Monday, August 13, 2012

Rough Waters

Training is still rolling along.  I suffered through 19+ miles of running this morning after sleeping for about 20 hours after 3 straight days of work.  It seems inevitable that 3-4 days in a row at work is just a strain on my body.  Each day I get a little less sleep than the last, until I am nearly a zombie.  It seems so strange how the majority of the world works 5 days a week and deals, but I struggle with 3-4 in a row.

After 34+ years, I can't fool my body into thinking day is night, no matter what I do.  I've resolved to switching to days if I have more than one day in a row off (weekends) and hoping the boss puts this (3) 12 hour shifts/week into action soon.  It's funny how I work at a hospital and they preach "be healthy," yet I only get one meal for 30 minutes on a 12 hour shift (that I don't even get sometimes because I am too busy with patients), heck I only go to the bathroom when it's down to the wire and I'm not gonna get a choice in another minute or so.  I do however LOVE my job.  I can't imagine ever doing anything else.

The waves of difficulty come and go for me, just like Lake Erie's.  I'm definitely going through some "chop" right now after the loss of one of my favorite patient's about 2 weeks ago and then the GCT fatality.  Odd how I lost both of them to neuro issues.  I've stopped asking "why" but still go over and over stuff in my mind -- what I could have done differently, not that either would have made it for certain, but I can't stop.  The nightmares have started to subside (I always have them when I lose a patient I get close too).  I still cry discussing the beautiful memorial my patient's family had that I attended after work.  As for the other, it's still surreal and I go over and over the roll I played that day in my mind again and again, thinking about what could have been done differently.

I can only hope I've passed through this rough section and will hit some smooth waters for a bit.  It's crossed my mind that I have seen more dead people and watched way too many people literally die right in front of me all too often.  I have spent countless drives home crying and banging on the steering wheel in anger (no dent yet).

I often wonder how much death can a  person see, or more specifically me before it's too much.   

On the flipside, seeing how precious life really is daily, reminds me more often than most, it's the only one I have and it is not to be wasted. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Make It or Break It Workout

It doesn't matter if it's a running race or a triathlon, I always prep for my event with key workouts, as I am sure many do, but there is perhaps one difference.  There is always one workout that is long and intense or mentally grueling that I make myself complete with certain goals.  If I don't complete the workout and meet the goals, then the race goal changes, i.e. usually the finish time.

When I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon I new I had to run a 20+ miler at less than 9:00/mile and I had to pull off a half marathon in less than 1:41, not necessarily to meet the running calculator goals (because some of them said I could be slower than that), but for me.  I had to make myself believe I could do this.  Having all the potential in the world and meeting all the calculated run times doesn't mean sh*t for me if I don't believe it. 

Yesterday was one of those.  I didn't per-se dread the workout, but I had a lot of anxiety and hesitation about surviving the workout.  It was a 5 hour ride and a 2 hour run.  Alone. 

I headed out on the Joker (have to elaborate on that further in another post) around 8:30 am feeling like I was ready to rock this mother out (that never happens, maybe it's the steroids I am on).  I felt only a little tight from the threshhold intervals I had done Monday and of course, my left calf and foot were tight too, but that's par for me.  I got about 5 miles out before I though I may have forgotten to shut off the coffee pot so I looped back to check (it was off) and headed out again in another direction and whipped off another 23 miles.  The route got hillier after that and I had to stop at a gas station to buy more fluid since the park had no freakin' water (seems to be the norm this summer at parks).  I was able to cram about 6 bottles of water/EFS/Gatorade down my throat over 5 hours and I peed twice.

Got home and changed (quickly), set-up my little make-shift aid station and headed out for 2 hours of running.  I was a little stiff and felt like I was trotting so very slowly, but my heart wasn't pounding in my head or chest, which was a good sign I wasn't completely dehydrated.  I made my way back for some water and headed out again, but this time as I returned from my second loop (about 5 miles), I was starting to get the thirst.  I jammed ice down my shirt and grabbed my hand held, not worried it would slow me down because I was already going so slow.  I was able to sip on it as needed and even managed to take down some liquid shot.  Surprisingly, the brick was going really well, until about 10 miles when I could tell my stomach was starting to go south and gonna revolt.  Luckily, I had only 2.5 miles to go to get home and voila`....

I "made it."

Bike 90 miles - 5hrs 3600 feet climbed - avg. 18.0 mph
Run 12.5 miles - 2hrs, avg. 9:40/mile