Sunday, July 21, 2013

Change in plans

I doubt that I am alone when I say that I learned the important lesson of changing plans when things you can't control (such as weather) get in the way.  Many of my teammates and friends raced this weekend and will probably be nodding their head in agreement to most of this recap.

I was told about this 1/2 marathon with a bunch of prize money probably a month or so ago.  Naturally, that motivated me as I was hoping to have big expenses (in terms of flights to Kona!) coming up.  Coach Bill was on board with it, but we also discovered something pretty perfect about this race:  it would be at 5:45pm on Saturday night, when the temperature would be around 80degrees.

Things got even better for us when the weather was 90 DEGREES at race start time!

I had a few thoughts going into this race:
1) stay in the top 5 to earn some extra cash (a few medical bills came in this week, so the extra $$ was definitely a motivating factor)
2) re-evaluate my goal and race plan if the heat gets to me
3) LEARN how to respond properly to the heat, even if that means slowing down to be able to finish strong...basically come up with a plan in case I get "in trouble" in Kona

I'm happy to report that I achieved all three goals.  Here's how the race played out:

I knew going into this race that my Saucony Hurricanes teammate Kara would be making her debut for the half marathon.  She's a 16:xx 5k runner, so I knew if conditions were right, she'd easily be sub-1:20.  I also knew two Kenyans would be racing.  So, I told myself 4th or 5th place would be a pretty darn good day.  Did I mention one of the Kenyans has a 1/2 PR of 1:14?  Yeah...

This course was constant turns and constant inclines.  By no means was it "fast and flat."  I remembered a few miles into the race that I actually had been a Pacer for this race a few years back, which made me remember that the course would not really let up any.

Miles 1, 2 and 3 were all sub-6, but felt easy.  I probably should have realized that with my jersey being drenched in sweat, it really wasn't as easy as it was feeling, but I told myself I would not look at my watch except to see each mile split, so it wasn't until I would read my watch that I saw how fast we were actually going.

Mile 4 is when I first felt my hamstring tug a little.  I immediately shook my arms and legs out, which helped loosen it a bit.  I had a gel between miles 3 and 4, which I could definitely feel helping my legs!

From Mile 4-6 is pretty much a straight shot of inclines.  I wish I was exaggerating, but even the 10k runners gave this kind of feedback on this section (they ran some of the same course that we did).

At mile 5, I told myself I had two choices:

1) continue pushing (at this point I was still under a minute down from the two Kenyans and Kara) and hope I hold up
2) use this race as a test for Kona: ease up a little now to finish strong at the end

I seriously debated on this for a good 2-3miles.  Just before mile 6, we make a turnaround and I could see that the girl in 5th place was still over 30 seconds behind me.  However, I also knew that if I chose choice #2, she would eventually pass me.

Finally, just before mile 8, I told myself that continuing to push was stupid.  My focus this year is Kona, not some silly 1/2 marathon, and if pushing could jeopardize anything, I need to check my priorities.

I slowed my pace to 6:40s and just waited for the 5th place girl to pass me.  Just after the turnaround (yes, another turnaround) at mile 10, she passed me.  Luckily, 6th place was enough distance away that I was confident I could run my 6:40s and still be top 5 (one of the original goals).

Miles 9, 10 and 11 were 6:4x's, which gave me enough energy to pull off two good miles at the end.  My form was perfect for the last two miles and I felt like I had just started running the half, which essentially was the goal in slowing down some of the middle/end miles.

The best part: a guy who I had been running with for miles 4-8ish who then left when I slowed my pace was now right in front of me.  I told him, "C'mon, we can be 1:25something if we push it in right here".....he looked at me, grinned and we took off.  He was SO excited at the end and gave me an adorable handshake, thanking me for the push to get that 1:25:xx.

The results are definitely not reflective of how awful the race actually was: hot, humid, hilly.

I know so many of my teammates, both racing and pacing, yesterday and today (Chicago Rock'n'Roll 1/2 marathon) experienced the hot and humid and I think we can all shake this one off and use it to fuel us for our upcoming, cooler weather races.

Good luck and be safe when training in this heat and humidity.  Be smart--there are plenty of races to run....don't let stubbornness lead to exhaustion or injury!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Tri back

Riding my bike on the course on Saturday afternoon seemed like a good idea.  After all, last year I had one of my fastest bike splits (20.7mph average) on little bike work on this same course, so I knew the course....what could go wrong?

