It's hard for me to move into present day without talking a little more about my start in the sport of Triathlon.
My first race was called Shipbuilder's in Bath, ME. I was so so nervous the night before and really felt like I had no clue. I didn't know where to put my race # while swimming (no race belt yet), I didn't know how to set up my transition, I didn't know to put my bike in an easy gear, along with a lot more important details. I started the race and the swim was fast and fun. (downstream in a River!!) The transition was slow but I did what I had to do. And then, the bike. Ug. I was breathing So hard from the swim, my gear was not at all right and I had to start uphill!!! Long story short, my chain fell off about two miles into the course after being passed by what felt like every single other racer on the course. I now know that a derailed chain is commonplace, but to me that day, it was nearly catastrophic. I rallied. I had a little talk with myself once I realized No one was stopping. I said, "Ange...there are 9 people at the finish line waiting for you, figure this out!!" And I did. I was covered in grease and horrified. And then a nice man (he was chatty and friendly) rode up beside me with blood all over his shoulder. He had wiped out on the corner. I felt wimpy about worrying so much about a chain and just fine to proceed after my relatively minor issue. The rest of the race was a Blast!!! I Loved it. The run was so awesome and my 10k time shocked the heck out of me. I could do this! I was 14th woman or something that and damn proud. What was next???
A fun sprint race in Bethel, ME was next. It went very well except for the fact that I couldn't find my sneakers off the bike. T1 and T2 are in different locations and again, I wasn't fully prepared. It was still fun. It was a rush. Tons of my husband's family members were there (near his home town) and I felt so great. I was 4th woman that day, 2nd in my age. I was hooked.
I really looked forward to my 3rd and final race that season in Freeport, ME. It was in September. I had another month to prepare. Freeport is practically home to me even though I didn't grow up there. My parent's live there now but more importantly, our family cottage on the ocean is there. It is my favorite spot on earth. But that race wasn't meant to be.....
August 14th, 2006 I woke up at 5 a.m. and went for a pathetic bike ride that I wasn't in the mood for. It was drizzling just a bit. I really didn't get much out of it. I had about 2 miles to go before I got home and I had to cross a double train track. These tracks are a mess. There are deep wide grooves and the road is all beat up. However, at that point I was very inexperienced and was feeling invincible. See where this is going?
My tire slipped into the groove and I SLAMMED down on the road. My right arm and head hit. It was the most intense most stunning pain I have Ever felt. I have had 3 babies and yes, that is pretty painful. But that's "natural" pain. You're Supposed to be having pain while giving birth. This pain was just wrong. I knew I was in trouble. It was hard to breath. It was hard to cry. I just didn't really know what to do. I didn't have a phone or anyway to contact home plus the 3 boys were probably still sleeping. I picked up my stuff...with my left hand, and pedalled home. I just kept convincing myself that my legs were fine so what's the problem?. YOu can get up this hill! You can fall apart when you get home. Go go go go. My arm was literally shooting me with pain and I could Not move it. I got home, fell apart in my husbands arms, assessed alll the damage, and hopped in the shower. He had to go to work right? A short time later, I passed out. Thankfully he was still there. I was nauseus, I was sweating profusely, and it was hard to breath. I had a concussion. I had to spend the day on the couch with a rockin' headache.
I had a few days of serious pain but an xray showed no breaks. Maybe it would just get better with time. I had hopes that it would. I was wrong.
I can't go possible relive that whole Fall and the series of events that happened next but here's the jist. I had Months of PT. They told me it was bursitis. I finally had an MRI and the news was bad. It was a torn Rotator Cuff. Not good. Not good at all. I had not been able to lift my arm up above my head all Fall. I coudln't swim a single stroke. What was going to become of me? Would I ever really swim again? I had missed the Lobsterman Tri but I had managed to continue running all Fall. I raced in the Maine Marathon in Oct and got a PR of 3:27. Revenge. Take that Bike Crash. I'll show you.
On January 18, 2007 I had surgery. I faced many challenges for a while after that. But here I am today, ready to train for my 2nd Half Ironman. So, this story has a happy ending.
Moral for the day: never give up.