|A small slice of Heaven at Silver Star mountain resort, BC.|
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: http://www.trimeghanf.com. 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!