Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Last Race Report... For Now!l

A pre-cross season playground... the season started in earnest with a DH play trip to Winter Park, CO!
Time to put the mental memory of the last regular season cross race to the keyboard. I'll get to a complete season wrap up in the next post, but for now I'll mostly stick to the final regular season series race I was able to do. With a pleasant surprise of finishing 4th in SS and 3rd in my Master's class last year at nationals, I started the season this year with a lofty goal of winning a national championship. So with that said, this post comes bittersweet as it will be my last report for cross this season and we all know nationals have yet to occur this upcoming week. But... as bittersweet as it is, the growth I've had as a person, the challenges I've faced, overcome, and the people I have faced them with... just can't be put down as a "goal" on paper. But I shall get to that some other time. For now... this is the last race report this season. Thanks for reading.

Focusing on drifting through the sand pit at the last OVCX race (for me) in Ohio.
Photo: Kent "The Kamikaze" Baumgartd
The John Bryan OVCX race came after the day of the Indiana State Championships  I wrote about in the previous post. As you recall, it was a wonderful mud drudging affair, and I put my all into it. After the ICX race in Indy and wrapping up the series title end events I drove a couple hours to my teammates house in Lebanon OH, unpacked, ate, and cleaned the muddy bikes. Bill and Teri had housed me so many times this season, I almost felt like their  home was a cyclocross vacation home to me. Being on the road 4-5 hours (one-way) from my own home, away from my family every weekend this season would have gotten very old, very quick had I spent it in a hotel. Sure, I could have spent plenty of time on the phone to my loved ones to get the social interaction necessary to keep one sane, but that just isn't the same as having people you love right in front of you, sit down to eat with people in a HOUSE at a table and share a good belly laugh with or discuss the day's races. To say I have been grateful for each and every one (including Leslie and Don Walker) who has hosted me, would be a understatement! 

Flying the Don Walker Cyles Racing Orange and Black made for  a nice bright contrast on the gloomy day.
Photo: Kent "The Kamikaze" Baumgartd

After a good night's sleep at the Meek's I woke up and realized the day would be a struggle for me. My legs were pretty sore and stiff from the thick mud race, and more interesting was that the ovarian tumor on my left side I had been dealing with was none-to-happy with me. On the bright side, it was a dark, dreary proper cx weather looking day and I welcomed that true cx atmosphere. After getting to the venue, I was stoked to see a layout and it seemed that it was perfect for me. I looked forward to getting on my bike and getting my warm-up going. Once again, I have to give a major shout out to the Shamrock cycles crew for allowing me to make camp under their banner on a rainy day as our head honcho, Don, had fell victim to one of the many sicknesses that had been going around the area. 

And then... I started warming up. As my heart rate rose, so did my pain, nausea, and general feeling of badness. Really? No, no, no... not today! I went through a well done warm-up and hoped that once the adrenaline of the race got going, I would be able push the bad feelings to the back of my mind. One could hope! But it didn't happen.

Girls just wanna have fun! The start of the Elite Women's OVCX John Bryan is underway!
Photo: Kent "The Kamikaze" Baumgartd
I got a pretty good start with my 5th position call-up. I gave the first 1/2 of the lap all I could and did pretty well, and after that I just started going backwards despite feeling like I was maxed out on my effort. I was giving it my all, it's just that my all was braced by a large amount of trying to deal with nausea and pain on top of managing the bike. Poop! One of the awesome ob/gyn docs, Dr Don Durecki, had told me earlier in the month that ovarian pain was like "being kicked in the nuts" for a women... yep, now I have the privilege to know what that feels like! Haha. 
Being that the course was pretty slick, it was an interesting feeling to try and brace and protect my abdomen while handling a slippery bike underneath me. My bike, my body, and my mind were all in completely separate places. I just tried to push it all back to the corner of my mind somewhere where I wouldn't take note of all that was going on and just spent the race imagining I was swimming underwater in the ocean... a nice mental exercise for me. It got me through it and I finally finished the race. 

I guess I've earned my newly given nickname of "Coal Train"  from Don Walker this year. Toughing it out to the finish.
Photo: Kent "The Kamikaze" Baumgartd
I managed to finished 12th and 4th in elite master's. Off the podium.
There would be no podium at nationals for me if I went. I knew this now. I was going backward in my performances. I was sad about it. I understood what was going on and it was out of my control at this point. It's hard to not be in control of something. I packed up and hustled the 4 hrs back home. I was scheduled to be on anesthesia OB call by 7pm and I didn't have time to be upset. I hit the ground running once I was at work. I finished the night around midnight and was thankful to have such a positive end to a let down of a day. I enjoy my profession and it is a rewarding feeling to help a family bring a new life into this world. Plus, I just tried to remind myself for all the things I got to do that day because in reality... I knew very soon my world was going to slow down A LOT. I knew I would be the one going under the knife soon. Again.

Turns out, it was much sooner than I had thought. That weekend had just progressed to a even worse situation. Three days later I could barely stand up and the nausea became vomiting. I was admitted to the hospital for a torsed ovary and the day after that I was indeed correct, I had surgery of my own. My ovarian tumor had a torsion and had hemorrhaged and was starting to leak out. I pretty much knew this was happening on and off since Lexington.
I wouldn't know if the highly suspicious tumor was cancer until I woke up, wouldn't' know how my myasthenia would manage, or if I would find myself with another pulmonary embolism (unlikely, but I was still afraid of it). 
All of that was out of my hands now. I prayed with my parents, had a good cry with them, then we all regrouped to face it... whatever it would be, we would face it and deal with it. I drifted off to sleep and imagined I was swimming again but this time I was in a school of people I love and that one distant figure that joins me now and again that I can't quite make out who he is... no joke. He's my guardian angel. 
And with that...
I knew before I even was all the way under that this would go good. 
It did. No cancer. No post-op vent. No need to remove my only remaining valuable ovary. NO feared blood clot. 
 Thank you God!

This may be my last race report.
But just for now! 

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