Technically, nothing actually went wrong.  Except the fact that my confidence flopped.  I freaked out being on the busier streets, got nervous going down the hills (which were NOTHING in comparison to the IMWI course!!!) and couldn't help but think that my brakes would go out.

Last Sunday, I rode 2 loops of the Ironman Wisconsin course with no issue.  Let me tell you, that course is the opposite of flat.  Constant ups and downs.  And here I was freaking out over baby hills in comparison.

Ryan tried to calm me down a bit while we waited for John, Brittany, Oscar and Rose to get into town to go to dinner. Honestly, I have no idea where the panic came from since I was completely confident and fine today during the race, but I have to believe my nerves just kind of caught up to me.

We went to Thunder Bay Restaurant to get some yummy bison and Spotted Cow in our systems.  Oh, and the incredible biscuits with even better sweet butter.  It was seriously the best pre-race meal ever.  We went to bed pretty early as we all knew how horrible it would be waking up at 4am.

Our alarms went off...two or three times...before we finally all woke up.  Every time I do a tri, I always ask myself the morning of the race why I do these things.  After the race, I know the answer (even when it's not a good day), but at 4am, there is nothing I want more than to sleep.

We woke up, ate a little breakfast and headed to transition.  We had just enough time to set everything up before the Elite wave lined up.  Yep, I started in the Elite wave.  I thought doing so might give me motivation and the extra push I could need later in the race as all of my competition would be ahead of me due to the fact that I'm a poor swimmer and just an okay cyclist.

Well, let's just say that coming out of the water in 2nd to last place in the Elite wave was not exactly motivational.  I did my research and looked up the other girls in the field, and realized I had a shot at being around 3 others in the swim.  AND my Garmin confirmed that my swim was almost 4 minutes faster than last year.  So how I only beat one girl out of the water just blew my mind.

8:04 swim split (equates to 25:31 mile), almost 4 min faster than last year.

Did I mention I didn't wear a wetsuit, which would have saved me just about 1:00?  I'll get back to this at the end of my race recap. It ends in a lesson learned, a $100 lesson learned.

The transition from the swim to the bike was a LONG one.  Basically, you came out of the water, had to run probably 0.1-0.15 of a mile (for those who have raced the Chicago Triathlon, it's about the same length from coming out of Lake Michigan to the bike) in your bare feet and then get to your bike rack.  Oh, did I mention that there are large sharp rocks that you have to climb over to get out of the water?  Apparently they weren't in all parts as Ryan did not encounter any, but the rest of our group did, and we were NOT happy about it.

Seeing the bike rack where all of the female and male elites racked their bikes now be almost empty pretty much made me want to give up. I quickly took off my speed suit (what I had to use instead of a wetsuit as we could not find my wetsuit from when I last wore it in Eagleman) and headed out up the windy hill, passing one girl along the way, making me feel a little more motivated to get going.

40:30 bike split, 20.7mph, same as last year.

Well, the good news is that my power was good.  The bad news is that my legs never really got in the groove.  My quads were burning and I kept thinking I was rocking this ride...and then I'd look at my watch and wonder why it was telling me differently.  On the bright side, my dismount was "nice!" according to a spectator.

Luckily, the run was another story.  The same long transition from the swim was what was used from the bike in to the run out.  Yay for another barefoot run on a now slippery ground with rocks!

I made the choice to put on socks as last time I ran in just my flats (Galena Tri), I had bad blisters for a week.  Based on my run split, that was most definitely the smartest decision I made all day.

The first turn we made on the run, an adorable little girl said to her mom, "Mommy, look at that girl, she's going so fast!"...and that's how my run started.  It was going to be a GOOD day!

Just before my first mile, I passed one girl.

6:05.  With three pretty decent (up)hills in this mile, I was very happy with this split, but wanted more out of myself.  I knew mile 2 was going to have more hills in it plus lots of out-and-back type turns, so having a faster mile wasn't necessarily an easy goal to have.

6:07.  Two more female elites plus one 15-year-old girl (elite) who was super sweet down, at least three more to go.  Gotta keep moving.

5:48.  I hauled as fast as I could this last mile.  We had a pretty challenging uphill before our descent and push to the finish.  I could see one other female, but my time to catch her was limited and I was literally going as fast as I could.

