10:43pm Charlotte, 4:43am Madrid
For those of you that don’t know me from my Facebook page or the sparse updates from my Twitter feed, you may have been wondering if I’ve fallen of the face of the planet. Even those of you that have signed up for my newsletter have seen my spam go from just a little over-board to nil. Sorry folks, but I’m alive and kickin. Also, there’s been a crap-ton of stuff going on. Even though I sent out a submarine ping a little ways back with the Assault on Carolinas report, it wasn’t nice of me to not fill in the gaps. I won’t bore you with an ultra-marathon long post (which I’ve been known to produce) in an effort to bring you up to speed. So let’s hit the top 10 highlights of my off-season, in order of which they happened following XTERRA Worlds in October.
1. The cortisone shot in my shoulder wore off about a week after Worlds. Pain returned.
2. In November, my aunt, Madelyn, who I loved dearly passed away. While in Alabama at her funeral, I raced the XTERRA Oak Mountain Half Marathon Trail Run in her memory and took 4th overall. I thought of her often during that race.
3. In December, I raced the Run at the Rock 14 mile trail run and took 6th overall and 1st in my age group. I averaged a 181 heart rate during the race and realized I had ZERO aerobic base left.
4. About a week later I went in and had a subacromial decompression with bursectomy on my left shoulder. In English, they poked three holes in my shoulder, inserted some form a dremel tool and ground down my shoulder bone. Meanwhile they sucked out a bunch of inflamed tissue. Thus begins many, many weeks of therapy and even some silly thoughts about giving up racing altogether. Of course, once I came off of the pain meds, I came to my senses.
5. I meet Alan Tyson, Charlotte’s best physical therapist, of Architect Sports and Physical Therapy. If you’re in need of such services, I HIGHLY recommend him.
6. Dan and I created Team Tailwind (with the help of David Booth and Tailwind Cycles). The team’s primary sponsor is CentiMark. <—clicky clicky. What a great company and sponsor. You’ll hear a bunch more about them in the near, near future.
7. I sign up for my first half-IronMan: Augusta, to be held in September. This outta be interesting.
8. I’ve slowly gotten back into the pool, on the bike and back to running. Before I knew it, March had rolled around and the Belmonte 50k was upon us. I opted to forgo the race as I was nowhere near ready. Dan raced it and took third overall. Not too shabby for his first marathon, much less an ultra. Congrats!
9. First triathlon rolls around, the Valdese Road Sprint. Yep, you heard me right. ROAD triathlon. I was fully onboard and was going to give it a shot, but alas, something about tornados and 30mph winds caused them to cancel the race 30 mins before the start. We opted for breakfast at Grandma’s instead. If you can find the joint about halfway between Valdese and Hickory, I highly recommend it. Great dive and great food.
10. I head to Spain with my son, Aaron, in tow, to race the 2011 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships.
So as I write this, we’re sitting in “Envoy” class on a US Airways flight. Talk about lucky. They oversold our original flight so we’re being routed through Germany instead of it being a straight shot. In return, they upgraded us. Pretty flippin sweet, especially in the reclining seat with 14 buttons to adjust it. Flying home in Coach will be horrible after being spoiled like this.
You can see quite a few stars when flying over the Atlantic at night. Just goes to show you how much light pollution there is in the city. I tried to snap a shot of the stars, but I just couldn’t get a decent one to come out.
Aaron and I have never been in Europe, so while we’re over there, we’re going to try and hit quite a few places. It will be relatively non-stop after the race. Keep checking here and on my Facebook page for updates!
Be a Warrior!