Prelude to a Goofy

24 01 2009

Ah – 2009 was started off with my “usual” trek to Walt Disney World with Team in Training racewalking in memory of my cousin Bob Jeffords, old mentor Garreth, and countless others who passed away at the “hands” of Incurable Blood Cancers … and then for those who are surviving and thriving like the cutest little nutter I’ve ever met named Brandan

I'm HERE!!!!!

I'm HERE!!!!!

 and my new pal Brittany who is an 8 year survivor being diagnosed in her early teens.

This was a real rough year to try and fundraise much less train! The economy definitely didn’t work in my favor, as a couple of corporate sponsors pulled out leaving me in a nearly $3,000 fundraising deficit. I’d also had an entire year of self-destructive training habits which I fully came to acknowledge while at racewalking camp in November. Actually, camp is a great place to start.

When I was at camp, I got a good break from the stresses of my life in Colorado. The separation did me a lot of good. I made some good friends and made friends with myself. By the time new buds Lisa, Linda, Patti and I were wandering with Patti’s husband around the Disney World Boardwalk, I knew I had friends who understood

Figuring out what hat I should wear for the Goofy

Figuring out what hat I should wear for the Goofy

my competitive nature and would also remind me “uh – you’re having fun, right??” These three gals I really thought of during the marathon …

So – I had to act fast on the fund-raising as I didn’t realize just *how* far behind I was until I got back from camp! I contacted my TNT office to find out who my mentor was supposed to be and did as many Border’s Books gift wrapping nights as I could manage. I was blown away that a couple of times I had no other TNT’er to work with — but friends came through with either helping me out wrapping or moral support. Not to sound rude, but that was more money to my fund-raising – and it was several hundred dollars! At the end of the month, I was still short and came up with an “on-line silent auction” which was posted through this blog and my facebook page. I came up with the last few hundred there with some “end of the year tax deductions” from friends. PFEW! Fund-raising done.

Training, which had been strained through the year became a disaster when I needed it most! I caught that creeping crud and was just healing from that by the time I kept some of my housemates awake with my “I’m getting so much better” hacking in November. Everyone was good about it – I was doing my best. I got home to slip not once but twice in the ice outside the office on the Auraria Campus. The first slip found me a bit battered and bruised, but the second recracked the growth plate in my ankle, strained or pulled leg and back muscles and left me with some aches and pains across my back. Heck of a way to end the year, hu? I was under medical care and informed I was to stay off anything that might cause me to slip in the ice.

In other words: The former competitive theatre ice skater here was acting more like Bambi on the ice than Thumper!

True to form, I downplayed everything … but true to new form, I was under medical care because it happened on campus! I didn’t really let anyone know about what was going on. I sent Dave a note about it, but I don’t think I really expressed the extent of things during the end of the year nonsense. Only one person in Colorado knew the extent and it was only because he caught me limping! I don’t train with folks, so I kind of kept things to myself – really to keep myself calmed down and not allow my head to swirl with “you’ve done it to yourself again, Shepard!”

This meant that I really had to be careful. Since I have goals for 2009, and none have anything to do with being injured, I knew that I was going to have to behave myself at Disney. Anyone who knows me knows that I do OK behaving myself until there are a few things around me … start line, number attached to my clothing and a finish line to get to. Since 39.3 miles in 2 days in a race was going to be the hardest thing I’d done to this point and I was going in seriously compromised by rehabbing injuries, I was bound to learn something.

I poked my nose in to Runner’s Roost on Colorado Blvd. John and the Gents were putting in a new floor. Limpy-Gimpy me spun around on it in socks as they were finishing it! What fun … I promised John and Nancy I’d be back … with three golden medals! 🙂

As I packed my bags – and yes I’ll load up the infamous “food bag” photos when they come back from the developer – yes … film! – I thought about something I said to Dave in response to a question he’d asked when we were leaving the National Training Center for the last time … I believed that I’d truly gotten my head spiked in place while at camp and now it’s just linking up to my legs. Good thing too – as to this point, my legs have just kept on trucking through whatever pain during my 2008 race season … with my head being the weak link. I knew I’d be going to Disney with my legs being a bit more of the weak link … then it happened …

For the week prior to leaving, I was behaving – walking laps in the pool and around the indoor track – but my right calf, which had seized for the first time ever at camp, was starting to cause me problems. I was on the phone to a friend the night before I left when I noticed the door leading to my attic storage space was open. This trap door is in the middle of the wall and at least 10 feet in the air. Dorkette here has been able to close it with relative ease by standing on her toes and hitting it with a hanger … this time I tried it … and the calf completely seized! OH CRAP!

Immediately I was trying everything to get it to loosen up … but all I knew was that I was going to really have to behave myself at Disney … My legs were going to be the weakest link and I was going to have to let the TNT coaches out on the route know that I was coming in compromised. This meant that I would be needing to be there for myself …

And away we went ….

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