She finished less than 10 seconds ahead of me. This continued to bother me throughout the day until official results were posted.  Apparently a girl who had either signed up for the Olympic and switched to the Sprint or just started in the age group instead of Elite wave finished 2nd overall, placing me 5th.

I knew local pro Jackie Arendt would be unbeatable (she places well amongst pros in like big-time races), so I wanted to see my time gap from her to me decrease.

Last year, she beat me by just under 10 minutes.  This year, she beat me by 7.  She was super nice as always after the race and even told me she kept thinking on the run, "I gotta keep hauling or Jacqui's going to catch me" hear HER say those words made me about cry.  Jackie is a solid triathlete in all three disciplines, so to hear her say that about my run really boosted my confidence (thanks Jackie:)).

While the course changed from last year, my time drop of 9 minutes clearly shows improvement and that maybe I didn't lose as much as I thought I did from the accident.  One thing is clear though: my run is finally back.  After frustrating workouts and then a recovery week, I was questioning whether my running this spring was a fluke.

Oh, and the lesson I learned: no matter how short the distance, WEAR A WETSUIT (when allowed).

Case in point: today's triathlon.  I was edged out of 3rd place ($100!!) by 58 seconds.  Can you guess how much time I save by wearing a wetsuit?  1:00 (for the 400 we swam).

We had to wait for quite awhile for awards as there are two train crossings that caused some bikers to lose time, and that all had to be adjusted.  While the adjustments were being made, one of the competitors in the Olympic distance (friends with Ryan) came over to talk to us.

Somehow we started talking about my accident....and when he heard I was on a P4, he told us of all the brake issues they've had.  Apparently this bike was created by engineers, who outsourced the bike for parts such as brakes. Well, the P4 didn't have a very long shelf-life.

Did I mention this guy is SPONSORED by Cervelo?  Yeah, so he knows a thing or two about those bikes.  SO, just wanted to clarify that I'm not a total klutz and my bike was basically set up for failure, which actually made me feel much better about riding.

Time to get back out on those roads and TRAIN for this Kona thing!:)
 John and Brittany after completing her first tri!
 New bike for today's race


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life lessons.

As I head into "Recovery Week," I feel like I have a few lessons to report out.

1.) Accidents happen.  They will take you "out of the game" for awhile, but being patient is part of the comeback process.  Healing doesn't happen overnight, though I've heard from so many people that I am healing quickly.  "Everything happens for a reason" applies to accidents, too.  It is very possible that I could have torn a muscle, got a stress fracture, etc., but instead I just got a concussion, stitches and road rash.  These things are SO much easier to come back from; while it really did stink not being able to workout for those 5 days, things could have been so much worse.

2.) Don't have unrealistic expectations.  This is a two-parter.

a) As I recapped on Thursday, I figured my fitness was back where it was at before the accident.  I was truly at the best fitness level of my life and really thought that I would be right back there on Thursday.

Lesson learned: take ALL of your training into consideration before getting upset at how ONE silly race goes.  If I had just thought about the crazy training I had been doing before the 4mile race, I would have realized that back-to-back 20mile run and 3hour hard bike workout left me with nothing in the tank come Thursday.  My fitness is there, but I had been pushing my body ALL week that come Thursday, it did not know how to respond.

b) I had a 16mile run workout to do on Saturday.  Basically, I had the first 4 miles to warmup and then 3 sets of 4miles descending from Ironman marathon pace (just under 7min) to 10k pace (just under 6min).

Lesson learned: sometimes it's better to "call" a workout than push through it.  Ryan and I had a wedding the night before, so I decided I would do my run in the middle of the day, carry my fuel belt, and really test myself in the heat and humidity that will be present at Kona.  Well, my body isn't used to staying out until 2am and eating and drinking not-so-healthy things.  And I didn't factor that part into my attempted run.  I called the workout after 10miles, choosing to save my legs for my 80mile ride on Sunday.  Let's just say my ride was SO good that I wanted to ride another 20 to get 100 in.

 My hot date for the wedding;)

3.) Focus on the big picture.  My goal race is the Ironman World Championship race in Kona on October 12, 2013.  Will this "bad" 4mile race on July 4, 2013 or my "failed" 16miler on July 6, 2013 go to show how I will race in Kona on October 12?  Absolutely not.

