Sunday, May 10, 2009

19 Hours at the Ole VA

I've gone back and forth on whether I should publish this or not, but what the hell, let's have some fun with it.

This a a condensed recap of my Event this weekend.

4:00pm Friday - The Warmup: chest pains start at the end of a 2 day appraisal seminar. Not too intense but strong enough to get my attention.

4:30-5:30pm - Deeper Warmup: 6-8 reps, 2 to 3 minutes duration, intensity level 9+ followed by 10+ "oh shits".

6:00-10:00pm - Headed to the VA ER starting line and was moved to the front of the waiting room pack. Nice. Got lots of attention and "atta boys" from the officials for being in shape (someone saw something unusual for the VA on my stomach - it was a small muscle - hahahaha). Officials inserted an UCI approved IV in to my left arm and asked me to submit to a voluntary out of competition blood test. I agreed and then bagan the interview process while my blood was being drained. I answered the questions with the objective of getting a quick "get out of jail free pass" so I could head for home and avoid any more needles and probes. I was truthful, but they hadn't hooked me up to a lie detector, so...

10:00pm - The officials decided my answers need further review and my blood tests were inconclusive, so, a sleep over was in order, but I was still in the Event.

1:30am - I got to my transition area (the Telemetry Unit) and set up camp with my wife and daughter acting as my pit crew. The officials hooked up a bunch of wires and took some more blood and advised me to relax and get a good nights sleep (hahahaha) cuz this may last until Monday! Yikes, that's not what I signed up for. 24 hours max, not 3 days! I haven't trained for that.

1:45am (+ or -) - My initials attempts at sleep were rudely interruped every 15-60 seconds by the sound of the automatic adjusting bed randomly changing my position for me. Great. The description of the Event I signed up for made no mention of that. Fortunately it didn't take long to get accustomed to this and I was out.

2:30am - The alarm buzzer wakes me up from a deep sleep. Did I miss my next lap? Did I get DQ'd? What's going on? I look at my trusty HR monitor and the below 50 bpm alarm was sounding and the screen was flashing a comfortable 48 bpm. Nice :-) I went back to sleep holding a nice steady pace, or so I thought.

3:00am - Off goes the alarm again. Whoooooo. Now I'm down 39 bpm and still moving forward. Looks like my limited (lack of) training is paying off. There must be something about this more recovery time is better thing.

8:30am - Mandatory rest period is over. The IV is blocked up so out come the blood sucking needles again. This time the tests come back and show some enzyme in my blood that may get me DQ'd, but, the officials determine the level falls in the "indeterminate" range. Whew. I dodged another extended sleep-over bullet. Shortly thereafter the head official informs me my Event is over and I'm kicked out. Oh, poor me (hahahaha). Back to my nice home and soft, quite bed. Bad boy...

11:00am - I'm getting hungry and falling behind on my fuel and fluid replacement, in spite of having a very active bladder. How does that happen? Just in the nick of time a lower level official brings in fuel and fluid that was abandonded by another Event participant that decided to go home. Thank God for small miracles. I flipped on the vacuum switch and made short work of the trays overcooked contents.

1:00pm - I am officially banned from the Event and forced to sign expulsion papers. But, they want me to participate in a Nuclear Stress Test (NST) sometime in the next few weeks to confirm their suspicions and validate my expulsion. I reluctantly agree and head for home.

So, that was my "race" this weekend. I hope yours was more fun and rewarding.

Bottom line is I'm fine and did not have "the Big one". They don't know what caused the pain and that's why they're recommending the NST. I have my theory on what's going on, but my wifes not buying it, so, I'll do what she says. Gotta keep the better half happy.

I'm smiling and looking forward to Soldier Hollow this Wednesday evening and next Saturday.


StupidBike said...

Dang, sounds much more fun than Sherwood Hills tho.

UtRider said...

Let me know if you want to get together for a recovery spin this week.

ER Dad said...

Did you tell them you do a NST every week! I'm sure your tickers fine but you did the right thing. What a cool experience, Huh! 'cept I like being on the other end:) Call me anytime.

KC said...

Scary Brad. I am glad everything is okay. See you on Wednesday.

Brad Mullen said...

Stupid - racing was getting predictable so I went for something new ;-)

Mark - I'm going to take you up on that.

ER - I can see where the other end would be more fun. I'm going to ask the Doc what the HR record is for the NST and go for it! Hey, let's make this a game. Thanks for the phone offer.

KC - thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing you and Smiley on Wednesday.