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Sick Day

This past weekend finally brought the beginning of the tri season to the Northeast! I had signed up for

the Devilman Half Lite 50 Triathlon, and could not wait to finally begin the season after a cold winter. I

prepared all week for the event: I got a tune up and a new derailleur on my bike, broke out my wetsuit,

found my Tri Slide, placed my new cleats on my new Pearl Tri Fly V Cycling shoes, and installed my new

Speedfil Hydration System. I was told that Saturday morning I looked like a kid in a candy shop, and my

living room looked like a locker room. Early Saturday afternoon, I was ready for departure.

My friends and I arrived to packet pick up just prior to closing on Saturday afternoon. We were stoked

and could not wait for Sunday. After a good dinner and a couple of drinks we headed back to the hotel

for some last minute preparations and a good night’s sleep. With transition bags packed, bib numbers

pinned, and our nutrition prepared, we all hit the hay and eagerly awaited the alarm.

At 3:30 am I awoke with an all too familiar feeling. “F***!” I felt like I was going to puke. Forty-eight

hours earlier, my Petri dish of a toddler contracted a stomach virus, and by Saturday evening I was

pretty sure I had escaped the illness. Clearly I had not. I vomited once. The 5 stages of grief

immediately kicked in. 1. Denial. I thought, ok that should be fine. I can still race. One time is nothing.

It’s like being hungover, and I did Placid hungover. No big deal. An hour later, more vomit. It’s still ok–I

can make it through. It’s not that far. 2. Anger (or in my case bitchiness). “F****** F***!” I

immediately shut everyone else out, and became a whopping bitch. I already had my phone open

looking for acceptable races to do in the next two weeks. 3. Bargaining. “Well, maybe I can do the

sprint” I said. As we drove to the race I came up with a plan to drop my friends off, go back, get the rest

of my things and still race. I had plenty of time, and I had not vomited in an hour. As I pulled away, my

friend who knows me all too well says “So you’re going back to the hotel and getting your stuff, and

we’ll see you at the start line?” I smiled and replied “I’ve already thought about that.”

As I drove back to the hotel, I calculated every move in my head. I could race. I was feeling much

better. I had just enough time. Then it hit me. I pulled over and more vomit. “Grrrrrrrrrrrr! Ok I guess I

really cannot do this,” I thought to myself. 4. Depression. As I pulled pack into the hotel, I was crying

like my toddler when he does not get his way. I hopped in the shower to ease my own mental anguish.

5. Acceptance. I got out of the shower, decided that I was being a huge baby and that I should go

support my friends. I got dressed, packed my stuff and began to drive back to the start line to meet up

with them. On the way back my hard headedness took over, and I got a wonderful yet crazy idea in

my head—if I couldn’t race, I definitely could take my bike out for a quick spin.

As I wished my friends good luck on their swim, I planned my attack. I would wait until they both came

out of the water, snap some pictures, cheer them on out of transition, and then grab my bike and go.

As they both grabbed their bikes and sped out of T1, I headed to the car, being sure to vomit one last

time prior to clipping in. I would make sure to be back before they finished their bikes to cheer them

out of T2. And with that thought I was off. As I hit the 5-mile mark, I hit all the rumble strips along the

side of the road, and pulled over to vomit again. Ok. Well, I have a 20 mile goal today. I can totally do

15 more. So I did–at a pace that I cannot even bare to put on paper.

I made it back just in time to cheer my buddies into and out of T2. I now really felt like shit. Severely

dehydrated, I puked again, and decided to sleep on the grass while awaiting their finish. Before I knew it

they were done, all with strong finishes. Though still mildly bitter that I was unable to race, I was proud

of their performances.

Although not the kick off to race season I had hoped for, at the end of the day I learned a few things: It’s

ok to sit and cheer your friends on if you are unable to race (once you conquer the 5 stages of grief).

They appreciate having you there. A 20-mile ride with a stomach virus is not a good idea, no matter

how hard-headed you are. That said, severe dehydration from vomiting and no fluids during a ride can

quickly put you at your ideal race weight (not recommended). I really cannot wait for my first race now. Two more weeks!

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