Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finally, Father's Day.

Last weekend, Father's Day to be precise, was the first triathlon of the (my) season: TomatoMan. This race is held in Leamington which is the greenhouse capital of Ontario. The race kit included a bag of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, which I suppose is partly why the race is called TomatoMan, and I swear they were the best peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers I've ever eaten. In the past I hear this has been a small local race, but this year it was an Ontario Sprint Championship and a world qualifier, which brought in some elite athletes and made the field (including relay and duathletes) hit around 400 people. Racking my bike next to some of these musclemen in their little singlets was a little unnerving. However, I was not at TomatoMan to compete. A few weeks before the race, but after having signed up and paid for it, I bent over the dishwasher one day and then could not walk for a week. I pinched some nerves in my back which made the slightest movement excruciating. After a few days I could walk, and biking was not a problem once I got my leg over the frame. Swimming was painful unless I didn't kick and running was unbearable. It was time to call in a pro.
I went for my first visit to a chiropractor, and over the course of a couple of weeks saw him maybe 4 times. Each adjustment made me feel better but didn't eliminate the problem completely. He did a couple of treatments and then told me to go for a test run, which I wound up walking most of. After that he dropped the hammer and said no more running.(I look ridiculous when I swim, don't I? I'm sighting my way into the finish here. I think I need to get some slightly-less-dorky-looking tinted goggles, which are a little more badass.) I was pretty bummed for a few days, having (a) trained for the race (well, at least somewhat -it's been a cold and wet spring which has had me biking less than I had by this time last year), (b) paid for the race, and (c) talked about the race with several friends who were also racing. It felt like I was going to miss the social event of the season.Then it occurred to me that I should do the swim and the bike anyway, and just not complete the run portion of the event. I never get out to swim in open water unless it's during a race because I am too chicken to head out without a lifeguard, so why let the opportunity pass me by?So I swam with a near-normal kick, having recovered enough by the time of the race to give it a little flutter. Then walked up the ramp from the harbour and into transition. Sauntered through transition, jumped on my bike and completed the bike course, then rolled to a stop and again slowed to a walk coming back in to rack it. After racking I crossed the timing mat onto the run course, then cut into the crowd to find Chad:Definitely the best time I will ever have for a triathlon! So my result is out there for all the world to see with a big fat DNF next to it, which kind of sucks, but the swim and bike were a lot of fun and I will definitely go back and hope to finish the entire course next year.It was super-awesome of Chad to spend his Father's Day getting up at 5 a.m. and hitting the road with me. The kids spent the night with Gramm and Grampa to allow us to get away early, and by the time we went to fetch them and got home with them they were bursting with excitement to hand out the gifts they'd spent the past several weeks creating.Liam's cooking tools tin was a big hit, particularly because it was accompanied by this summary of Chad's cooking prowess:Mallory made Chad no fewer than a half-dozen cards and gifts, but my favourite of them all was this portrait she drew of him. She made sure to let us know that the spots are his freckles.After the gifts were handed out, Chad and Liam went for a bike ride and Mallory and I decided to get the cars washed as another gift for daddy. We spent an hour out on the driveway with the hose and buckets and sponges:(Mallory actually prefers watering the garden to washing the cars.) And after all that, 24 hours later, I went out to the parking lot after work to retrieve the truck, and found it looking like this:That's the first time I've washed the vehicle in the ~6 years we've had it, and after this experience... will probably be the last.