Sunday, April 11, 2010


My mind has been in a thousand places this past week. Bouncing around from Rich to work, to Rich, to training, to Rich, to work, to family support and my awesome friends, to Rich, to Mayo, get the idea. When i was running today I finally said to myself...ME. ME. ME. ME.

With a recent post by girl pal Mary on motherhood and all that it entails I realized i wanted to write about ME. Not about Mayo, not about Day 6 or whatever day it is, not about NG tubes, hydration and not about Cancer. This was hard for me to realize. Last time I was down here with Rich we were uncertain about his prognosis. To date we know he is cancer free. That makes all this "complications" from surgery seem ok. Last time we were here we had the wedding on the horizon, would we get married? would he be ok? would he have the energy? And I was also DONE for the season with my racing and the training was sorta to keep me sane. It was the start of winter hibernation.

When I planned my race calender for 2010 we were to have had this current surgery DONE! It was planned for January 2010, but our surgeon suggested waiting another 3 mos, and if the surgeon wants to wait, by all means, we were for it. Little did i know that this would bring the surgery to about 2-3 weeks pre my first big race of the season. Lonestar 70.3, or Memorial Hermann 70.3, or whatever IM is calling it. I just know i signed up bc my sister lives in Houston and I thought it would be fun to have girls weekend in Galveston. I had no plans to be training thru my hubby's Mayo stay. Luckily we had a great build at JH camp and the after camp in Green Valley. I think i got some good volume in and despite it being concentrated I think it helped. I hope. At least i got to ride and run in temps over 30 degrees. Lol.

As i ran today ( and felt like my legs were back after the Tucson trip! yea!) I realized I have done NO speed work. I have raced once. a 10 miler which was a good race for me for March. I have been on my Tri bike 1x outside. I rode her yesterday for 2 hours. It was not a workout it was just an endurance ride. And i realized that 56 miles is gonna be hard. Yes we rode alot in Tucson. Alot of it involved climbs which means you get some free miles descending. Lonestar is flat flat flat. For me this means hard hard hard. I also realized its salt water. Oh boy. I guess i swam in St John's and didnt have a problem but i have to keep my mouth shut!

Anyways I wont dwell on all the "Oh crap" moments i have had this past week. Because at the end of the day I am so excited to get out and race and throw all expectations out the window. I really mean that. I HAD some time goals, and really now i just know that my competitive juices will flow when it counts, and if I am not feeling it I will pace as i need to in order to cross that line with my head high and my shoulders back. ( ie not hunched over like a little old lady!)

So this is the ME post I wanted. I wanted to write about me, and how this Cancer thing and how being at Mayo has made me feel. I am just hitting the surface of it really, but the guilt i feel leaving him here is huge, as i drive home every night and get up and drive down in the AM. I also know that after that first night ( where i was miserable! on the couch! ME again, remember this is about me, its my blog) I could not have left him. No way. And this is THE MAYO clinic.
I think you have to experience this place ( now dont go out of your way to get here) to understand how EXCELLENT the service is and how passionate and caring the RN's, to the MD's to the transport service to EVERY frickin person here is compassionate. I am not kidding. The people that take the parking tickets are professional and courteous. Really.

If i cant be confident leaving him here overnight I am nuts. Plus THEY get ALOT done at night. It is pretty weird/curious that when rest is so important to healing that they are in here every 2 hours doing stuff. Blood draws are at midnight, and there are other things that all require you to spell your name, state your date of birth, etc...all for positive ID before the shoot you up with Heparin or do whatever. Rich had an Ambien last night to sleep. Um, yeah right.
But still its hard to leave him here alone. Thank god the Master's is on :)

So i get up and try to get a workout in. Then i eat something and shower. The bad thing about not swimming as much this past week is there are no built in showers:) And riding early has still been chilly, so I have been on the trainer. But its all good since it makes my exit from the house faster. Then i throw more food into a bag, and grab more things to bring down to Mayo, and start driving. Now I am a bike racer. I like to drive fast. And up until friday I was safely and cautiously driving a speed that got me to Mayo in about 75 minutes. Lets just say that friday I cut my drive a bit too close to get to a 4:30pm appt in st paul. I got off the freeway and was right on time to get to my appt ( for a massage, selfish i know...but they give massages at mayo you know, so i wanted one too!) and as i was heading down a local street about 1 mile from the massage therapist I saw it.

