Sunday, September 11, 2016

Trials and Tribulations

Why does God allow us to go through trials and tribulations? Now that's a question that could open up a big debate.  

Let me start by recapping my weekend workouts. 

 My weekend actually started on Friday since I was off that day.  I needed to burn a vacation day so I decided to do just that.  I planned my long run for Friday so I could bike 50 miles with my two friends that are also doing ironman.  They've been on a slightly different training plan than me, so they normally bike on Saturdays and run on Sundays.  I have been incorporating my marathon running into my ironman training lately to prepare myself for MCM that is in just 48 days! (I've got a very busy winter coming!)

So I slept in on Friday and started my long run around 9:30am.  I wanted to practise nutrition as if it was race day.  So I ate a good breakfast and had my coffee and then I went to the trace where I knew there would be no cars, no dogs and a bathroom every 3-4 miles.  Plus the trace is pretty.  Lots of shade trees.  It's really a great place to do a long run.  My first 10 miles were great.  I felt good.  Maybe part of it was not being at work.  I was shooting for 18 miles.  Well, the last 7 miles were lonely and tiring.  I really like doing my long runs with someone.  It makes the time go by faster.  I tried changing my playlist between christian and pop music.  Nothing helped.  It was just tedious to get the miles done.  When I reached mile 17, I was back at my car and decided I really didn't want to do another mile.  So 17 was it.  The day was a tad cooler than normal, but by mile 17 I was drenched in sweat.  I was so thankful that I was at the trace because there is a nice cold shower at the bathrooms.  I went and just stood there several minutes letting the cold water run down my tired hot body.  It felt exhilarating.  After wards it was close to 1pm and I was starving.  I drove directly to the sandwich shop which wich and got me a steak and cheese poboy.  

So out of my character.  I've been trying really hard to eat better and I've basically cut out breads because they make me so bloated.  But I needed something fast and that sandwich hit the spot.  I couldn't even finish it.  I gave Troy my leftovers when I got home.  He sure was a happy dog. :>) I soaked in a long hot Epsom salt bath and felt really good.  It was so nice being off work.  I really think I will enjoy retirement one day!  I don't think I'll be like my husband who says he's not sure when he's going to retire because he says he'll be bored not working.  Not me! I could do so much and maybe even keep my house clean.  

Saturday I was excited to go ride with Serina & Kathy.  It had been awhile since we rode together.  They wanted to meet at the sportsplex and ride from Laurel to Petal.  They told me there were a few dogs so I took my taser.  However, after the first dog my taser quit.  

It needs charging.  The ride was great.  It was a tad cooler again when we started at 6:30am.  The hills are very much like Augusta.  The scenery isn't bad either.  Lots of farms along the way.  We battled MANY dogs!  

Only 2 seemed like they might actually bite.  All the others wanted to bark and chase us.  I was so scared I was going to wreck trying to out bike them crazy dogs.  Each time the dogs came out (and there were MANY times), my heart would beat so fast.  Talk about a workout! We stopped in Petal at mile 25 at a cute little country gas station.  We each took a bathroom break and then we were headed back.  In my mind I was thinking about facing all them dogs again.  OH NO>>>> Can you tell I dislike dogs that chase bikers! They make me very nervous.  I'm so scared they are going to get to close or in front of my tire and I can't imagine what it would feel like falling off a bike going 15-20 mph!  

Well, we made it.  Back to our cars in the parking lot.  I had survived the dogs! 

I was so thrilled.  I took my time coasting around so my watch would beep exactly at 50 miles.  As I was doing so, I was thinking in my mind how we needed to get a picture to document our 50 miles and surviving the dogs.  I was also looking around at the cars and kids all around. There was soccer, baseball and swimmers arriving at the sportsplex.  I felt good. I was so happy to be done.  And that's when it happen!  I let my guard down and wasn't concentrating that I was on a bike basically attached to it with my clip in pedals! 