As an athlete, you simply cannot let negative thoughts get the best of you.  I was completely worn down going into Saturday's run and instead of remembering all of the hard work I had done up until this point, I focused on how "slow" I was running and how I "couldn't hit my paces."  WHY?? Because I gave into those negative thoughts.

I came home from my shortened run a complete mess.  I threw open the door and just started sobbing.  Fortunately, my wonderful husband came to my rescue and reminded me that I'm ending week 3 of 3 hard weeks in a  row and just destroyed my body less than 3 weeks ago.

Sometimes, taking a step back and examining the whole situation is all that needs to be done to realize that the overreacting is just silly.  Luckily, I have a great support system that is there for me to remind me of this on days like Saturday.

Since I canned the run workout on Saturday, I was able to save myself for my bike marked my longest bike ride ever.  In my whole entire life.  80.5 glorious miles on the Ironman Wisconsin course.  BOY was it hard, but WOW did it remind me how excited I am to compete in this crazy Ironman.
 On my NEW non-accident bike, riding the 40-mile IMWI loop!
Part of Ryan's post-ride breakfast:) 
Healthy omelette...and pumpkin pancakes...just can't get enough...

The first thing that I said to Ryan (and later my coach) after completing the 80 miles was, "Can we go do a quick 20 so that I get 100 in?!"  Seriously, who says that?  Oh yeah, someone who is super pumped to compete in an Ironman.

Hope everyone had a great 4th.  As the summer continues to get hotter and more humid, just remember to always put things in perspective.  As long as you are putting in a good effort, the workout is not ruined AND you become stronger mentally.  Best slogans ever to keep in mind:

You are stronger than you think ~Powerbar
Find your strong ~Saucony

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Welcome back! 4 on the 4th recap.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any expectations for my first race back.  It's hard not to.  Before I flipped over my handle bars, I had been running the best races of my life.  

I kept telling myself, "the 5 days that you were forced to take off gave your body time to rest so that you can race fresh!"....except that it didn't occur to me that my training after those 5 days off might tire me more than I thought.

After my bike workout yesterday, I ran an easy 4 miles and figured I'd attempt a few strides just to see how running fast felt again, hoping my body would remember.  Well, my body remembered, but my cheek (the area that took the most impact from the accident) was throbbing.  At 5:00pm last night, I seriously considered not waking up to race this morning.

Ryan and I went to the Lake in the Hills open water swim at 6pm last night with some of our friends.  After confidently swimming almost 3,000 yards with no wetsuit (they're not allowed in Kona) at a decent pace, I decided maybe my fitness was coming back and that I might as well see what the morning could bring.

At 4:45am this morning, I was NOT thinking the same thing.  All I wanted to do was go back to bed, but I told Ryan if he promised we'd go out for brunch after, that I would come with to the race.  And so I did.

Elmhurst's 4 on the 4th tends to bring a pretty competitive field, especially since this year it is the USATF 4mile Road Race Championship, which means decent prize money to the top 3.  Having never raced it and just looked at past results, I figured it was a fast course as there were some pretty fast times recorded.  

I was right.

The first mile begins with a pretty big downhill, followed by a flat section and another downhill right before Mile 1.

5:25.  Umm, what?  Yikes, let's reel this back in a bit.

The second mile again was pretty flat, with a nice downhill under a bridge, which of course led back to a slight uphill.  

5:43.  Much better.  Let's keep this pace going, you can do this.

At the turnaround, Dave Schaefers was there motivating me and encouraging me.  I wanted SO badly to be able to start running faster, but just couldn't get my legs moving.  At about 2.75 miles, my teammate Columba passed me and encouraged me...but I just couldn't go with her.  My teammate Jon tried to bring me along too, but I was just done.

6:02.  Yep, definitely dying.  Just gotta finish this thing.  Why can't this just be a 5k?!?!?!

The fourth mile about killed me.  I just kept telling myself how lucky I was to even be out running pain free right now.  And, hello, you're Ironman should be dying at mile 4 of a fast 4mile race!!!  

6:04.  Thank goodness that's over.

As soon as I finished, I collapsed onto the curb.  That was not a fun race for me.  I knew going into it that I had a 20miler from Saturday + long ride Sunday + 2 bike workouts + 2 swim workouts and a run workout at Ironman pace/5% incline under my belt, so not to expect much, but WOW was that painful.

