Right Where I Need to Be: 2 Weeks, 2 Races, and 1/3 of a PR

It's been a busy few weeks here in MAJland.

The 5-year scan came back.  The same group of lymph nodes that always appears? They appeared again. Especially the big calcified one. So, no real chance I'm meeting NED until it's more certain they're not continuing to grow and increase in numbers.

Next, last weekend I attacked my 3rd Escape From Fort DeSoto Sprint Tri.  This is a notoriously tough race for me. The run is almost 4 miles (they claim it's 3.4, but it's about 3.8), the field is super tough (some very fit athletes use it as a practice race for St. Anthony's), and halfway through the run you go up the steps of the fort, over the fort, and then a solid mile along the beach, which is only partly packed sand.

All in all, it as a wonderful race. The weather was phenomenal. The water was beautiful. I can say with 100% certainty that I could have not gone any harder on the run. I felt so fantastic during the whole thing that I was absolutely sure I'd PRd or placed in the top 10.  I placed about where I did last time, though, (about mid-field). I had a swim PR and matched my bike PR.

(So that's like . . what . . . a 1/3 a PR?)

The main things that limited me from not performing better were the extra weight I'm getting off, the run being tougher than I remembered, and not feeling good.  I could have gone harder on the bike or the swim, but the run was tough enough, so I'd say I did just right with what I had.

For me to say I wasn't feeling good is saying something, too, since I generally don't feel very good.  I'd had a killer bout with bronchitis the week prior, and the day I started to feel recovered, I did one of those things where I jerked the muscle between my neck and head really hard. (Ever done that? I've heard some people call it a "stinger.")  It turned out to be way more than a stinger, though - the muscle pull activated one of the worst migraines I've had in literally YEARS. Today - about two weeks after the pull - I'm still struggling with my usual migraine-associated vertigo and a good ol' headache.


Some photos of the past few weeks' hi-jinks.

Also, this past Thursday I also completed another annual IOA Corporate 5k.  I felt pretty terrible and it rained the whole race.  Despite almost pulling out of the race because I felt certain I would pass out two separate times, I pulled it together through the scary parts and slowed it down enough to finish 3.18 miles in 30:45 (a 9:40 pace.) I took a few extra days off after that race and having to place a rescue call during a 4-miler (made it 2 and change). 

So....no PRs at either race.  At least not by time.

But I think I still set some personal records this week.

I looked back at some old race pictures and thought about some old race days.  Even though I'm 20-30 pounds thinner, I don't look much different.  You'd think that'd be a drastic difference looks-wise, but it's not. For me to run a 9:40 pace during one of the worst days I've had in one of the worst few weeks I've had recently is nothing short of miraculous.  I remember when I'd die to maintain an 11:40 pace when I was feeling GOOD!

It's how I feel that is drastically different.  Yes, I'm still socially awkward (more on that another day), I still don't like my inner thighs, and (at this moment) I'm about 8 pounds heavier than my body's favorite weight (and my closet), but even on the worst of days I outrun me on some of my old best days.

And every time I think oh, I should go half Iron again, I think about how nice it is to have a social life (Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, above), take time off for being sick, and still run a single-digit-per-mile pace in the rain while fighting fainting. And a bunch of mystery lymph nodes.

I am right where I need to be.

And man, does that feel good.

Shots! - A Perspective Piece

This is a short perspective piece. Or it's a short piece on perspective.

You see what I did there?

This morning, while giving myself my weekly B12 injection, (I may have missed it last week. Oops.) I started thinking about all the people who get B12 injections for their purported health benefits. This is not a debate or discussion about what the benefits are.  It's just an example to illustrate how 

I think I'll try those B12 shots to lose some weight and gain energy!

Sounds and feels totally different than

I'm so deficient that I have to give myself injections every week!


Shots! Shots, shots, shots shots shots
Shots! Shots, shots, shots shots 
Shots! Shots, shots, shots shots
- LMFAO+Lil Jon

You get the point.  There are probably 5 different ways to approach this.

Saturday is the first tri of the season, and although I'm aiming for some specific goals, a wicked chest cold stopped me from training much last week and a violent migraine slowed me this week.   Texting about this with a friend, I realized that I use the expressions "the good news is" and "on the plus side" so much that my phone has memorized them. So

The good news is

I've done this a few times.  (Next year will be 10 years running and 2017 will be 10 years tri-ing). My first tri, also on this same beach, was when I was SUPER under-trained, a LOT heavier, and a ton sicker.

On the plus side

I may not go out there and blow anyone away, but I'm going to get some valuable racing experience to add to my list. I've learned that how "well" you do in a race is relative to the conditions (other competitors, your health, the weather.)

Funny how racing is a lot like life.
Funny how the same sets of words can have depending on the context.
Or maybe not funny. Depending on your perspective.

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