I know it's been a while since my last post. It's been super crazy busy and it's not going to be letting up any time soon. Cadence and I are watching a movie so I thought I would get a blog in. A lot has happened since my last blog and it should make for some interesting reading.
This past weekend I had my longest training day ever. 80 miles on the bike and a one hour run. It was almost exactly 6 hours long and I didn't really bonk until about half way through the run. I didn't think I would make it but I did and only "kinda" wanted to hurl. The workout was followed by an epic meal that was fantastic. I had a burger, fries and shake, as well as a cup of cookies from Caseys. It was legit. I pretty much slept the rest of the day so that my wife could mess with me while I was sleeping. Pictures on Facebook, picking my nose and just your typical tom foolery. But it was a good day and I actually enjoyed the bike quite a bit. Austin and Tyler Vander Linden rode along for the entire ride. Pretty surprised they did that, they only planned on riding half. They both did good and were excellent company. I hope to talk them into more long rides in the future. Tyler even rode the last few miles on a flat without knowing. I think he thought he was just worn out but he was actually working twice as hard. Flat tires are NOT aero.
I considered this long workout a breakthrough. I have been doubting myself a lot lately. Even on my long runs,currently around 13 to 15 miles, I have been doubting whether or not I could endure. Even though running is my favorite and I have done it a hundred times, I still feel like maybe I can't do it. But then I do it and I feel like I accomplished something every time I get it done.
I am realizing the mental part of training for an Ironman. It's not something you only deal with while training, it's pretty much something that is dealt with every waking moment. It's a serious balancing act trying to make sure I can be everything to everyone without snapping. Working opposite schedules with Nicole makes things so difficult. It pretty much means that neither her nor I have any free time during the week. She leaves the house when I do so that she can get to the gym and when I get home I am making dinner, doing dishes, trying to be Dad and all those things. We don't get to work as a team much but when we do life is so much smoother. Work has been very stressful as well. There are a lot of changes going on and I'm trying to adapt and I'm trying to be a good coworker and employee. 5 years at my current job is 4 years longer than any before. But work is work no matter where you do it. There are not many jobs that people can enjoy, and those people that have those jobs I envy. I would love to have a rewarding job and someday I will.
The week before last my Aunt went in to have her gall bladder removed. I had this surgery last November and was at the gym two days later. Literally, two days later. I wasn't able to do a whole lot but I was sweating and working out. Anyways, her surgery quickly ran into severe complications. I might have some of the details incorrect but you will get the point. When the surgeon went to inflate her abdomen, so they can see what's going on inside, she pretty much died. They ended up having to perform CPR on her for several minutes, broke every rib in her body and she was without oxygen for 4 to 5 minutes. Before they could start CPR they had to move the gas in her abdomen into her upper torso, or something like that. So pretty much, the worst case scenario for any surgery happened to her. According the chaplain this had only happened 1 other time in Methodist's history. So it's pretty rare.
My mom called me at work and asked that I come pick up Cadence because Kelly had had an aneurysm while in surgery, or something. So I picked up Cadence and later went to the hospital to see what was going on. When I got there she was in ICU and they had placed her on ice to keep her brain from swelling. She was posturing, he eyes were fixed and dilated and she was unresponsive. All signs of a severe brain injury. We, or at least I, was preparing for the worst. It really wasn't good and seemed hopeless. Her husband and 3 kids were all very strong through it all and did very well giving eachother strength. The hospital had decided to paralyze her, put her in a coma and lay her on ice for 24 hours. At the end of that time they would warm her up and reassess the situation. I can't speak for anyone else but I didn't think anything good would happen at the end of that time. When I saw her in the ICU I had never seen someone hooked up to so many machines. They were breathing for her and pretty much keeping her alive.
24 hours later they started to warm her and to everyone's surprise she opened her eyes, the night before Easter. I was not there but according to my mom, it was pretty intense. The hospital staff were crying and everyone was going crazy because they were witnessing a miracle. This still didn't really determine what kind of state her mind would be in though and it was still a concern. But over the next couple days they determined her brain was not damaged and she started talking, walking and then went home. Essentially, she was home a week after dying. I can't freaking believe that story, it's too good to be true. A worst case scenario turned best case scenario. Hallmark couldn't come up with that if they tried.
Nicole and I were talking about the situation after finding out Kelly was going to be alright. And I mentioned that what happened to their family is a gift. I don't know if they would see it that way or if anyone agrees but I think of it that way. Not very many people get to see life the way they will now. To actually suffer that loss and then get back what was lost, really would make you see life differently. To have that second chance would change everything. We all like to say that we are taking advantage of life or at least think it. But really all we are doing is just kind of getting by. Living for our weekends and vacations, everything in between is just work. Working to earn some "me" time. I have a feeling they are going to start seeing this differently. We all know that we could die at any time. But we do things that shorten our time so we obviously don't realize it.
I guess I'm saying try to realize that we only live once. No one really knows what happens when we die, so live like this is your one shot. That doesn't mean you have to live like a crazy person but you should live happy. Set goals and reach for them, even if you fall short. Where you fall might be where you are suppose to be.