Seattle Triathlon TEAM
Local News from the Road
Change of Plans
I had plans. BIG plans. Then those plans got even BIGGER. Then all of those plans were canceled.
My original plan for this summer was to qualify for and race in USAT Age Group National Championships in Vermont in August. I was pretty confident that I would be able to qualify and my hope was that I might even be able to qualify for Age Group World Championships in London in 2013. I was excited about this plan and had been working all winter towards it.
Then, kind of on a whim, I decided to apply to be part of Team USA and race ITU Cross (off road) World Championships in May. I thought it would be a long shot to make the team but I decided to try. You’ll never know unless you try. Plus it would be a great early season race and get me all fired up for more intense training for later in the summer. I was super excited when I found out that I made the team, and even more excited when my husband made the team as well. We ordered our Team USA super suits, booked our flights and hotel, and reserved our car.
This is a CT scan done a week after surgery. You can see the staples and the hole on my forehead they used to access the tumor which was located right above my pituitary gland.
All of my plans changed.
Instead of packing my bike box, I took an anticeptic shower and checked into the hospital. After surgery, I spent only 1 night in the ICU and 3 nights in the neuroscience unit. The day after surgery I was sitting up, eating some apple sauce and taking short walks to the bathroom. I couldn’t believe it! The next day I got really sick from over activity - I had taken a walk around the unit. Who knew? For someone who was scheduled to do an off road triathlon that day, the idea that a 50 yard walk would make me vomit and spend two days recovering was inconceivable. Wow did I ever learn!
Once I was home, I slept a ton. Those first few weeks were tough. I wasn’t in any pain, which was surprising to me. Heck, the strongest stuff I had taken once I came home was Tylenol, but boy was I tired. All the time. Any bit of activity just wiped me out. But gradually I started to spend more time with the family, more time sitting up, and more time reading in bed rather then sleeping. One week after surgery, I walked my kids to school.
Two weeks after surgery, my husband took me to the gym and I rode on the recumbent bike for 20 minutes. Then I slept for 3 hours. We tried to make it to the gym most days for more easy pedaling, gradually increasing time and intensity, and then graduating to some time on the elliptical. After a few more weeks, I decided it was time to try to do some planks to see if that would hurt my head, or worse yet, make me throw up! Neither happened, so planks were on the list of things I could do. Then one day I wanted to run. So I did. My husband came with me, and the kids came too, on their bikes. I ran for 30 minutes and was so happy! It was slow and I had to take a nap when I got home and rest the entire next day, but I was so incredibly happy!
At 8 weeks post surgery, I found that I will start radiation soon which will have its own new set of challenges, but I was given the go ahead to do as I please. I have no more restrictions. I am still concerned about putting on a swim cap or bike helmet but I was determined to celebrate.
So how did I celebrate? I did a 5k!
Our Team LUNA Chix was helping at the See Jane Run 5k & 1/2 Marathon in Seattle. We were at the expo on Saturday and out on the course, on bikes with the lead runner and singing and dancing at the cheer station. Marne, LaVonne and I did the 5k. Marne had a stellar race - setting a new PR and coming in 1st in her age group! Go Marne!! I set a PBS-PR!! Post Brain Surgery-PR. And LaVonne set a PKS-PR, a Post Knee Surgery-PR. We ran together and rocked that course!
I still have a long way to go but I am excited about my first race! My Team LUNA Chix teammates and the ladies who attend our workouts have been so supportive since my diagnosis. It was so much fun to share this special athletic accomplishment with them! These ladies have given me hospital and home visits, incredible support for my family, inspirational stories of their own challenges, shoulders to cry on, and well developed core muscles from all of the laughs. They are an amazing group of women and I am lucky to call them friends!
Enjoying post race champagne and chocolate!
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