Friday, June 29, 2012

June in a Nutshell

Well, so June is almost over and that means July is just around the corner. I've had an up and down June...  but what's new? I'm not complaining since I know the "down" could be much worse. Basically, June was this: 2 weeks of flu/sickness, then 2 weeks of getting back to health. 

(Leading the pack at the Fort 4 Fitness event, Sierra in 2nd here would trade me places once it was all said and done. Photo A. Hoffman) 

I pretty much had a good time in June when I wasn't sick... just didn't really have the results in races that I was hoping for. I've been doing some racing here and there though... 

(Taking chase at the Fort 4 Fitness race! Photo: Andrew Hoffman

I had a fun time at the Fort 4 Fitness Road crit in Fort Wayne where I was able to come away with a 2nd place in front of my team's (Men of Steel Racing home crowd. Of course, I would have loved to win, but I didn't play all my cards right. I let a solo rider get a break and I hesitated to chase since I thought the pack would pursuit... turns out they did not, and by the time I took after her, it was a bit too late. I soloed for 2nd and I was feeling pretty happy about how I powered through the race with so little high end training. I felt a bit off the entire night and later found out why. I spent the drive home throwing up and scooting to the bathroom. Yuckers! I was just thankful my Sis had made the trip with me and despite how crummy the day ended, we had a good time together before hand. 

(Loved racing past the buildings in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Cycling leads to so many cool things that just can't be experienced any other way! Thanks for the sweet photos: Andrew Hoffman) 

And that pretty much started it all. I felt pretty crummy for the next week, as did my entire family. I hate that they were sick, but at least I didn't feel like I was the only germ catching person around me. Since the NDE, every bug that comes anywhere in a 2 mile radius of me has me down for the count, and while I was hit the hardest, at least I knew it was going around. 

Of course, this was the week heading up to the BCSP DINO race and a planned mini trip and cabin getaway with my Mom and Sis. We were all sick and almost pulled the plug on the trip, but right at the very last minute, we decided that we could be sick just as well at the cabin, so might as well go. We made the 4 hr drive down okay, got settled in and I started resting for the next day's race. 

I woke up the day of the BCSP DINO race NOT feeling it at all. I wasn't deathly ill, but I wasn't good either. I knew me being off the bike all week and the lack of energy would not fair me well at a venue that doesn't suite me well to begin with. That pretty much says it all... no need to get into details. I put forth what I had, did my best for that day, had a fun time, and have since put it behind me. 

After that, the flu bug took over and I was forced to let it take its course for another week before getting back on the bike. 
I finally came back to life and was itching to get going at the races again. Sooo after being off the bike for a while I decided to do some crit racing. That was a jump start back! I headed up to South Bend to basically tick my legs off. It was a cool race and I really liked the course. Lots of turns, some straights, and it was around the college football hall of fame! What more could an ND FB fan want? 

We had a small but quality field of women. The promoter bunched us in with the Master's men which completely changed the race for us, but it is what it is. I think I had a pretty good race and did my best to play it smart. I had some major, major quad cramps every time I stood to attack, so eventually I didn't attack. I'm still a little weary when I have these cramps happen, I'm a little afraid that it's the myasthenia gravis and that pushing it a bit too far will lead me back in the ICU on a vent. Once a MG crisis occurs, the body basically doesn't have the energy to even be able to breath for itself... so I'm really going through a big  learning process to be safe and smart yet still be able to race. I'll get it down at some point... it just isn't something to mess around with! 

(Once again... cool places cycling can take a person... warmed up on the trainer on the astroturf in front of the Football Hall of Fame)

Anyway, we ended up in a 3 way sprint at the end! I came out 2nd, but we were all bar to bar! It was a lot of fun and I was happy with 2nd considering the lack of fitness and the fact that my quads stayed in the contracted state the whole time I did my cool down lap. It was total mind over matter to stand and sprint for that 2nd place at the end.

(I was so proud of my buddy Josh "Joshie" Johnson for taking his 1st PRO road win this month!)

So what else then??? Oh yeah, I did a race up in Lansing, MI last weekend. I would have loved to do the B'town crit, but at this point I am trying to conserve as much energy and resources as possible to get recovered from being sick. Plus, I know once cx season gets here there will be plenty of time to survey the roads and hotels of our country! So I opted to head to Lansing which was about 1hr closer to home. The race there had a pretty good turnout, 10 riders maybe? Since I didn't know any of the riders... it was a bit fun to learn each rider as the race progressed. All of the gals there were pretty speedy and I could tell they were all there for business that day. I really just wanted to stick with the group and not get dropped. Well, I did get dropped on a prime lap, but I fought my way back solo and was pretty stoked to stay with the gals for the remainder of the race and was even right there for the sprint in the end. I  came out 6th, which was about 1 tire width out of the payout...  Love those sprint finishes though! 

So all in all, it's been a crazy June but that's the way it goes! I'm not gonna get caught up on the results this month. I had some really fun times and good memories to keep with me.

In reality, June was a big deal to me in my life this year. It marked the 1 year anniversary of my near life ending event... so what do I have to complain about? I really feel June 16th is like my 2nd birthday... the day God let me live again. August 23rd was my birth as a person, but June 16th was a birth again that made me be so much more aware of how valuable the gift of life truly is!