 I had unhooked one shoe, but not the right one.  This is my clip pedals. They are called "speed play".  I really like them.  I can go faster on the bike with them especially up hills.  But once you are clipped in, you are attached to that bike until you unclasp your shoes.  

I hit my brakes and was almost to a complete stop when I realized my right shoe wasn't unhooked and I was leaning to that side to try to put my right foot down as I normally do to stop.  I immediately jerked trying to yank my foot out, but it was too late.  Down I went.   Not me in picture..but you get the point... 

I was like 2 feet from the van! Serina was standing right there taking off her helmet and stuff.  
Right there in a parking lot with people standing all around.  I'm sure several got a big laugh until they saw us hurrying to get me in the car, wrapping my leg in a towel and my friend speeding out of the parking lot.  

At first I thought I was ok and just my knee that hit the ground was bruised and bleeding.  Then I turned to my other leg because it felt weird and that's when I noticed it.  My calf was cut wide open.  It looked like jelly, fat stuff just hanging.  Serina saw it about the same time I did and immediately starting telling me to remain calm.  All I could think was we needed to tie my leg up.  It was bleeding badly.  I yelled for one of them to find me a towel.  Serina quickly grabbed one and we tied my leg up.  Kathy was standing back.  I didn't know Kathy is a little squeamish until then.  She told Serina to drive me to hospital and she'd follow.  As I was sitting there on the ground, because I tried to stand up and my leg felt so weird that I just sat back down and told Serina she was going to have to bring the car to me.  

I was sitting there on the ground saying.. WHY WHY WHY.... 

I have done all the right things, I've trained and trained, I didn't even go to a race that day to prevent any possibility of injury and now this!  I peeped in the towel again and wanted to cry.  I kept thinking this is bad.  My calf which I use to pedal my bike and run is slashed wide open.  What am I going to do.  I was so mad at myself! When I first changed out my regular pedals to clip ins a few months ago, everyone told me that at some point I would fall over.  They all said it's just inevitable.  I had practiced and made a mental note to start unhooking my shoes from my pedals several feet before I was going to stop.  But today my mind was on other stuff.  I was not focused like I should have been.  It was almost like an athlete celebrating a touchdown a tad too soon to only be tackled at the 1 yard line.    

I began to pray once I was in the car.  

I asked God to just give me peace in whatever the doctor would tell me.  I prayed that it would not be as bad as it looked.  I told him that if I was not meant to go do the race, to please give me peace.  Serina was talking constantly, but I can't remember what all she was saying because I was steadily praying.  She was trying to keep me calm.  I so wanted to yell, scream, kick, etc.   We arrived at the hospital and they took me directly on back.  When the nurse looked at my leg she told me congratulations on doing a great job.  They began monitoring my vitals and gave me a tetanus shot and said the doctor would be in shortly.  The nurse even laughed and said she guess she shouldn't asked about my low heart rate since I had just done 50 miles and apparently worked out all the time.  

Serina and Kathy did a good job of keeping my mind off worrying.  We were all so sweaty and stinky.  We joked about how our room probably smelled so badly.  We even washed our hands and faces in the sink in the room.  I could smell my own self so I know it was bad.  After 50 miles of riding hills and running from dogs, you got to sweat.  Finally the doctor came in and started poking around on my calf.  Oh it hurt when he was prodding and looking.  Finally he looked up and said it didn't appear to go to the muscle.  Whew, I was so thrilled.  I grabbed Serina and began crying and hugging her. 

