Waiting… waiting… he’s home!

So, while waiting for Zachary to get discharged from the hospital, I signed up to do the bike potion of the Loveland Lake to Lake Olympic tri.  It was an Athletes in Tandem relay team, and I was so excited for the opportunity!  I love cycling!  The planned race route was 30 miles that went from Loveland towards Fort Collins, up the hills on the south side of Horsetooth Reservoir, down and back to Loveland… pulling a little guy named Logan (so cute!) in a bike trailer!  However, the people in this area had been evacuated and the roads were closed, so I had no idea what would transpire when race day came.

I didn’t have long to train, so I had to make every ride count!  Coach Wendy told me to ride hills.  Lots of them!   Wednesday I drove to Loveland and rode 28 miles including a really steep 4-mile hill called Pole Hill (a.k.a. the Rattlesnake).  The uphill was tough, but the downhill was fun!  And a little scary (yes, I used my brakes)!

View from the Rattlesnake!

Saturday I rode 30 miles that took me along a good portion of the race course, only with more hills.  Some of the area residents had been allowed to return to their homes, and the roads were open to them only.  It was so eerie to see the lack of cars, the thank you signs hung up for the firefighters and the military police parked at locations along the way.  I thought I would get scolded, but they didn’t seem too concerned about a cyclist who was clearly crazy enough to be out in the mild, albeit present haze.  The smoke burned my throat and sinuses again.  Hmm… the County issued health advisories for outdoor activity but I ignored them so I guess I can’t really complain!  Besides, I loved that bike ride!

Sunday I was in Nebraska to wish my dad happy Father’s Day.  I had always wanted to cycle Western Nebraska, so this time I did!  I went around the Scottsbluff National Monument and the Wildcat Hills – 33 miles!  Whew – and that was the first day of the current hot weather streak!  The temperature reached over 100 degrees and the hot wind kept blowing up my nose!  The goal was to fatigue my legs (not my sinuses) – mission accomplished!

Scottsbluff National Monument

I was supposed to get one more easy bike ride in after this, but my mom injured her leg and I hung out with her instead – it was time well spent!  I was glad I was there with her.  My last workout before the race was the Horsetooth Triathlon swim and run training.  I did the short course, which is a 750 meter swim followed by a 5k run – good workout!

Saturday’s race came in a flash!  I was on a relay team with Steve, and there was one other relay team and two individual racers, all racing for Athletes in Tandem!  These people amaze me and I felt so privileged to be part of the team!   Everyone was so helpful and the families were great!  My partner Steve was awesome – he helped me in the transition area and let me join him and Logan in the last stretch to the finish line!

Athletes in Tandem at the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon!

As I took off on the bike ride, every time I went over a speed bump or swerved a little, I could hear Logan yell, “Yay!  Yay!  Yay!”  His parents thought he would fall asleep but he was awake every time I checked – which I didn’t have to do often because I could hear him having a good time back there.  🙂  Yes, I just used a smiley-face in my blog.  Because it’s my blog and because I’m smiling!  Seriously – this is what inspires me!  I can’t wait to have Zachary join us for some events, but all in good time!

Speaking of Zachary, HE’S HOME from the hospital!  YAY!  His recovery will take a while, and we are looking for some caring individuals to help promote his emotional, physical and spiritual well-being as he heals.  Sandy’s friend, Marsha is working on a calendar for friends, family and caring people to sign up to spend 15-45 minutes with him at a time.  If you are interested, please contact me.  More details about how to connect with Zachary will follow soon!

Can’t wait to see you, buddy!

He is not ready to go on runs, but he can go for short walks – I’ll be happy to do that!  Sandy has also suggested many other ways we can connect with him and, I’m not gonna lie, they all sound pretty fun!  Think water.  Think pantomime.  Think outside.  Think outside the box…  Then think about my friend Zachary and seeing his awesome smile and knowing you have brought some joy to his day!

P.S.  It rained this afternoon!

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