After the race, my Dick Pond Fast Track teammates were incredible.  Everyone asked how I was doing and kept telling me how great I am healing, which was so nice to hear.  I, of course, don't feel like I'm healing nearly as quickly as I want to, so to hear others say I'm healing nicely is HUGE to me at this point.  

Todays race really made me grateful for so many things. I am back running (even if it's not 100%) a mere 15 days after getting a concussion/stitches/swelled up cheek/etc., which is just incredible. My support system (friends/teammates, family, Ryan) seriously never let me down and I can always count on my them to make me smile and laugh....even if it does still hurt my cheek to do so!

Oh, and don't worry....Ryan kept his promise.  Not only did we go out to eat at Egg Harbor after, but we also saw Pam (2nd place female!!! Congrats girl!!!) and Jill there after as well.  Always a good day when you can catch up with running friends :)

I plan to continue to update this blog as often as I can--it was such a cool feeling to be told, "I read your blog..." so many times today (thanks, friends:)).  Thank you again to everyone who has been so incredibly supportive of my comeback after the accident.  Without the words of encouragement, this would have been a pretty tough road.  That being said....we're off to bike!  (benefits of Ironman training: lots of working out = lots of eating at 4th of July BBQs:)).

Have a safe and fun 4th, everyone!!! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2 week bike accident update...and a fainting experience.

Well, it's been two weeks since my bike accident.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the texts, messages, phone calls, cards and emails that I have received during this time.  I am truly thankful for everything and am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

The first five days after the accident were rough: no working out allowed.  Granted, my cheek probably wouldn't have allowed it anyway as just standing up caused a big blood rush, but still, I am a creature of habit and don't like being told that I can't workout. Here's a rough breakdown of the week...

Wednesday: My mom drove me to school and watched me teach as, even though the doctor said I was good to go to work, she was hesitant (and I was glad).  If only I could have taken pictures of my students' faces: they were shocked and felt horrible.  One of my students in particular who doesn't wear a helmet while riding his bike to school really felt horrible and he has been wearing his helmet since!

Next, I went to see my personal doctor as I kind of wanted another opinion, particularly since the nurses at the hospital had to be asked by both me and my mom to clean the dried blood off of my face, more than 2 hours after the accident.  Plus, I needed to see where I would have to go to get the MRI that was recommended the night before.

I guess I didn't mention that part...Basically, when doing my CT Scan, they found a cyst.  It was ruled inconclusive as it just happened to appear in the CT Scan and they hadn't planned on finding it. They suggested that I get an MRI to get a better look at it.

While at the doctor, I could barely open my jaw enough to have her put the strip of paper in to take my temperature.  My doctor called in a prescription for some pills that would basically attempt to eliminate the chance of infection in my face/chin/shoulder/elbow cuts.

I spent the rest of the day on the couch.  My dad inspected my bike: he spun the wheel and tried multiple times to use my back brake (the right hand one) and showed me that it was completely useless.  This made me feel thankful that my left one did work, even if I did hit it too hard.  I haven't had the need to be taken care of my parents in this way since I was a little girl, so it was a good day for all of us:)

Thursday/Friday: it was still pretty hard to eat anything and, quite frankly, I didn't have much of an appetite.  For anyone who knows me, THAT is hard to believe.  I am constantly hungry and absolutely LOVE food, so these were a weird few days for me.

Saturday: was my uncle's wedding.  All of my aunts/uncles/cousins were SO nice and kept saying how much better I was getting so quickly.  It really made me happy, even if I still couldn't fully smile!

Sunday: Ryan raced in the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon.  I won't say my thoughts on that as they are not very nice (not towards Ryan), so instead I'll comment on what I thought was progress: while just running around to cheer for Ryan, my cheek didn't feel as if the blood was constantly sloshing around!

Monday 6/24: after school, I went to my doctor and had the stitches in my chin removed.  The best part of the day: I was cleared to workout!!!!! I immediately came home and biked for 1.5 hours.  It was a HARD workout, but I felt awesome the whole time...probably since all I had done for the past 6 days was sit on my butt.

Tuesday 6/25: I was SO excited to be able to swim again (I know, it was weird for me to even type that).  However, every time I pushed off of the wall I could feel my scab on my cheek moving around.  This didn't seem good to me, so I went to the bathroom to check it out.  Thank goodness no one else was in there: the part that used to be a scab was literally hanging by a thread on my cheek.  I tugged gently and it came right off.  My face now simply looked as if I was wearing too much blush!  I was still too much of a chicken to continue my swim with my scab having just come off that I opted to come home and do a run workout instead.  This was difficult as I felt extremely out of shape, but I was also so appreciative to be able to workout again.

