Friday, September 22, 2017

Out With The New, In With The Old

 2017 has been a rollercoaster so far. I went with Wordpress for my blog but there have been nothing but problems trying to do the simplest of things so I'm back to my original Blogger setup. It's much easier to handle and I will end up posting more. I've not been on top of it with Wordpress due to frustration. 

Summer, or a lack of summer, was personally preceded by a back injury that just wouldn't go away. I did everything I could to in terms of rehab but it was a stubborn issue. I did what little training my body would allow but not enough to push any sort of pace, let alone get in some racing. 

Combined with starting a new job in a new specialty meant my focus was on getting up to speed in as little time as possible. The move has been a rewarding one and I'm enjoying working in mental health. It's satisfying knowing you have a direct positive impact on patients lives.

Chasing my shadow. So back to the racing summary. I originally was signed up for Mont Tremblant 70.3 but due to the back issues I did not make the start. All was not lost though as I got to cheer on Sara and many triathlon friends. Mont Tremblant is a beautiful course - I'm signed up for 2018 so I'm looking forward to getting back there and having a go. 

I did manage to race the Niagara Sprint but the lack of fitness was clear. I was gassed going up the escarpment and took a while to recover.  I got passed a lot in the later stages of the run but had nothing in the tank. Even still, it was awesome to be out there giving it a go. I also kept my streak of doing a least one triathlon in each of the last 32 years which is nice.

Finally Sara and I were signed up for Barrelman. As we were ramping up our final build we went to the US on a road trip. Upon returning I learned my Dad was admitted to the ICU for complications due to the lung disease he had, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). IPF is incurable and the prognosis is 2-5 years. My Dad had it about 4 years. It was a cruel irony that he contracted this disease given he played hockey all is life, did several marathons and triathlons but life is sometimes not fair and my family is certainly not unique in having to deal with tragedy. The honeycomb scarring of his lungs became too much and his ability to generate life sustaining oxygen was proving too difficult. He passed away on the Sunday of Labour Day weekend and we were able to be with in the end. Sara was amazing during this difficult time - she also enjoyed spending the mornings with him and providing support as much as possible. I have a wonderful wife.

I did talk her into doing Barrelman and she did an amazing job on a very hot day. She was on the fence about doing it but I'm so glad she did - my Dad would have wanted it that way. No question there were tears during the race and the fatigue over the previous two weeks had definitely caught up but she managed to get it done. I couldn't be more proud of her.

On a lighter note, my Dad or Gramps as he was mostly known, had a thing for wondering around in his underwear. Not sure why - he just did. Due to his love of the Red Wings we got him some boxers to spice things up. I've seen him paint, water the gardens, take out recycling, etc in his underwear. Again, not sure why but he'd always say he didn't want to get his shorts dirty. He was one of a kind. My passion for hockey and endurance sports are directly a result of this amazing role model.

So where to now. I have some ideas in mind but first I need to strengthen the system. Now that I'm in my 50s the gym will be regular stop during my training weeks to come. I'm also going to get some much needed stroke correcting. Finally I will do a slow steady build to the new year then seek out faster athletes to train with the goal of getting my ass handed to me on a weekly basis. My ego is just fine with that.

I also want to spend some quality time with my best friend. If the winter is anything like this year's then an escape southbound will be in order. Finally, congrats to everyone on the racing scene this year. There were numerous outstanding performances that were truly inspiring. I hope to be out there gettin' after it next year! 

Stay Healthy Friends - Cheers!

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