Missing PumpkinMan Triathlon 2012

I remember thinking to myself many times, as I often do as a race gets closer, "stay healthy, all the training and preparation is for nothing if you get sick the day before a race." I gained a little perspective this weekend, and continue to as I try to type this with one hand, the other holding a pillow against all the staples in my belly. What is the point indeed, I eat pretty healthy, I have never smoked or drank alcohol. No drugs and I exercise frequently. Then something small like a little indigestion after eating a big dinner turns out to be an extremely painful trip to the doctor, then to an oncologist, then to the ER, then to the operating room where something is removed from by abdomen a few days later. Coagulated blood, a tumor, cancer. We are still not sure. We might find out tomorrow. Now my triathlon consists of sitting up in bed, trying to walk a few feet down the hall, and pushing the magic morphine button. Days later if this turns out to be benign I hope I am able to capture a little bit of how it feels to not know for sure what will happen next. Sometimes I like to think I am a better person because I just beat another guy's time on Strava, or finished a transition 2 minutes faster, or held my breath longer or got a better grade or got a bigger bonus or found a better job or parked within the lines better or found a solution first or bought something cheaper....this type of competition is not what being athletic or even this entire life is for. We are not here to prove that we are better than everybody else, just to do the best with what we are given. That way a 5 hour long race, or even a walk down the hall dragging your IV and catheter behind you can be a huge victory. Things happen in life that can be sad, but being angry is a choice. Chose to be happy and do the best you can.

At the starting line
Changing in transition 1

Changing at transition 2
Finish line...maybe tomorrow.

If you are wondering if living a healthy lifestyle is worth is even though stuff like this can still happen. Believe me it is. You can only imagine how much more complicated this could have been if I was a smoker or was addicted to alcohol or caffeine. Living right goes way beyond even those reasons, more on that tomorrow.

Mt Charleston Hill Climb 2012

It        was        TOUGH. Just a 17.5 mile ride, with a 5,375 foot elevation gain. There really isn't much else to say about it except how it was different from last year. This year it was an official USAC sanctioned race which stiffened the competition and I think drove away some of the less competitive riders, I think there were just as many DNF's though. It was still a very rewarding ride. I think my performance was lacking since I have been skipping so many spin classes and spending more time studying and working than on my bike in the last few months. I was totally motivated after the ride especially with PumpkinMan coming up next Saturday. The climb took me over 2 hours to finish, and the ride back down, about 20 minutes.
Start of the race

Yes that is a guy on a unicycle, he does this every year. I'm not sure how far he gets but he is crazy strong.

The position of my head is a good
indication of how I'm feeling right now.
See that valley floor? Actually you can't
but that is where we started. About a third
of the way up I noticed my quads were
getting a little twitchy. You have to stand up
now and then to let the blood recirculate but
after a while whenever I stood up my quads
started to cramp worse than ever.
It made for a long ride in the saddle. 
Matt, staying strong the whole way.
No snow at the top this year.

Almost feels like home. It is always fun to go for a ride where the temperature is 20 degrees cooler at the finish line. Thanks for a great ride https://www.facebook.com/MountCharlestonHillClimb?fref=ts.