 He said I'm going to stitch you up.  Well, I had been sitting on the bed while us girls were talking and waiting on him actually googling stitches for athletes.  So I told him I need some special stitches because I had an ironman race in two weeks.  He said he was going to do some stitches inside and outside to get me fixed up.  He also said he had biked and ran when he was younger.  Sometimes those doctors understand a tad more when a patient is asking them to fix them so they can race.  :>)   
They don't think we are crazy.. ha ha

So he started the process of cleaning and stitching while asking a ton of questions about our ironman race.  He even asked Serina if she was doing the race also.  She laughed and told him that she was and that fat girls can too.  I giggled when she said it.  She may not be a slim thing, but she can kick my butt any day.  She is very good at TRIs.  She often places in her age group.  She is amazing.   Now Kathy is standing outside the room this whole time.  As I said before, she can't take it.  It's a good thing she didn't go into nursing.  Serina on the other hand was taking a million pictures and talking to the doctor about anything and everything.  I was laying on my stomach so I couldn't see what he was doing, but I felt the stitches many times.  Finally he was done and boy I have my a nice looking calf.  I'm hoping it won't scar too bad.  

I didn't sleep much at all last night.  I played the incident over and over in my mind.  I still can't see how my calf was cut so badly.  Even my husband has looked and looked at my bike and just shakes his head saying he can't see how it happen.   I've seen several people fall over with their shoes clipped in and have scraped knees on the side they fall on, but I've never seen this before.  It's one of those freak things that probably won't happen again in my life time.  I sure hope not!  

So today I thought I might be really sore from my 17 mile run on Friday and 50 mile bike on Saturday, but honestly I'm not sure from that.  I am sore on the knee that landed on the ground.  It was all scrapped up and bleeding also.  It's really sore when I bend my leg.  My other leg with the stitches is only sore when I move a certain way.  I did have some nice bloody sheets this morning where the cut with stitches oozed all night.  YUK!  He gave me an antibiotic to prevent infection and said I could get the stitches out in 7-10 days depending on how it heals.   He warned me not to swim until I get it rechecked in a few days.  There is so much bacteria in water.  I'm not to even soak in a tub bath...boooooooooo  However, I certainly don't want any infection.  He told me to take it easy for a few days and then when I do try to run to watch it.  I may have to walk the half in Augusta, but I plan to do this thing!  

Today as I was reading my devotion I read this..... "Sometimes the easiest question is "why", but it's also the hardest question to get an answer to".  How true is that!  Kathy fell down her steps at her house and broke her foot a couple months ago, Serina fell in Kathy's driveway when they were finishing a run and hurt her arm really bad, and now I have fallen!  All three of us have worked our butts off training for this ironman and each one of us at some point have asked the question "WHY ME".   I'm sure they lost as much sleep as I did replaying their accident in their minds and wondering why..why...why...why...

Sometimes we get our answers fast, sometimes it's a long wait and maybe even sometimes we never really know why something happens.  As for me, I've seen God use trials to build me up, open other doors, answer other prayers, and use me in others.  I've seen God's miracles.  So I know in my heart that I have to trust him and have faith.  If this ironman race is meant to be, it will.  If not, God will lead me elsewhere.  I am his.  Some people think because they are saved they will never face trials and tribulations.  Well, I'm here to tell you that is wrong.  We are not promised a rose garden.  The bible actually tells us we will have trials and tribulations.  

James 1:2-8English Standard Version (ESV)

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

So I guess I'll be on rest mode for a few days.  Sure was hard today!  Troy must even know something is wrong because he kept coming up to me while I was laying on the couch and whining.  Gary said he wanted me to go take him for a walk.  Oh how I wanted to, but knew the doctor said to take it easy for a couple of days.  I really want this to heal so I can do ironman....So I will abide by the doctors orders.  It's just so hard for me to sit still all day.  Luckily (I guess), tomorrow is a work day.  At least that will keep me from getting bored.  Plus I have a work school on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend.. OH BOY>> Ha ! There is just so much Facebook, movies, football, or reading I can stand in one day. LOL  

So how'd your weekend go?  I hope certainly better than mine.  I love my sweet friends! They never left my side and stayed the entire time at the hospital even when I told them they could go.  I'm very blessed.  13 days...... IRONMAN 70.3! 

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