It's been a while...

Over a year since I last felt compelled to post anything.  It's also been just over a year since my far-too-young nephew passed away after a short battle with a brain stem tumor.  And only 5.5 weeks since my dad died after his own short battle (from diagnosis in early Oct. to death) with metastasized colon cancer.

To say the holidays have been made brutally depressing for my family would be a gross understatement.  We're auditioning a new holiday to make our own.  The family joke is now that we'll replace Thanksgiving/Christmas with Arbor Day.  That we're able to find any humor through all of this is pretty solid proof that we're a bunch of Viking badasses!

Life for the rest of us must go on and if there's one thing we've learned from my dad's short illness its that preventative medicine is of the utmost importance.  At nearly 70 he had never undergone a single colonoscopy and hadn't been to the doctor since his stroke ~7 years ago.  Denial doesn't prevent cancer or make it go away.

Dane on Deadpool
My hubby, kiddo, and I continue to do our best to avoid the same future fate.  Bikes and running shoes and goals of improving our diet and keeping up on our medical screenings have become necessities, not luxuries.  Dane ran cross-country this Fall and now has a new room-to-grow cyclocross bike (from 3rd Coast Cycles) for any 2-wheeled pursuits he hopes to pursue.  As soon as it's a bit warmer we'll get out for some gravel road rides and we'll encourage him to consider applying his running and cycling to a duathlon or two in the coming year.

The 20#s I needed to lose have now grown to closer to 30 (sitting at 158.5 as of yesterday's weigh), in large part due to stress eating over the past few months.  At nearly 42 years of age I know the longer I wait to rein-it-in, the more impossible it will be to get the weight off AND keep it off.  So more than any specific race/PR goals I have the goal of making weight loss my #1 priority, even if that means scaling back on training effort.  It's tough to put out hard efforts on a caloric deficit and tends to lead to "reward" eating, so my focus will likely be more on slower, steady efforts and less speed.  A lighter body will make the speed come without extra effort, so eyes on that prize is key.

I will still likely participate in many of the same events as last year...several sprint distance duathlons, an olympic distance, cyclocross, gravel tandem with the hubby, and ODRAM.  While I podium'd or even overall placed in all of the dus and the tandem races, that was largely the result of really small fields.  In the future I'd like to place better, faster, and feel less like I'm cherry-picking and doing well simply because I showed up.