I think I am going to call July, the curveball month! So much happens every single day of my life – most of it is pretty awesome – but sometimes, it is anti-awesome!
The awesome July stuff: I finally bumped up my long run past 90 minutes to a whopping 2 hours! In the interest of my heel health, I have been limiting my long runs and adding more intensity but I really do believe in building strength with those over distance sessions and since I am back running in proper Saucony training shoes (the flavour of July is the GRID RIDE and the TYPE A2), then I can handle proper long runs. So the 2 hour runs have been amazing but I am definitely feeling the fatigue factor.
I also re-introduced some strength training with Steve Hill at Kings Cross physiotherapy clinic and some plyometric circuit training. Now, instead of jumping out of bed in the morning, I get up very gingerly. Honestly, my legs are always aching now – but his will pay off at Subaru Muskoka Ironman 70.3!
We had our Subaru Muskoka 70.3 Success Camp and that was a blast as usual. Our athletes were amazing and we introduced a shorter bike ride which was a big hit with the first time 70.3 athletes in particular. The new run course is absolutely brilliant and the lake was actually ‘warm’! And even more awesome was that we did not get rained on at all – zip – nil – nothing! The rain began once we finished our bike and run on the course. In fact, the rain rolled in as we were enjoying Sunday brunch at Deerhurst! Yes, I planned it that way for sure!
And, of course, watching the Tour de France was awesome! Lance was brilliant in 3rd. The lesson for all of us is that 3rd is winning or 5th is winning or 278th is winning. It is all winning if you do it with purpose.
The anti-awesome: I got a wicked case of the flu at the very end of June on the day of the Peachbud 10 km. I came home from my 5:30 a.m. swim and I was tired so I went to bed and I pretty much stayed there all day. I got up around 3:30 p.m. and I put on my racing kit and got ready to head to the 7:30 p.m. race but I was so achy and tired. We started to drive and I thought that I would just cheer and not race since I felt unwell and then I realized that I did not feel well enough even to cheer. So we went home and I went back to bed. I felt pretty unwell for about 5 days. I tried a bike ride 5 days later and I could only manage 110 watts! That is shocking when I generally race at 200 watts! And ‘race’ was in my brain because I was meant to race at the Amica Providence 70.3 that weekend. I love that race and I so badly wanted to defend my 2008 win. But I had to miss it – I just wasn’t 100%. For some reason, the race still posted a swim and a bike for me and we had lots of phone calls wondering why I did not finish the race. I did not start the race – I did not drive to the race – I did not leave Canada!!
Two weeks ago, we took her to our vet and figured it was either behavioural since her best friend, Brunswick, was gone, or it could be her liver. Tests revealed that her liver enzyme was 10 times normal and she was in the final stage of liver disease. Anti-awesome for sure!
They recommended that we enjoy her for a few days and then say goodbye. We went for great walks in the conservation area and went swimming and fetched sticks in the lake. She was absolutely our normal, playful Maddy at all times except at meal time but she was still eating at least. She was so happy that we could not possibly say goodbye! It was about 10 days later – Wednesday – we saw that she was retaining fluid in her tummy and her finicky appetite was now no appetite. We booked a vet appointment for some advice – Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
The vet said that Madison’s tummy was full of fluid and that it would be best to say goodbye. “What, no final walk? No final sleep at home? No final play in the lake? Right now?”
The only good thing is that Madison did not suffer – she was uncomfortable – sort of like the flu – but she was not in acute pain. And Madison is with Brunswick in Heaven. I guess, like any parent, we are doing the suffering now since we miss her and Brunswick so very much. They were a huge part of our lives – they were the reason I trained in Florida rather than Australia over the winter – because we could drive there with them in the back seat. They were the reason we rarely stayed to enjoy race locations after the race – we wanted to get home to our family. But they were also the reason our lives were filled with so much love and will continue to be filled with love as we recall their antics.
Now, I am preparing to leave to race Viterra Calgary Ironman 70.3 on August 2nd. I am still struggling with my own lung issues – still using my nebulizer and compressor – but now I am breathing in saline solution and trying to clear my lungs. I will need them clear so that I can fill them with lots of oxygen as I push myself to race at my best this weekend! Dave and I are also involved with the event on an organizational level so this will definitely be a very full weekend. And I plan to make it an AWESOME WEEKEND and a start to an only AWESOME AUGUST!
Be well – hug your puppies and your kiddies – fill your life with love – scatter sunshine.