My Progress

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The winter of my discontent

It's been just one of those less than fun fall and winters around here.

I'd had all sorts of plans and ideas on keeping up my mileage, getting into a training plan and coming into this year with a solid base and to be ready to challenge a double century this spring.  However, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

Last September saw us on a family vacation and a chance to get away from the Metro-Mess into some quiet, (at least with three kids in tow) countryside.  Our family vacation is always a highlight of our year due to the chance for the kids to spend some time with Grandmas and for us to just wind down and relax.

We didn't take bikes with us as we had no room for them and the related gear in the van.  I did take my running gear however with plans to run some gravel roads near where we were staying.  While I did get a couple of runs in, the best laid plans were derailed yet again.

While playing with the kids one afternoon I managed to roll my right ankle hard.  At the time I though OK, no big deal.  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and it will be OK.  Little did I know it was going to become a multi month ordeal and involve lots of trips to doctors and physical therapists but it was what it was.

The bum ankle kept me off my recumbent for most of October through January due to my right foot being my power/take off foot.  The power loading when starting from a stop was something my ankle was really unhappy with.  Riding my upright was more tolerable but still painful.  Long walks were tolerable, running was not an option.

I remember an old VeloNews cartoon, something about old guys who lay around and get fat in the winter..  That was what was happening to me.

Fortunately I was still able to ride my upright bike and was doing some commuting via bike just to get some miles in.

I was riding home one Thursday and was still a couple of miles out from the house, I remember the day clearly, a decent sunny day for mid November in the DFW area, one of those days were shorts & jersey were ok for an afternoon ride.  It had been a good ride up until that point.  And then my phone rang.  It was mid ride, I knew it wasn't my wife, it wasn't a telemarketer, and I knew it wasn't anything good, plain and simple.

The call dropped to voice-mail and I continued playing in traffic till I got home.  Once I walked in the door, my oldest was telling me to get on the phone ASAP, never a good sign.

It was a phone call from my sister.  My mother was in the emergency room with dehydration and malnourished.  And also with a diagnosis of late term stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Plans changed, life changed.  Riding wasn't so important, running wasn't so important, losing weight and beating diabetes wasn't so important.  What was important was family.

Thanksgiving saw a mini family reunion at Mom's house.  We reconnected with family we'd not seen in a year and a half.  Mom had come home to hospice care.  My sister who is an RN and my brother came to provide the hospice care.  They were a true blessing as they were there to take care of Mom and their care allowed her to stay in her home and maintain her dignity to the end.

Now things are settling back down.  The travel back and forth to Missouri is over, my ankle is better, and I am riding again.  Now to get spun up to speed, loose the winter 5 pounds that snuck up on me and get back to kicking diabetes in the teeth.