25 August 2008 By Rachel’s

Tough Road Back

Hmmm….what do I say? I keep thinking that I’m Wonder Woman until proven otherwise. Again, and again. My Xterra last weekend was tough. Having done no real intensity for a month and then hitting a Regional Championship hurt a bit. I did finish, but at a cost. I had a really upset stomach the entire bike and had to soft pedal when I needed to go hard. Then on the run, first run in a month. A bit (ok, a lot) painful. But, I finished. Wasn’t the time I hoped for. Wasn’t the place I hoped for. Sometimes you just have to take finishing period as a victory.

Sorry, no pics from this one, but Xterra must not have noticed my limp as I ran. They put a picture of me running on the front page of their site! Sometimes I am so lucky!

So then my next brilliant idea was that I needed to go and race with my Monavie team at the American Classic in Brianhead. It was a four day mountain bike race with a 6 mile prologue on the first afternoon. This was followed by the next three days averaging over 50 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing per day up to 11,300 feet. I thought this would be a great way for me to get back into shape and ready for my national and world championships I have coming up.

The prologue was fine. Got the jitters out of me. Art won his and started the big days with the leaders jersey! Sweet!

The first big day was great for me. I finished and felt fine. I hydrated well and ate better than I am typically able to during a ride. Good. But that evening, I don’t know if I had food poisoning or what, but I threw up all night. Being me, I still raced the second day. I don’t remember feeling quite so horrible during a ride. Ever. I could hardly drink and couldn’t eat the whole ride. After this race, I started to realize I was in trouble. I threw up constantly and was dizzy and had a massive headache that led me to seeing three of everything. Finally late afternoon, I made history in terms of my own personal self. I begged Art to take me to the ER. I thought maybe an IV and I’d be good to go. All better, right?

Well, eight hours and two saline IV bags and a potassium bag later, poor Art drove me back from the ER to our hotel. I passed out instantly. This was after midnight. My race was over obviously. Art had been holding on to a strong third at this point and was supposed to race the final leg at 8 AM. In the morning, I couldn’t get up. Jeremiah whom I believe races for Trek was staying with us offered to take Art to the race start. I didn’t argue. I fell asleep again until 9:30. For the record, my typical wake-up time is between 5 and 6 AM. Me sleeping in even past 7 is unheard of!

When I first got to town, I raced the prologue and then drove Canyon to my parent’s new home in Toquerville. I decided that since I wasn’t racing the final stage I would get a head start home and go pick him up early and then be back to the race for the finish. One problem. No keys. Crap! Art accidentally took them to the race. My parents were so nice though. I called them and told them what happened (leaving out most details of course!). They offered to drive Canyon to me to save me having to drive. Now thinking about it, me driving would not have been a good idea seeing as I still couldn’t walk in a straight line. So thanks mom and dad!

Sadly, due to Art not getting the sleep and other things he needed since I apparently was completely helpless and out of sorts on Saturday, Art had to drop out of the race half-way through the final leg. I feel so bad and so responsible. This race was important and he was doing great. I am so sorry Art. But thank you so very much for helping me!

So anyway, here are some pics from the race.
Art and Canyon Ready to Start the Prologue (By the way thank you Bart and Roger for watching C while I rode).
Fellow teammate Sue Butler and Her awesome husband Tim!

Superman Matt Ohran did above and beyond the call of duty. He sacrificed his race for our team and instead turned his wheels in for a wrench. He took care of bikes, business, etc., etc., etc. Thank you so very much for everything!

Matt and Art working miracles on Art’s wheel. Three flats in one race?!? They fixed that!Even little me managed to blow out my rear shock and completely finish off my front brake pads. I love my bike!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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