Cactus and calling it quits

IMGP2754 Today I decided that I am not going to compete in Ironman Arizona – that it is time to officially call it a season. I’ve been trying to train hard when my leg isn’t healed and I need to smarten up before I cause a long term problem.

So, instead of heading out for a ride with Trevor, I went for a long hike to get my head screwed on straight – to shift my focus to recovering properly and to attaining my long-term goals… and, eventually, to stop thinking for awhile and just enjoy getting lost in the outdoors with no thoughts on run form or holding splits, or triathlon at all. I don’t have Trevor’s arm-extended, self-portrait-while-riding skills, but I make do playing around with the delayed timer…

I had Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” stuck in my head, which was somewhat annoying, but fitting (got to know when to fold ’em), and much much much much better than that evil pop-crap, mind-worm “Paparatzi” that I seem to hear every time I go to the grocery store.  The landscape here is amazing and I took far too many pictures of cacti (why don’t we say walri?) because there were so IMGP2746many types to choose from. The other day when Trevor and I were out for a run he brushed up against a cactus and got a racquetball sized chunk stuck in his arm! I seem to have seen the whole episode in slow motion,  thinking “he’s going to move over right?” Alas he did not.  Note to self: you can’t just casually run into plants in Arizona!! Fortunately there was a small spine- free nubbin that he was able to grab to pull the thing out of his arm, but there were at least 20 spines stuck in his skin and it looked agonizing! We didn’t have the camera to record the man-screams during the extraction process. Twas a shame. He wasn’t willing to replicate the adventure for posterity’s sake either!

We’ve since been told that they are called jumping chollas, and I have found out first hand that it is not wise to attempt to kick them off the road…

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beware of jumping chollas

My hike took me into the Tonto National Forest, where amazing mountain biking trails seemed to go forever. My 2L camel back did not last the 4.5 hrs I was out and I was glad I had an orange to suck on for the last 1/2 hr. I am constantly amazing how quickly you dry out here. I wake up every morning with cracked lips, desperate for a glass of water. Trev’s butt was caked in salt after our track workout yesterday so it will be critical for him to hydrate like crazing during the race.  Now that I have finally decided to drop the race, I am really looking forward to being out there to see him set a new PB and kick some butt in the process! My parents are coming down to watch, and Chuckie V is heading over as well so it will be a fun day.

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~ by trevorandheather on November 9, 2009.

5 Responses to “Cactus and calling it quits”

  1. Glad to hear you made a the call. Having had a similar injury it SUCKS!

    I know what you mean about the solitude of hiking alone only with your thoughts for company. Been doing a lot of that too here

    so what ya doin’ on race day? I’ll be there! 🙂

  2. Hey Mark,

    I’d love to hang out as spectators and you can tell me all about what you did to get better, and how things are going with your arm. Can’t be too upset about not having to swim in the brown waters of Tempe town lake!

  3. Sounds like you made a good call not to race. Several of my friends from Sacramento are racing and spectating at Arizona, wish I could be there! I’ve been following your awesome progress over the year and am looking forward to seeing what you’ll achieve next season. Too bad you were so far ahead at Lake Stevens that I never saw you on the course 🙂 Hope to see you at Wildflower!

  4. Smart move – very wise, Heather.

    Best luck Trevor!!!!

  5. Smart thinking Heather, know when to say when. One event is not worth the risk of further injury and crossing out races yet to come. Love the cacti pics.

    Go fast Trevor, stay hydrated and kick some behind!

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