We, as humans, probably don’t deserve this type of love. The type of unflinching pure love like they talk about in fairy tales, where someone is willing to go to the literal ends of the earth to prove themselves. Humans, as a species, aren’t especially great. We’re filled with faults, but the love never ebbs. It remains as strong as ever, never wavering, never questioning – always completely pure.
Monday night we took Milo to the Emergency vet. He hadn’t eaten in 5 days, his belly was filled with fluid, he was lethargic, his breathing was becoming labored, he would barely walk… he could barely even stand. We had made an appointment to see the Cardiologist for today (Wednesday), but we weren’t sure he’d make it.
Last year I took on my first ever Olympic distance triathlon—1500 meters in the water, 40K on the bike, and then 10K on my feet—all up in beautiful Bass Lake, CA, on the doorstep of the great Yosemite. It was a pretty awesome experience… except for the whole injured ankle/walking the run thing… that sucked. Aside from the run, though, it was a fun, challenging course at an awesome locale, with awesome people. When the race rolled around this year, my participation was a no-brainer. I thoroughly enjoyed the bike course, and I was hell bent on actually running the run, so of course I signed up. Once again, the Bass Lake Classic did not disappoint.
Our bodies are pretty amazing. The way seemingly random neural connections form behaviors and memories, how our eyes sense and process electromagnetic radiation, how our immune system identifies and attacks intruders… it really is astounding how we function. It’s also kinda crazy how we temperature regulate. Our bodies like a very specific temperature range, around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit give or take a degree if taken orally, and work constantly to keep things in that range. There are the obvious things—when we get hot we sweat, when we get cold we shiver—but then there are the not so obvious, like how our bodies reduce or increase blood flow to certain areas to help radiate heat, or keep important areas warm. It’s all for good reason too, when our body temperatures begin to get out of the comfort range, things start going downhill fast, and can even be fatal. It goes without saying that it’s pretty important to be mindful of exposing ourselves to extreme temperatures.
I personally have experienced what I believe to be hyperthermia once before, during a training ride around the Great Western Loop on a particularly hot day. I was climbing the first hill and was directly exposed to the sun, so it was not only crazy hot—104 degrees—but there was no wind to help keep me cool, and the radiant heat from the sun was just cooking my skin. To make matters worse, the heat had turned the electrolyte mix in my water bottles into something that resembled hot tea, so I had nothing to help cool me down. Not only was I feeling hotter than the fires of Hades, I was starting to feel sick to my stomach, and a headache was quickly making its presence known, both signs of impending heat related doom. Luckily, mercifully, we were supported, so about halfway up the hill a support vehicle was stopped where I was able to take a break, cool down, and refill my water bottles with cold water. It was a scary situation, but I’m happy to say I was able to finish the ride in some extremely brutal conditions.
While I’ve overheated, I had never experienced hypothermia… well, until Saturday, April 2nd, 2016.
I usually don’t post anything political, but the below kinda sorta is, so feel free to skip it if the political opinions of some dude on the internet aren’t of interest to you.
When I was in school, I used to have a tendency to tilt the stories I would write for creative writing projects a bit toward the scary side. I remember one story I wrote when I was in 6th grade… I told it in the first person, and it was about a soldier who… well… maybe I should just revise and rewrite it instead. It’s been a long time, but I remember the basic plot. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a very dark and brooding person, but this story certainly was quite dark, and my teacher loved it. She actually hung onto it to share not only with her other classes, but with teachers and people she knew. In the 8th grade, I put an “Unsolved Mysteries” spin on an assignment where the first few paragraphs were already written… teacher got a kick out of that one. Anyway, I haven’t really tapped into that side of my writing in a looong time, but I recently came across a little writing contest: share a “scary” workout story. I thought about sharing my Silverman Race Report, since that was a pretty horrific situation for me, but then I remembered a training run I did a few months back. That story fit the bill perfectly and it even allowed me to revisit my scary story writing youth. 🙂
So… what follows is a story about a run.
I was messing around with VeloViewer, which can generate these cool 3D course elevation profiles, and thought it’d be interesting to see how the Bass Lake and Silverman bike courses stacked up against the Great Western Loop out here in San Diego. I was particularly curious about how the grades and stuff worked out, so I generated some fancy graphics and did a quick comparison of the three. The one major take away is this: I cannot wait to do all three of these again… [Keep Reading…]
Tam finally finished up her race report for Silverman, and I was more than happy to host it up on my site for everyone’s enjoyment. So, take it away Tam!
I am not much of a story teller. In fact, I hate it. And I don’t have much of a memory, especially for an event that lasted 8 hours. I have no idea how to write this thing. I wrote my first draft in 3 hours, just to get all the thoughts out. They were just gigantic chunks of word vomit. So I hope this draft will be much better. Here goes nothing….yet everything. My first race report. And I shall try to keep it as clean as possible…..kinda.
It’s been about a year since my first foray into the world of triathlon, having completed this same race at around this time last year. Things are a bit different this time around though… First and foremost, in addition to doing this race with my Team Challenge peeps again, I was finishing up my first season as a Mentor. I was doing the intermediate distance this time around instead of the sprint like I did last year. I’m in better shape this time around than I was last year, so I was hopeful for better results, in the form of faster averages. Finally, this wasn’t my “A” race, it was essentially a warmup for the race I’ve been preparing all summer for: Ironman 70.3 Silverman. Still, I was hopeful I’d put up a good time, and having a good race prior to Silverman would be a nice positive boost before the big one.
My overall goals for this race were pretty straight forward: finish with a respectable time, and with no injuries. I wasn’t intent on going pills to the paint while out there, but I wasn’t going to just doddle through the race.
I’m still not sure how I ended up here. I recall riding my bike along the 101 in California, stopping to fill up a water bottle, and then nothing until I woke up here. I’ve spent the last 5 days cooped up in what I imagine is the remnants of a medieval torture chamber, only there are shredded bike shorts hanging from the walls. I don’t have a bed, it’s just a slab of wood. Oh, and my bike is here, bolted to a trainer in the middle of the room. Every once in a while a tray of “food” is slid under the door, although I’m not sure I’d call it food. It’s primarily a plate of rusty nails, a jar of angry bees, and a glass of some kind of bubbling concoction. I figured if I shake the bottle enough I can knock the bees unconscious and get a few down. I’ve managed to mix the nails and whatever is in the glass together and get that down too. It burns pretty badly though.
On this day, instead of the plate of food the door was opened, and an older man walked in. He glared at me for a few moments, and then waived in what looked like a few trolls. They scampered over to my bike, unbolted it from the trainer, checked the tire pressures, and walked it out of the room. The man told me to follow him. I obliged, although I was more than a little freaked out about this whole deal. As I followed, he began explaining, in rather broken English, where we were going and what was going on.