Thursday, May 28, 2015

Very Tough Week

So if you read Marty's blog (and you should), you'll know that we had an extremely hard week last week.

I thought that knowing that Tassie's heart was going to give out soon-ish would help me come to terms with her death but I don't think it did at all.  To say Marty and I are sad is a huge understatement.  I had dogs growing up but never felt this type of attachment, understandably as she was our first 'baby.' And she did SO much with us. We really tried to include her in as much as possible. And she was just the best dog. So sweet, so well-behaved, so happy - all the time. And she was too young. She would've been 9 on July 23rd - but that dumb heart of hers! Everything else on that dog was 100% healthy.

I don't think one can even understand it unless you've gone through it. I certainly didn't know how it would affect us. 

We made the best of the long, holiday weekend. My birthday was on Memorial Day this year and we had a nice time. We hooked up the bike trailer and the three of us road to a local park before riding to get ice cream.  And that evening we went to a Durham Bulls game which are always a good time. The prior night we went to a cookout at our friends house where they bought me a Publix cake and sang happy birthday. I do feel like the luckiest person to have my birthday close to a holiday like that -  if people are in town they usually want to get together. And I wind up with some impromptu party. I probably have had more actual birthday parties than any adult should.

But there is just this gray cloud coloring everything right now. I tear up every time I think about her. Knowing that I won't ever hug her or pet her and get a lick from her.  One of the hardest parts was picking up her ashes. We all went to get them and we all drove home, together in the car, just like always. She 'sat' in her seat and it was unbearable. I guess I'm just very sad still and have a feeling I will be for awhile.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Um, hi.

So yeah, after the Wrightsville Beach half marathon, things got busy.

·        We went to Ocean Isle Beach for a long weekend with a handful of athletes to get some solid training in. Or any training, to be more exact. A good chunk of us had not been on the bike or in the pool much at all, so this was a tiny springboard. It was here that I decided to sign up for the Beaverdam Sprint (or its real name: TOA sprint).

·        We hosted our OSB spring cookout at Casa de Gaal. That was fun.

·        The sprint triathlon went better than expected. Except it was a wee bit chilly. I warmed up with lots of internal whining in the cold lake. Once I started, I realized what racing feels like when you haven’t been swimming. It hurts. Like my arms just noodle-slipped through the water after 300 yards because my lats were all “what the heck do you think YOU’RE doing?!” In conclusion, my swim was pretty bad, but with a longer transition run and my usual speedy transitions, I caught up a lot. Off on the bike, I felt surprisingly good. Even Marty said he was impressed with my bike. I chalk it up to prior years of biking finding their way out. Got onto the run and didn’t feel very snappy. Probably the swim/bike took it out of me. At the turn around I realized I could probably catch the 1st place girl if I put a little effort into it. Mind battle ensued (but ugh it’s going to hurt). I decided to run really hard for 3-4 min and see what happened. I passed her and then let off the gas a little bit so I wouldn’t implode and won the race. That was a surprise.

·        Then back to Ocean Isle Beach for a little pre-summer vacay/long weekend again. We have nice friends that let us use their beach house. Tassie and Logan had a lot of fun. So did Marty and Bri.

·        Our first open water swim race was held the next weekend out at Jordan Lake (same location as the Raleigh 70.3). It was very popular again (thanks, Ironman!). The weather was less than desirable with lots of wind from a Tropical Storm off the coast which made the water a bit washing machine like. I actually got to participate in this one as we had a handful of volunteers not racing. I didn’t actually think the chop was THAT bad, but I know I’ve been doing open water swimming for a very, very long time.  Shoot, one of my first sprint triathlons was down in Jupiter, Florida when Hurricane Hugo was heading up the east coast. NO WAY that swim would’ve gone off nowadays. But back then? Eh. Ya’ll are fine. Anyways, I had a few more swim sessions under my belt since the Beaverdam (1x week, 1500 yards) and boom. Felt much better.

·        We were supposed to go up to DC this past weekend (Thu – Sun) to celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss as well as see our good friends who currently (but not for much longer) living there. However, dude at work decided to resign and I was tasked with taking his biggest, most complicated, most hands-on project and was not able take the time away. So that stunk, but alas, we shall forge ahead. Mom-in-law was on a non-transferrable flight so she was here and freed some of our time. What do we do instead? The Cary Duathlon. 2.5mile run/18.5 bike/2.5mile run.  Another fun race, tons of our friends, and a beautiful morning.  I finished 2nd and Marty won his age group. Then we had a nice dinner and movie out that night.

There are lots of pictures that go with all these bullet points but too lazy to find them and post them. Maybe for another blog post, which is hopefully quicker than 1.5 months.