Skip to main content

Patriots vs Rams ... nah, what else?

A small slice of Heaven at Silver Star mountain resort, BC.
The first of the year came and went over a month ago, and I am already bracing myself for the tumultuous noise that will break through relative quiet when the Super Bowl festivities commence. Maci and I rest together on the floor in search of quiet, away from the television. Thankfully, at least this room is relatively habitable, as Bryan and I have worked to update a house in dire need of repair. New carpet, new paint, new doors. Also, raging opinions, rising tempers, and waning patience. As a result, I have made it a new goal to keep the pantry (or closet, or bedroom depending on which part of the house is currently being fixed up) full of wine. We both have a new-found appreciation for the Vino app, which scans the label and better helps us decide the quality of whatever cheap wine I find at the grocery store. So far, our random choices have passed the "3.5 rating or higher" test more often than not, and my state of mind always improves with just a single glass. Make it two, and I am truly an interesting character with whom to share a room.

This year, I have no intentions of fine tuning my ability for finding good wine, though I imagine with our future plans, it might certainly help. (Ask me about my ability to taste it, and I might have a different answer for you.) Bryan and I have decided to move a different direction in our lives by preparing our current home to sell and building what we hope will fill the "dream home" description on 10 acres of land that sits on the same road on which I grew up. In fact, we have the benefit of my parents living just a quarter mile away. Once I convinced Bryan my parents can hardly be described as the type to drop in announced, he immediately appeared relieved. Yes, I watched him sweat and itch at the thought of have to throw the days of walking around the house in his underwear out the window.

Another change in plans involves my job. Well, job(s), actually. I cannot completely give up my profession in physical therapy when I make such a decision as the one I'll describe shortly. However, while I always strive for opportunities to learn new information, I figured that ten years in the sport finally helped me feel qualified to share some of my experience with others. Therefore, I'm taking on a small number of coaching clients, more than I ever have, to date. Bryan says he no longer qualifies as an experiment, primarily because he's tired of listening to me when he already pays someone else  to tell him what to do. I'd like to think he'd rather have me transform another aspiring athlete, so I look forward to moving on to forming relationships with others, too.

Finally, that risky decision I alluded to in the previous paragraph: After ten years of racing as an amateur, and after accomplishing the last goal I set for myself last year, I accepted my elite license from USAT and paid Ironman for the opportunity to race with the top women in the sport next year. I suppose I could have (should have?) started racing as an elite last year, but I still had qualifying for, and racing, Kona Ironman world championships on my to-do list. Now that my experience on the hottest asphalt on earth rests safely behind me, I look forward to the thrill and challenge of learning even more about myself.

Ironically, though, my left knee has held me back and resulted in starting this year off slower than any other past year of training, to date. I pushed through quite a bit of tendonitis to get me through the last two races of 2018, and I have paid the price ever since. Some might argue two months off from running resembles more of a luxury rather than a rehabilitative strategy. Yet even my efforts to find alternative modes of exercise seem to continue to aggravate it, occasionally. Granted, progress continues, and I look forward to running again within the month because I can only take so much of the stair climber; we do not as easily get along.

Actually, losing my sweet Ryder the second day in January to a fast growing osteosarcoma on her paw did not help matters either. For a dog whose intense passion is running, to slowly struggle to walk when we used to run everywhere together, it grew painfully clear that life had no meaning any longer. I felt selfish for keeping her here. So I let her go. It killed me. Maci still struggles filling the role as an only dog, though she works slowly through her own anxiety while I still handle my grief.

I will not ask my coach, Derek, for more sessions, harder workouts, and longer days. Instead, I have learned how a little bit of patience and a heck of a lot of time will help me next year. Taking time to recover and enjoy the strength and healing that results from it have inspired me to make smarter choices next year. Stay tuned for what that actually looks like.

I conclude this post with gratitude. So many have followed me and my progression for a long time, and I took that for granted. The opportunity to grow continues, but the chance to give back because I feel a little more comfortable and qualified to do so, burns stronger. Please reach out to me with questions, comments, concerns, and ideas through whatever platform you find most convenient: phone, email, social media platforms, etc. I finally splurged and bought my own domain name for this blog/website: Check it out, along with my new Facebook page, @MFtriathlete. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all out on the roads sometime soon. Until then, I make the Nordic trails on Mt. Spokane and the pool and stair master at NorthPark my stomping grounds. Cheers!


Popular posts from this blog

How strong are your feet?

Who knew my first post in 2020 would be about the work I'm doing on my feet. Not just any work, but the work required to make them strong enough to propel me to faster running paces, the work to make them durable enough to heal up some old injuries and prevent new ones from taking hold. Jay Dicharry , a Physical Therapist and researcher in Bend, OR, says that almost all ankle, foot, and lower leg injuries can be attributed to faulty foot mechanics and a weak foot core.  I listened to him speak on a podcast called Trail Runner Nation today, and all the advice he provided me during my two personal visits with him last year rushed back in a torrent of memory. It seems fitting that his reminders would hit me like a hammer over my head when I consider the nagging foot pain that has cropped up again over the past couple of weeks. I'm going back to my toe yoga, short foot exercises, and working hard to build up the strength in my foot intrinsic muscles. Meanwhile, here's a b

My opinion...For what it's worth

My first Half Ironman 70.3 turned into Boise 29.3. I may be the only one to say that I respect the officials' judgment call on this one, because apparently, a few of my triathlete comrades lack sufficient brains themselves. The comments I'm reading on Facebook leave me pretty disturbed. Let me just put this out there: I entered this sport because it looked tough and challenging. It pushes anyone who enters these races to their ultimate limits and requires a demanding amount of time to complete the training necessary to succeed. I entered this sport because of the people. Healthy, smart, fit, inspiring, motivating. I can't think of a single person who has questioned my ability to participate in this sport. I entered this sport because anyone can do it. I passed people younger and older than me, some as old as 74. I watched one woman hobble along the run course, surely just on her first lap. She looked like her knees were going to cave in. Yet she was running. I did not ent

It is finished

As with everything in life, nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable. It does not always mean it's a turn for the worst. In my case, I think this is a change for the better. As of 2021, I am closing the door on racing triathlon and rekindling my investment in the doctorate degree I worked for in Physical therapy. Thankfully, making money again has felt much more productive than losing it in the pursuit of professional triathlon. Thankfully, my body has responded positively to a slackened training schedule. Thankfully, my head is clearer for the release in pressure to perform.  I needed a new pursuit, a new challenge, a new endeavor. Raising and showing my dogs has helped me slow down, challenged me to learn and communicate differently, and taught me that physical fitness can still be achieved to a lesser, healthier extent.  It has worked so well that I'm also going back to doing what I loved to do 10 years ago. Pursuing a more simple lifestyle (outside of work, of course) a