Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life's Too Fast....And Too Short

Sometimes life gets so busy, with so much happening, that it all becomes impossible to chronicle in a blog. That is what has happened to me this past month. A regular reader of my blog asked me why I haven't posted in such a long while, so here is my effort to catch up.

On the training/athletic event front, I was in limbo. My friends Jerry and Miranda were off to do Ironman Coeur d'Alene, which I had pulled myself from based on doctor's orders and how my knee felt at Florida 70.3 in mid-May. Buddy John Clidas was off to Kenya to do the Safari Marathon and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Feeling a little left out and it being too hot to go long outside, I retreated to my gym and started doing speed work on the treadmill. I figured it I wasn't going long, I'd try to go faster.

I figured wrong. I was doing great for a couple of speed sessions. On my third session, I decided to kick it up a notch. I was feeling fine until I felt a twinge in my left ham string. I knew I'd blown it. I slowed as quickly as I could, but the damage was done. I'd pulled the my hamstring. I spent the next week feeling foolish and following my friends Ironman events on-line. Then, my mother-in-law Kiki suddenly passed away.

Kiki lived with my wife Salome & I. She was a poet, an amazing cook, and like a second mother to me. Kiki had lived with us since her husband John died from cancer in 2003. She helped raise our young son Alex and was intricately woven into our daily lives. While 78 at her passing, she never had what you would consider an old age. She loved to do gardening and was re-planting a bonsai tree the morning she died. We'll miss her greatly.

In the aftershock of Kiki's passing, I started watching this year's Tour de France. This appears to be the year of the wreck. While there are always crashes in the first week of the Tour, this years wrecks seemed more dangerous and seemed to take out more team leaders than in past years. The car swerving into the group of 5 breakaway riders throwing one of them into a barbed wire fence was particularly scary to watch.

After watching a week of crashes, I get an e-mail picture from buddy Tony Whitaker showing off his road rash from his Saturday morning ride. It rained pretty good on Friday night, and the Boca Raton bridge was still slick. He ended up fishtailing and going down hard, taking a nice chunk out of his helmet. More scary was our friend Jerry coming up behind him. Jerry ended up doing a flip over the top of Tony. One of my friends could have been seriously hurt.

The next morning, I was suiting up to go out for a ride with friends. However, before exiting my closet, I started to have a bit of an anxiety attack. With the unexpected death of my mother-in-law, the week of wrecks at the Tour, and my friends' crash the day before, I suddenly felt that it wasn't safe to go out on the road. I realized this was all coincidence, but I just didn't feel safe going out. I decided to stay indoors and do my spin bike.

The next weekend, I returned to the road with my riding buddies. After watching the Tour for a second week and watching Thomas Voeckler give his heart and soul to defending the yellow jersey, I had to get back out on the road. It felt good to be on the road with my buddies again. I also came across a rider who is originally from France named Laurent. We spoke of the Tour and how we each thought the various riders were doing.

My hamstring felt mostly recovered and I returned to running. I made it safely through a 5K run and decided it was time to sign up for an event. Not being involved in an athletic contest since mid-May, I felt like I was falling away from my athletic lifestyle. I needed to get back in the game. Thus, this week I signed up for the Huntington's Disease sprint triathlon for July 31st.
Several of my tri friends also signed up, so it looks like we'll have a fun time.

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