Tag Archives: heart

Tomorrow’s Race or Ending a Rough Week by Honoring and Supporting

So much is going on this week.  First and foremost we’re all trying to process what happened at the Boston Marathon and what’s happening there right now as I write this.  I think about all of the victims and the City, itself.  I think about the future of marathons and other sporting events which require wide open spaces and a fluid flow of people ranging from participants, volunteers, to spectators, media and so on.  I think about why we run, bike, swim and do what we do as athletes.  I think of my fellow runners, triathletes and other athletes who wonder about the same things and have shown support by going for a run or signing up for a race.  I think about the newly bereaved parents of all four victims (including the young MIT police officer) who died from this horrendous act and the journey of grief they’ve been forced to embark.

And this week I’ve been thinking a ton about a couple of bereaved parents who are going through exceptionally tough times right now.   I’m praying for them and sending lots of love and positive thoughts their way.

Also during this week I had a couple of tests done on my heart.  I requested them after a relatively high number of deaths occurred during triathlons over the past couple of years.  (Some may read this paragraph and think I’m overreacting by having these tests done, especially given I’m generally healthy.  Maybe I am.  And maybe I’m a bit too sensitive to heart-related issues given what Noah, MLH and I’ve been through.  As far as I’m concerned, NOT doing what I can to help limit my risks seems irresponsible.)  With all of the wires, numbers and other readings displayed on monitors, the ultrasound and a four member medical team assessing me, my exam was rather surreal.   I found myself tearing up a couple of times.  Even talking to my GP earlier about ordering these tests made me feel like I was in some sort of neither world.  We discussed the triathlon-related deaths, the heart, tests, reliability of results, even Noah and other aspects that caused images of my son and the CICU to flash in front of me.  Funny and sick how triggers work.

Finally, my first triathlon of the season is tomorrow.  I’ll race to honor the victims.  I’ll race for the newly bereaved parents and their angels.  I’ll race to help hold my two friends up with empathy and love.  And as always I’ll race for Noah.

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Training Weekend in Tahoe

Thanks to a good friend, I trained in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  Nineteen of us checked out the Ironman Lake Tahoe race course.  (This race is the Ironman I signed up for.)   It’s a great time to start getting the lay of the land since the race is one year from now.   I was able to get a good idea of what to expect on race day as well as a good sense of the altitude and potential issues I may encounter racing that high above sea level.   I now know what the terrain will be like and can start preparing for it.  Yes I’m still in my off-season so I didn’t push myself too hard nor go the full Ironman distance.

I had an awesome time!

I met some more amazing triathletes.  Most of them are Ironmen already, and all of them are racing Lake Tahoe.  I enjoyed training and hanging out with them.  There were a couple of times when it was challenging.  At one point a discussion about heart related deaths came up and folks got into the finer points of heart issues.  I tried to zone out and busy myself as best I could.  Also I was asked about my silver bracelet which I wear all of the time except when I’m training and racing.  It has Noah’s name, birth date and death date engraved on it.  I guess I can’t expect to go an entire weekend with the same people without encountering a couple of uncomfortable moments.

My favorite aspect of the weekend was feeling Noah’s presence; we had our special time together as I swam, biked and ran.  Climbing the hardest of the two hills — there are two significant hills with one having athletes climb 1000 feet over just three miles — on the bike course, I found myself struggling a lot.  It was so hard I thought about stopping several times, and I wasn’t sure if I could reach the top.  But as I’ve done in the past, I dug in deep.  And with Noah right there with me, I reached the summit without stopping.  In fact I was the 4th person in our group to reach it!  A few folks commented on how fast I climbed it.  I was flattered, especially given the caliber of this group of athletes.  I told them as much as it hurts, I really like climbing hills; there’s something about digging in.  Several of them commented that having less weight helps.  (I’m on the lighter end of the spectrum.)  And passing people provides positive reinforcement.  I just smiled as these comments were made.  While both of these points are true, I know the main reason why I was able to climb that hill as fast as I did.  I didn’t tell them because I don’t know them that well and I didn’t want to risk being a downer.  As I get to know this group better at some point I’ll tell them about Noah and the fact that I’m not climbing alone.

While my official training for the 2013 season doesn’t start until late January, I’m already super excited about it.  And as hard — actually I don’t know how hard because I’ve never trained for an Ironman before but I know it’s going to be really hard — as training for and racing Ironman Lake Tahoe will be I’m very much looking forward to all of it!

What a great weekend!

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