That suspect car with the lights inside the car and too many antennae. I dropped speed FAST. But who knows where his little camera was sitting but I went by him and about 10 feet later i was pulled over. Nice. I have NEVER been pulled over EVER. I had alot going thru my head.
To make a long story short I was honest and told him i was coming back from Mayo and I knew i was speeding. I was going 44 in a 30. oops. He warned me and if we had had the updated insurance card in the glove compartment i would have been scott free. oops, again. I called Rich and he said "oh sorry." All is fine I just had to send in a copy of the card and i should be good to go.
Officer Friendly was SOOOO nice. I felt really lucky, he wanted to know how Rich was, wanted to know if i was ok, wanted to know more about our wedding, etc...and then wrote on the ticket "Very polite and courteous." I didnt cry and I didnt flirt. I just told him like it was. And I got lucky. And trust me I have slowed down. I know that driving fast isnt the answer, and trust me I was tempted to say " I race bikes and i had the perfect line coming into that corner." But i didnt. But crap. I mean really Julia. Dont be in such a frenzied rush as next time there could be a bike or a kid in the street. And if the Chief of the St Paul Police Dept was still Chief John Harrington ( he isnt anymore, he retired) I could have pulled the Dartmouth Card. Yup. Chief H is a Dartmouth grad:)

Thanks for reading about ME today. I will update more on FB about Rich:) Happy weekend everyone.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to give you a hug in person!

Molly said...

I, for one, am very glad to read about how YOU are doing. You've got a great attitude with everything going on and I hope you have a wonderful race (funny how these things sneak up on us!). Wishing the best for you both!!!

Ange said...

I was also happy to read abotu YOU! YOU deserve to take care of yourself too!!
You're going to do a Great job at the race. You're so strong. I think the first tri of the year is always a bit overwhelming. YOu're ready!!

Running and living said...

I am all about the ME ME ME, so was happy about this post:) So many times the patient gets all the emotional and functional help, and the caretaker gets nothing but caretaking. I am glad you are getting the massage, and getting some training in! Good luck with the 70.3. Channel all the emotions into it and you'll race like the wind!

Beth said...

It's such a tough balance when you are dealing with health issues in the family but like I've told you before, you need to take care of YOU Julia, and that will make you ability to take care of everyone else that much better. So don't feel guilty! You handle it all so well and I think you are really going to surprise yourself in Texas. And one more thing - I can't believe you've never been pulled over before!!! HAHA!! ;)

Angela and David Kidd said...

So glad you are taking care of you! It's the only way you can be strong enough for Rich and the only way to stay sane.

You'll do great in Texas. All that riding and running (and falling) this winter will pay off!

Michelle Simmons said...

I'm glad you are taking care of yourself, Julia! When it was me as the patient (yes! at the MAYO CLINIC! in Scottsdale) I know I actually really *wanted* my parents to go take care of themselves... So I'm sure Rich wants you to do the same. Good luck in Texas!!

Heidi Austin said...

you deserve some ME time! glad all seems to be going well and that you are being super positive and supportive. i cannot imagine what you are going through but your strength and mental toughness is such an inspiration to us all :) hugs JULIA!

Soul Rider said...

Good to hear that you're taking care of you. It's hard to do sometimes and yes, sometimes you feel selfish for focusing on yourself, but as my sister often tells me, "Someone has to do it!".

I hope Rich is feeling better, big bummer that he couldn't finish the Big Lebowski, especially since it's his favorite.

Break a leg in Texas! Figuratively, of course; those casts are a pain!

Hang in there, I'm thinking about you.