I coach two athletes who qualified for the Hawaii Ironman so I spent lots of time getting them mentally prepared and helping them put the finishing touches on their performances. It was such a joy to see them racing and smiling and celebrating sport. At one point on the marathon, I was offering some encouragement to Bonnie and the women she was running with asked if I was sad I wasn’t racing. I told her I was racing – right next to her – in the form of Bonnie! And that is what keeps me going at the moment since I can’t race right now – I will race through other athletes who I am lucky enough to support and share my knowledge and experience with!
It was a crazy day on race day doing the on course TSN coverage. The men’s race was very interesting with Chris Lieto waiting patiently before building his 12 minute lead and watching Craig Alexander – our Subaru Muskoka 70.3 Champion – run away from Chris at 22 miles into the marathon! It gave me goose bumps! The women’s race was wild with Chrissie Wellington riding among some of the pro men and the rest of the women racing for 2nd place. So many women got drafting penalties which led to more normal marathon times around 3:10-3:15 instead of 3 hours like in 2008. Tereza Macel was amazing in her swim, bike and run execution – she is a completely different athlete than in 2008!And it was an amazing 2:56 marathon for Mirinda Carfrae who also won Subaru Muskoka 70.3 as a warm up!Yes, there is nothing like the Hawaii Ironman. And it is frustrating to not race but I will be back there when I am 100% healthy.
In terms of my health, over the past 4 weeks since Muskoka, I have gone through a few rounds of antibiotics and other drugs. When I first arrived in Kona, my lungs were very grumpy which gave me a bit of a scare since not only could I not run fast but I could barely run slow without coughing. But after some lung physiotherapy, I was able to clear my lungs and feel much better. I am now infection free but I still have the allergy to the aspergillus fungus growing in my lungs. So that is my current battle. It is called ABPA or Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergilliosis (http://www.wellsphere.com/cystic-fibrosis-article/understanding-allergic-bronchopulmonary-aspergilliosis-abpa/255697) I am on day 4 of the nasty drugs. I do not notice any bad side effects yet except that I have way too much energy and I can’t sleep. My legs ached for the first few days but no fever or bruising or cosmetic changes. Next Tuesday, I will see the doctor at the CF Clinic and hopefully she will tell me that I am cured and that I can stop taking the drugs. It is so important that I do not go on a long course of these particular drugs because they are very damaging and have bad side effects. I definitely feel better. The key will not getting back to racing too soon. Believe me, after I effortlessly swam away from Dave this morning in our ocean swim, I had serious thoughts of racing the Longhorn 70.3 in Texas in 2 weeks. No, after 8 months of illness, I am 100% dedicated to my health and my off season. 2010 will come soon enough!
And now it is back home to get organized for the winter. Dave and I will focus on establishing our Success Camps in Florida and in Muskoka for 2010 and we are getting a few coaching requests. We will likely pursue a few of these opportunities since as teachers, we love to share our knowledge but our focus will be on quality as opposed to quantity of athletes. I have also been approached to write a book and do a few new endorsements. And of course, when I get my clean bill of health, I will begin to plan my own races for 2010.
Enjoy your start to the off season! I rode my computrainer for 3 hours today and ran for 45 minutes today – honestly, it is the off season but some routines never change!! Live full and be happy and keep moving even when the temperatures get chilly!