Saturday, October 27, 2012

CATCHING UP...PART ONE

Busy Busy!!

It's been a incredibly busy 6 weeks. WOW! After the birth of Abby we struggled to get into a routine for about two weeks. As Rich and I get closer to 40 (yikes) we are set it in our ways so with the addition of Abby, we had to work at changing pretty much every routine we had before. So, yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks so to speak. We have adapted and now have a pretty efficient routine. Abby was fussy and was having some problems with choking up and mothers intuition told me it was reflux and a dairy sensitivity. It was at her 5 week doctor visit where this was confirmed to be the case. Abby has reflux which is actually quite common in babies and something that they do grow out of, but a baby with reflux makes for a really cranky baby and on top of that, you never let them out of your sight for a second because you are afraid that they could choke at any given moment. It's a very scary thing!! As you can imagine having a new baby and a baby with reflux has made for many many sleepless nights. Some nights I would average 2-3 hours per night and Rich would get maybe 4 or 5. Certainly not good for a professional athlete in the midst of training. There have been days where I've felt like a zombie but you just manage to get through.The good news is that Abby's doctor put her on medication for the reflux and it is making a difference. Since I am breastfeeding, I have been off dairy now for 6 weeks. That's right...I have to give up my ice cream, cheese, chocolate milk and any delicious Starbucks drinks with milk in them. Oh, how I wish I could have a peppermint mocha!! All for the good of my baby girl though. She is starting to do better and even on a couple of occasions, I have gotten to slept 4 straight hours through the night which actually feels amazing!! Things have settled down now and Abby is growing so fast. Already 6 weeks now and weighs in at a whopping 12 pounds. I had to pack away all the newborn clothes (half of them were never even worn) a week after she was born. She's already in 3-6 month clothes. She certainly is a healthy eater ;)

Abby showing her British pride at 6 weeks ;)
 So in the middle of all the above, my in-laws came over to stay with us for 10 days to visit Abby and to go with us to SC to watch Rich race Rev3 Anderson. We had a nice visit with them for a week before heading to Anderson. We were excited for the race as Rich was 2nd there last year and thought he was feeling good to race again. We were excited to have Abby at her daddy's first race and to cross the finish with him. Also, I was excited to see my teammates. Since I was pregnant for the entire 2012 season, I have certainly missed out on some Rev3 experiences which I do plan to make up for in 2013. I love Rev3, I love my teammates and I love to race. 2013 will be awesome and I can't wait. Anyway, back to the SC race....We arrived on Saturday in Anderson and we soon found out traveling with a 4 week old is TOUGH! I was exhausted before we even got the hotel. I think I packed everything except the kitchen sink. I suck at packing anyway, and now packing for baby, whew!! I need to go to some kind of how to pack light class or something. When we go back to England, this is going to be a must. Pack light Tonya, pack light! My only saving grace with this trip, was having my in-laws there to help. They are wonderful!!


So, after another sleepless night...the night before the race (ouch) Rich crawled out of bed to head to transition. I stayed behind to try and sleep before heading to swim start.


 I knew in my heart that Rich was eager to race and I knew he was trying to be positive about performing well, but I knew that the sleep deprivation would have a massive impact once he exerted himself. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I made it to the swim and once Rich came out of the water, I knew he was feeling it. Once he was out on the bike, I went back to the hotel to rest more, set the clock and got in a small nap. Headed back out so as not to miss T2. Rich came in 3rd off the bike in front of Cunningham and Bozzone and thought he just might be feeling good. Not to be.


After meeting and chatting with two of my awesome teammates, Alisa Dunlap and Alexander Endo, I went in search of the fabulous Charlie Patten, owner or Rev3 for a favor. He is the nicest guy you will ever meet and even though he was incredibly busy, he took the time to arrange for me to use his RV so that I could feed and change Abby.  Abby took her sweet time eating, so I missed Rich coming by for the second lap of the run. I'm so grateful that Charlie let me use the RV. Now would anyone running any other race take time to do that for a breastfeeding mom?!? I think not! Thanks Charlie!
My view during the run
 After I finished feeding, burping and changing Abby, we all made our way down to the finish. I was a nervous wreck and had no idea how Rich was doing at this point, but when the guys starting rolling in to the finish, I knew that the sleep deprivation had taken it's toll on my hubby. He finished 7th on the day but that was ok. The most amazing, special moment took any disappointment away. I handed Abby over to Rich as he made his way to the finish and I started to cry as soon as he took her. The look of happiness on his face was so amazing and it's a moment I will never forget. At the very moment he wouldn't have cared if he finished last in the race, this was the finish he had been wanting for so long. To finish with his baby daughter. It was magical. Rev3 is amazing for letting athletes finish with their children and families. It brought me to tears watching all the athletes running in with their husbands, wives, children, pups and other loved ones. You can see that it's a finish that means so much more to people. Sometimes as athletes we sacrifice time with our loved ones to train for our sport, but to cross the finish line means the world!!. Thanks Rev3 for letting this happen. I can't wait  to finish with Abby and Caleb. It is so special!!
First of many! Abby finishing with her daddy


After we got home from SC, the idea of racing Rev3 FL quickly faded. I was looking forward to this one so much to see more of my Rev3 family, but Rich simply could not recover and he could not train because he couldn't recover. He is simply too tired. Lack of sleep is a killer. He couldn't have performed like he wanted in the race, so chose to skip out. We are sad to be missing it, but we'll be there next year!! 

Wrapping this up...I really want to give a shout out to Rev3. If you have not raced one of their events, then you really should. It's an experience that will bring you back for more. They care so much about the athletes and also the athletes families. It's such a special feeling. I fell in love with Rev3 a few years ago when I raced my first Rev in Knoxville. I left that race wanting more of the experience. I bought and wore everything Rev3 after that and was proud to do it. Now, I am part of that family and it's amazing. Thank you Rev3 for being what you are. Thank you to Charlie Patten for having a vision and creating what you have. IT IS SPECIAL. Thank you to Carole for being an awesome team manager. She is our mama bear and we love her. Thank you to all of my teammates for being great friends and inspiring me this year.  Most of all, thank you for allowing me to be a part of it all. I love you guys. 2013 will be amazing and I can't wait. We can't wait.

Rich is putting up a Vlog later today, so check it out..Rich Allen Video Blog. In it he talks about his race in SC. He is going the vlog route as he just doesn't have time to sit down and write them out. Kind of a neat idea, I'll keep writing for now though. My next blog will hopefully be up later today and it's about my training now, how it's going and my plans for next year. Thanks for reading.

Cheers~

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