About the same time I was getting back into some easy riding and running, I also started to research something called the Ornish Reversal Diet. This was one of the the cardiac rehab programs mentioned by the nutritionist who came to see me before being discharged from Mission Hospital after my stent procedure. I did some extensive online research, read some of the promotional materials, read some of the criticisms, and some of the high level scientific arguments behind it. Overall I was impressed, and decided I would call the program director to get more specifics about the program here in Asheville.
But before I could call him… he called me.
When I was discharged from the hospital following the heart cath and stent procedure, I was given a lot of instructions and prescribed a lot of medications. I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that I was not allowed to “run” (walk) the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore. Which really sucked, because my sister and a friend were coming to visit and to run. And because I would be missing the fifth consecutive event and blowing the streak I’d started in 2013, the inaugural year.
Secretly, I hoped I’d feel good enough to go against doctors orders.
Where the “Catchin’ Up” story left off, I had been out on a run at some point in late December or early January, and started to feel some pain in my left wrist and chest, just below armpit. At first I didn’t think much of it. It had been a bit of a stressful time at work, and that or other sources of stress can sometimes trigger a bit of chest pain in the armpit area around the ulnar nerve where I had previously had a lump of fatty tissue removed.
So for a few weeks I blew it off.
Been debating how far to go back in time to catch myself up on past events. In many respects, I should just let the past be in the past. On the other hand, the saying goes: “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” This is one past I don’t want to repeat…
…again. Since I’ve now repeated it once.
Only one post in the past two months, but I’m still not ready to give up on the idea of keeping a “daily” activity journal. It’s interesting this used to be the first thing I did when I got home from a ride. Now I barely think about it more than once a month, and usually only after a big event. Then I play catchup with these summary posts, only to get tired of trying to remember what the hell I did, and writing about it weeks after it happened. Or I run out of time before needing to move on to other things like… sleeping. Or my job. You know, those annoying, trivial things that really screw up a good blog.
That and Facebook.
August blew in quite a bit differently than July blew out… although there was still rain in the forecast more days than not, and we did get showers, they were a lot shorter in duration and lessened in intensity. It was continuously gray and overcast, but for the first time in longer than I can remember we managed to score a pretty damned nice first weekend of August. It wouldn’t last, but for a few days things were more like a normal summer in the North Carolina mountains.
Except for the temperatures.
For some reason I want to think we got a break in the rain somewhere in July, but it can’t have been much. I know we never went more than a single day without some amount of precipitation so maybe the fourth week was a case where I just got lucky with a couple hours of breaks in the clouds a few days in a row.
Or maybe I just stopped thinking about it and accepted it as part of daily life.
When living in Bent Creek Neighborhood, directly adjacent to trails, it becomes very easy to fall into a pattern of simply going out the door every day and hopping on said trails, either by bike or on foot. That’s a great asset to have, but does tend to become rather limiting over time. For the first few weeks in the new place I looked around for alternatives, explored my new surrounding areas, and did a lot more road riding than mountain biking.
Over the first couple weeks of living in East Asheville, I started to get the feel for my new surroundings, ride distances, traffic patterns optimal routes for riding and a little bit for running. In the last week of June I did more of the same. I had feared that I would really hate not being next to Bent Creek, but discovered that my fears were unfounded.
On June 1, Julienne and I got the keys to our new place in East Asheville. Moving in together. Shacking up. Living in sin. Blah blah blah. After two plus years of dating this was a big step we were taking and it was both exciting and stressful. Neither of us had lived with another person for quite some time, and for me it was the first time since I was divorced. Scary stuff indeed. I haven’t gone into too much detail about our new place, but it is vastly different from my old place.
For one thing, it doesn’t have a trail into Bent Creek running right out from the end of the driveway.
Before the trip to San Jose and New York, I wrote about two lengthy mountain bike races in which I endured many hours of mud-soaked trails and torrential rains. Not to mention the resulting damage to both of my mountain bikes, totaling nearly $600 in parts and service. Following the New York trip, I resolved not to enter any more races or organized rides for quite some time. The string of rainy events extends all the way back to last fall at Shenandoah 100 in Virginia, and they’re getting to be a pain in the ass.
What I didn’t anticipate is that following the first ride upon returning from New York, I would endure yet another deluge, albeit of an entirely different sort.
After returning from Floral Park we again hopped the subway and headed downtown, this time to Greenwich Village to meet a friend of Julienne’s for dinner. We had a bit of extra time so we wandered over to Washington Square Park for a little bit.
I guess it’s not as weird as it once was, but we did see some pretty talented street performers and musicians.