Obituary for a Great Season

Thirteen days before what would’ve been my first marathon, I blew out my hip dancing. Zumba is not out of the ordinary for me; I didn’t fall, I wasn’t airborne. It was a very bad ‘pop’ that rendered my right leg wobbly. I immediately realized my marathon was not to be. Four days later all I know is that I might have a torn labrum (a cartilage attached to one’s pelvis). The MRI I got this afternoon will confirm this or indicate what is damaged. I cannot walk without a pronounced limp, I can’t lift my leg, nor I can kick while swimming. If I step the wrong way it hurts. Not good. Not good at all.
I should be heartbroken about this injury. However, I’ve learned one thing in three years of endurance sports: setbacks do happen and in many cases athletes bounce back. Even if they don’t bounce back to where they left off, they bounce back to a condition that lets them stay active. Again, this is most of the time, not always. An athlete can have as intense a focus on healing as in training for a race. Time, patience, and common sense are the body’s allies, though perhaps not so much a friend of an athlete’s competitiveness.
I’m dropping out of four races: Swim Miami Beach, Marine Corps Marathon, Challenge Florida Olympic Tri, and the Frogman Swim. Frogman isn’t until January, but I was planning an intense training block for it that now is quite unrealistic.
Despite its early and goofy demise, I had a great season. I’d like to share its highlights because if you’re reading this, you are one of the people who made it happen. I’m grateful to you, because I cannot do this alone.
HITS Naples Half Distance Tri – My first attempt at a long distance tri (70.3 miles). It was a perfect race day. The best part was when Sherna handed me my 3rd place AG plaque, because I didn’t know I had placed. I cried.
HITS Ocala Olympic Tri – I’ve never enjoyed a race’s weather so much. It was COLD! My body loved it! This race has two of my favorite things: hills on the bike and a dirt trail for the run. I trained very hard and was rewarded with a 2nd place AG. Flying high! My trip to Ocala was a blast thanks to fellow triathlete Susan M. A total riot, that awesome lady.
Swim Miami 5K – My first 5K swim! I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a confidence builder for the big race of the year, Chesapeake Bay.
Great Chesapeake Bay 4.4-mi Swim – Epic race! It was so awesome to swim across the Chesapeake along the Bay Bridge! I got hooked on marathon swimming, even though this race is a bit short of a marathon swim (10K). I want to do it again, over and over, and that’s despite ending up in the ambulance with a heat injury. No wetsuit in the next installment, though it won’t be as fun a trip without Sherpa extraordinaire Sarah. 
Power Challenge 5K Swim – My first DNF. (Great season, I said, not perfect!) I learned my body doesn’t really like swimming in hot water. Nope.
Alligator Lighthouse Swim (aka Jellyfish Swim), 4-person relay – My second year doing this race because it’s always so much fun! Who doesn’t like jellyfish dodgeball? Who doesn’t like swimming out into the ocean to a lighthouse that looks like a dainty miniature from Route 1? Who doesn’t like swimming with three other friends (Cat, Roy, and Gary) in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Florida Keys?
Columbus Day Duathlon Relay with my kids – I’m a blessed mom. It’s so much fun to share cycling and running with one’s kids and cheer at the top of your lungs for them and to be rewarded with their proud and accomplished faces at the finish line. We all got ‘spinny’ 1st place medals. On a personal note, I PRd on my run. I was very happy marathon training was having a positive effect on my pace. Unbeknownst to me, this would be the last race of the year, but it couldn’t have been a better one.
In the next couple of weeks I’ll find out what my prognosis is. I’m signed up for the Swim Miami 10K and wanted to put in for the Chesapeake Bay Swim lottery and to sign up for Swim the Suck (10-mile swim for crazy people). We shall see. In the meantime, thank you for all your love, encouragement, and advice, for keeping me grounded in reality (Astrid and Stefan), for helping me be a better swimmer (Bert, CJ, Linda, and Julia) or challenging me to be one (Roy), a better cyclist (Scott H.), and a better runner (Sandra). You guys are awesome!

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