Monday, October 19, 2015

An Unexpected Dempsey Challenge

I took a long time to recover from that horrible awful no-good amazing wonderful Ironman. I rested and ate and didn't worry about a damn thing. Finally it was time to think about my final event of the year, the Dempsey Challenge, a fundraiser for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing.

Apparently all that rest was good for me. I PR'd the 10k on Saturday, the first time I've ever run a pace with an 8 at the start. I felt like a million bucks. And hanks to my incredibly generous friends, I got to hang out with Patrick once again at a VIP reception for top fundraisers. I told him about my friend Kelly Gray Hall's recent fight against cancer and he just about broke Facebook when he posed with one of the stickers I'd made for her.

The next morning, I took off on the coldest bike ride of my life, 50 miles at 28 degrees. 

I met a guy in the last 20 miles, a guy who owns a flower shop in town, and we hit it off. Just before the end, Mike the florist and I exchanged contact info and agreed to meet up later. I stopped on the bridge right in front of the finish line to take a picture. I got back on my bike, clipped in, and somehow fell over. My foot didn't unclip, and it twisted under the bike,  the pain  excruciating. Several people rushed to my aid. I pushed them away, trying to see through the pain. And then suddenly, it was gone, just like that. Oh, I must be fine after all, I thought. Thank God. They wanted to carrying me over the line in a golf cart. Hell no, I said, I raised $10,000 and just ran and rode all this distance? I'm riding over that line myself. Plus, I feel great!

I stopped in the medical tent just to be polite, because my friends the event officials insisted on it. Really I just wanted to make the most of the VIP lanyard I had and get into the beer tent where I could enjoy a big free lunch with the professional cyclists, plus Patrick and his pals. Let's get this over with so I can get over there.

I'm fine, I'm fine, I insisted to the medics. I don't even have any pain! It was just a scare. They convinced me to take off my shoe, and then I realized the only reason I was not in pain was because I was in shock. My foot was a grossly deformed, swollen in the strangest ways. Suddenly I was shivering uncontrollably. They wrapped me in space blankets and blasted me with heat. Oh shit, I said, I just want to go to the VIP tent. I think you'd better go to the emergency room first, they replied.  I texted Mike, the florist from the bike ride. I'm going to be later than I thought.

Karen and Brian came to get me in their truck. We stopped by the hotel so I could change my clothes before going to the hospital, and guess who was there, with a big hug and a kiss for the girl who broke her ankle on his finish line? My friend Karen enjoyed this quite a bit.

And while we were waiting at the hospital for the triage nurse, Mike the florist showed up with a yellow rose in hand.

Then my friends Tom and Laura made it. Tom was the guy who got me involved in this event, which he missed this year due to a fall. At last night's event, I was introduced as his sidekick. 

What a way to cap off the season.

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