Wednesday 6/26: the bike workout didn't go quite as well as Monday, but again I kept everything in perspective.  I would attempt a swim again the next day.

Thursday 6/27: My shoulder was still a bit sore while swimming, so again I pulled the plug early.  At least my run went well!

Friday 6/28: I woke up sore all over. I think the whole bike workout Monday, run workout Tuesday, bike workout Wednesday, run workout Thursday thing kind of shocked my body after taking 5 days off.  I immediately scheduled my massage with Dave Davis for after my lovely 20miler on Saturday.

Saturday 6/29: Seeing my calves, IT bands and quads all hurt just walking around, I was a little nervous going into my 20mile run. The plan was to do a 3mile warmup, 4miles at 7min pace, 5miles at 6:45 pace, 4miles at 7min pace, and the last 4 just easy.  The purpose of this was a few things: (a) get used to the 7minute pace as that is just over what I want to average in Kona, (b) get used to wearing a fuel belt, and (c) get used to fueling my body properly at a faster pace.  All three goals were met! Unfortunately, meeting these goals meant even more soreness and my session with Dave was rather painful.  BUT, WOW did it feel good to be back running!

Sunday 6/30: the bike ride that caused another scare.  I had a planned 4 hour ride outside.  I was going to ride from our house to Barrington High School as I did not trust myself to be fully out on the roads on my own yet.  I could do about 10mile loops in Barrington and the traffic would be minimal and the runners/bikers plentiful (in case another issue arose).  Ryan and I made it about 2 miles out before he got a flat tire.  He didn't bring a spare or tools as our house is only 15miles away from BHS, so neither of us imagined he'd get a flat.  He was unable to change the tire after the co2 cartridges did not work, so rode my bike home to get his car to come pick us up.  Good thing he rode my bike: again, my brakes would not fully engage.  This left me to a lovely 2.5 hour session on the trainer in the basement. Thank goodness for OnDemand.

Monday 7/1: the fainting episode.  Well, you'd think after 13 days of no symptoms that nothing could go wrong.  Wrong.  After rocking my bike workout (seriously, I was pumped about this), I ran a couple of miles to get the junk out of my legs, did some core and got ready to ice bath.

Ryan and I filled a brand new garbage can with water and ice and prepared ourselves to get in.  After about 5 minutes, I began telling Ryan the following...

"I feel lightheaded, a little dizzy....I'm seeing stars...I know what's happening, I'm about to faint...It's hard to hold myself up..."

And sure enough, I fainted.  Now, the way Ryan and I were configured in this garbage can was not ideal for this.  Ryan had his back facing me, so I was fortunately able to just pass out on his back, but he was unable to lift me up or anything since his arms were facing the opposite way.  Luckily, as soon as the water started getting chest height, it caused me to snap out of it.  The weird thing was, I could hear Ryan speak the whole time, but just felt like I couldn't do anything.

I am extremely lucky again to have had someone who cares about me around when something crazy happened. This whole fainting thing has happened to me one other time in my life and I can recall it like it was yesterday.

It was the summer either before or after 2nd grade.  I was playing sand volleyball at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake.  It was a REALLY hot day so people were taking breaks like crazy.  I could feel myself starting to "feel funny," saw stars and headed to the shade tree where my water bottle was.  Sure enough, I was fainting and was out for a little while before someone poured water on my face.

Based on my prior experience, I know that my fainting episode was caused by all of the blood in my head rushing down to my legs (hello, it was ice, it was cold!) and, having not properly rehydrated, I passed out.  I'm usually so good about hydrating that I was surprised this happened, but again I am very lucky to have had Ryan right there with me.

Moral of the story: HYDRATE PROPERLY!!!! Even though it has been less than ideal "summer" weather here in Illinois, proper hydration is still so important before/during/after training.  I drink plenty during the day, but my bike/run/core apparently caused me to sweat a bit more than normal.  Please take hydrating seriously!

Thank you to everyone again for supporting me after my accident.  Tomorrow is the day that my fitness post-accident will be tested.  Good luck to everyone running in a 4th of July race!!