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Why?

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:04pm
I got 45 miles on the bike yesterday. it was as awesome as you might imagine 45 miles on the bike could be. Made pace with the splits, 15 miles in 45:13, 15 miles in 45:21, 15 miles in 44:38 avg about 20 mph (15 miles in 45:00 is 20 mph - just so Glaven knows). Fun times, ah tell ya

The hip is still twinging a bit. It's just enough to be annoying, but could be really painful if I try to run again too fast. This has me annoyed.

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Why do we do all this crazy shizzle?

Something has been disturbing me lately. Melanie ( 2nd Chances ) and I have become close friends over the last year or so, and she had a tragedy last saturday that I'm sure some of you already know about. Mel's a single mom who works from home like I do. Her son Terron is 10, almost 11 years old. Last saturday Terron's dad, C, suffered a fatal heart attack. Of course I never knew C, but his death has been weighing on my heart lately as I wade through this hip pain.

Here's what we know. C was a smoker (sound familiar?), overweight (I lost 40 lbs last year), and only 34 years old when he died. I'm 34, people my age don't have heart attacks. Mel also informed me that he had diabetes and refused treatment.

That could launch a whole 'nother discussion about US health care reform, and just because you provide health care for everyone doesn't mean they will actually take advantage of it. C knew he needed to stop smoking, lose weight, and watch his diet to control diabetes and he did nothing. He could get all the insulin and other help he needed with no additional cost and he did not take it. So I'm not accusing the guy of being a health nut. But dying from a heart attack at 34 years old was not in his plan for controlling his diabetes, I'm sure.

I made the choice almost 2 years ago to lose weight and stop smoking. My dad's dad passed from a heart attack at 60, which is still young. And I have to tell every doctor that asks about my family medical history about it. Terron will have to tell every doctor that his dad passed from a heart attack at 34, and when he's our age will have to undergo a bunch of tests that might not have been needed if C had taken better care of himself. So I am feeling sorry for Terron's future hassles.

I swim bike run to fight my own demons. Smoking, overweight, high cholesterol, cancer, and when training gets hard I am forced to remember why I do all that crazy stuff. Sure I don't have to race as much as I do. I don't have to cover the long distances or keep challenging longer races like the half iron coming up. But that keeps me focused on a goal. When I take 2+ days off (no workouts thursday, friday or saturday.... thought I was going to start shooting people on saturday) it makes me very jumpy, and snappy. not too pleasant to be around. I don't like the way I feel or the way I talk to others. These are my demons, this is why I keep putting in the miles. If I didn't it could easily be Kelley telling you about our girls instead of Mel telling us about Terron. So C's death combined with my hip/ITB pain/running layout/lack of pool has left me with biking only. And mixed emotions.

And then there's Joe ( rockstar tri ). Joe's a real rock star taking on the challenge of triathlon for the first time at 48. And he's finished 2 half ironman's, the second one just a few weeks ago. Then he was out on a training ride on his bike when a car ran him down. He survived thank God, but after a few days in the hospital he's still discovering new aches and scratches. The sad and scary thing about bike/car accidents is that the car always wins. Bikes are designed to shatter (not splinter, b/c after the car runs you over it would suck to have shards of carbon splintered into your rib cage), so at least new bikes have safety built into the design. Joe was lucky.

Kelley's dad goes to a gym every sunday for one of the classess offered, and the instructor was a top age group triathlete. Until she was run over by a u-haul on the bike a few months ago. She is still in the hospital. She told Mickey that last week she could run 12 miles, now she was happy she could stand up for 12 minutes. Her injuries were more severe than Joe's. Box trucks like that are significantly heavier than cars. Her bike shattered.

My rules for the road are to stay off. I don't like outdoor workouts when it's too hot anyway, but now that fall is in the air I'm itching to get back outside. But there are rules. I don't run on roads besides cars because my lungs have to work hard enough without sucking exhaust. I like to go to the lake at Furman or some trails for my outdoor runs. I do not bike solo on the roads. My 45 miles yesterday was on the stationary at the gym. Long milage like that takes a lot of country roads, and I'm amazed how boring it is riding the same roads over and over again. A 2.5 mile loop in the neighborhoods is great to run. Hit it 3 or 4 times and that's a fantastic run. Ride the same loop twice and it's amazingly boring. So you have to find a long route, and I refuse to ride with less than 3 people. A group of 3 is much less likely to have car interference than a lone rider. Even two people riding can get separated, but with 3 or more it isn't as likely.

Generally riding is done through neighborhoods or down country roads, so there isn't much exhaust sucking done. But finding safe, challenging routes and consistent riding partners is incredibly difficult. So I stick with the stationary bike & treadmill, and sign up for rides like my upcoming Tour de Peach that include police support. Cycling as a community is gaining awareness amongst motorists, but we still have a long way to go before it is truly safe.

So if I don't bike, or swim bike run, there's weight issues, diabetes, smoking, and heart disease. If there is cycling etc there's cars mowing down people like they are pissed off about it. Seems like there's no way to win. And that has been weighing on me lately. Don't get me started about boats interfering with open water swimmers. ouch. And don't get me started about stupid cyclists that don't wear the right safety gear like helmets or blinking rear lights. or swimmers who wear a black westuit and dark swim cap in open water and expect boat drivers to be able to see them. But when you're dealing with people that know better and choose........ fuggit about it.

I'm just going to go out there and run my races, and execute my training plan. As long as I stay focused on my goals and hitting my milestones that's the best I can do. Yes I have to play it smart and safe. My heart breaks for Mel and Terron. And if I get run down like Joe then that's the way it happens. Everything is risky.

That reminds me, Kelley is convinced I'm going to die at B2B. Made me take out extra life insurance before the marathon and everything. I, of course, disagree. But she actively encourages me to drop the race because she doesn't want to be a widow yet. Her paranoias about death run far and wide, she also gets scared changing light fixtures out. I am gaining confidence about B2B with every workout, but she's still scared.

Have a great week! Sorry for the downer post, but like I said this has been weighing on me lately.
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