. Not only was it -4 out but there was a windchill of -20+.
I basically felt like I was riding at Breckenridge or some other place at a higher elevation. No matter how hard I tried to pedal I had zero power and felt like I couldn't get enough oxygen in my body for the life of me. My teammate Chelsea passed me early into the race and I tried to yell good job at her (twice). Looking back it was comical because I was trying so hard to yell and it just came out in a giant whisper. There was absolutely NO WAY that she could have heard me. I watched her pedal away and if I had a rope I would have tied it to her bike. Chelsea totally would have pulled me through the trees...for a while at least! :-)
The race was run incredibly well and the course was awesome but I am not going to lie. I really, really wanted to stop. Seeing the finish line was so, so GREAT! It ended up being 46 miles and I was out there for 4:43:00. Definitely a hard day but oh well. I finished! And the good news is that my 45NRTH teammates April Morgan and Chelsea Strate took 1st and 3rd. What can I say??? My teammates ROCK!!!
A few of my friends were at the finish line and almost immediately my friend Jeff was like, "you have frost bite on your ear. Go sit in the car." I have never had frost bite in my life and I will be the first to admit that it's not normally something I have to worry about here. Like I said earlier, temps have been on the milder side this whole winter and it's not like I go out on long training rides when temps are in the negatives. Apparently my left ear was slightly exposed and I never felt it. The moment I got into the warm van it felt like it was someone was stabbing me with a giant knife. Holy OW!!!!
Since I didn't know much about frost bite I spent the night "googling" it which is THE WORST thing you can do. After reading a few articles I started neurotically checking my ear every hour to see if it there were any signs of it turning black. It wasn't black but it was swollen and leaking. Gross. Frost bite = scary stuff!!!
Needless to say morale was low on the drive home the next day. Steve and I were both sore, tired, and frost bitten. Worst of all....we didn't have a puppy to cuddle with.
|post race and no puppy blues...|
Monday I went to the doctor to get my ear checked out. He took one look at it and was like, "yup, you have frostbite." He was nice but basically gave me the same information that I read online. In fact, I'm pretty sure the printout he handed me was straight from Wikipedia :-)
On the mend 4 days later but still gross. My future as an ear model might be over before it even began...
Winter has not been kind to me this past month. The tailbone and asthma were both due to ice and cold weather but I'm pretty mad at myself for letting myself get frostbite. I should have been more aware. I just keep reminding myself to keep things in perspective. In the long run this is no big deal. In fact, in terms of frostbite I think I'm getting off really, really, REALLY easy. Based on some of the pictures I've seen online mine is the equivalent of getting a small burn.
This coming weekend I'm racing up in Marquette. Scott drove up today with our granny greyhound Naomi and I'll be driving up Friday. I'm not sure how my lungs or legs are going to feel next weekend but I can tell you this. I'm MUCH more equipped to handle what winter has to throw at me!