Sunday, October 2, 2011

Race Recap and Health/Life Update

Had an awesome time at the Mainiac Tri.  Crystal and I relayed the Tri.  Our good friend Katy did the duathlon.  Her brother Jon also did the duathlon.  This was his first Tri.  On the way to the race on the highway, the rear end of his truck locked up while he was going like 60MPH.  His truck skidded out of control on the highway and eventually came to a screeching halt.  Luckily he was not hurt.  There was also a State Trooper right behind him.  The trooper said he was pretty sure he was about to witness a serious accident!  Question is, did he make the race?  He sure did!  Hard core John!  He called his wife and she came to pick him up off the highway to continue on to Biddeford.  I think he got there about 5 minutes before transition closed.

Crystal did great on the swim.  Since she was relay, she got thrown into the first wave.  It was the men's 18-35 age group.  She was worried about it, but she did great.  She had a great transition and also a great bike.

When she came back from the bike I was more than ready to start running.  My goal was to break 30 minutes on the run.  During training getting ready for this race, 38 minutes was my best time.  Before leukemia and the transplant, I could typically run a 5K in 22 minutes.  Since this was my first relay, it felt weird to wait around for my "turn".  I took off way too fast, but it felt great! I was actually competing in a race.  I wasn't sure this would ever happen again.  I had my heart rate monitor on because I knew I would be pumped and have difficulty pacing myself.

Sure enough, after about 5 minutes, my HR was between 177 and 180.  My "normal" race HR is 165-170.  I slowed down a bit and got my HR back into the 175 range.  As the 10 minute mark passed, I was starting to get worried.  I had not passed the 1 mile marker yet.   I picked up my pace a bit.  HR was cresting back up to 180.  I continued that pace until about the 15 minute mark.  The water station appeared as I rounded a corner.  There were mostly young kids there.  I asked what mile we were at.  One of the girls said, "Mile one I think".  I thought to myself, there is no way I am going to break 30 minutes at this rate.  As that reality started to settle in, I saw mile marker 2.  Looks like the water station was actually at mile 1.5 or so.  I looked at my watch and it was at 18:04.  I was pretty sure at that finishing under 30 minutes was going to be a possibility.

My pace picked up and up.  As I passed mile marker 3, my HR was 185.  I picked up my pace again.  It felt unbelievable.  By the time I crossed the finish line, I was pretty much at a full sprint.  After I crossed, I glanced down and my HR was at 192.  I have never seen it so high.

Crystal and the kids and my in laws were waiting for me at the finish.  The kids had made a big sign that read "Our Dad beat cancer, now he's back in the race!!!"  It was a tearjerker moment to say the least.  A year ago, I was in the hospital just finishing up my first rounds of chemo and dealing with the reality of being diagnosed with leukemia.

My recovery is going very well.  My doctor says that I am ahead of schedule.  My counts are still low compared to a "normal" person.  This means I am still very susceptible to catching something.  I still should not be around sick people.  I wash my hands constantly and am always carrying hand sanitizer.  When I go into the hospital for check ups, I still need to wear a mask and gloves.  It is a reminder every time to me that I am still sick. (Even though I feel great).  I still have little to no hair.  Not sure what is going on there.  I have yet to gain much weight yet.  I am still under 150.  I am eating everything in sight with no problem.  I am still limited to 1 beer a week.  This could also be contributing to the reason I am not gaining any weight.

On the work front, I have been cleared to return to the office 3 days a week.  I will work Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the office and Tuesday and Thursday from home.  It will be nice to get out of the basement home office!

Crystal is doing the Dempsey Challenge next weekend.  Saturday, she is running in the 10K and Sunday, she is riding a 1/2 century.  (50 miles)  She needs to raise a few more donation dollars or will have to pay from her own pocket.  Here is the link to her fund raising site. Dempsey Challenge Donation Page

Also, our friend Matt Wallace and his wife Freja Folce were recently involved in a bad car accident.  During a rainstorm,  an oncoming vehicle lost control while passing a car and crashed head on into Matt's car.  Matt broke both arms and both legs.  He is a tattoo artist and as such, may be out of work for some time.  A donation page has been setup.  Here is the link to that site to make a donation.    Donate to Matt.  Click on the PayPal icon and specify "Matt Wallace Fund".  Thanks!!


Mollie said...

Happy to see an update, your story is simply Amazing...You guys have had quite the journey! You guys make a great team that is for certain. We are ALL so happy that you are "back in the race"

Kevin @ HalfTRIing said...

Keep it up!! Great job.