Property Search & Renos

buying-selling-canadian-landWho wouldn’t want a cabin in the woods or on a lake? We started thinking about first steps. We have been scouring the local real estate listings for vacant land. This weekend we drove around and looked at a few of them. It wasn’t a great start as on Saturday we headed down a long, winding, snow-covered road only to get stuck at the end of it when I attempted to turn around! I had visions of living in the van until spring. Luckily, Laura had a bag of old clothes that we strategically placed under the van’s tires and got out of the mess I had gotten us into. The search continued and we found some promising lots. It required walking through knee high snow, but it was fun.

SUMMER2019_Dashi_PageHeaderWe also looked at some options for cabins. I found a company that rents out off-grid tiny cabins. After a couple days of research we booked a couple of days in one of the cabins. It will be a good way to know if we like the experience and want to pursue that as an option on the eventual vacant land.

Laura continues to work hard at re-doing the office in the house. She has ripped out a closet and now we are trying to figure out how to fix and drywall the area.

I was able to do some workouts this weekend as well. I feel like it is an uphill climb to get back to being fit again. I will keep plugging away.

Swim=5.1 kms, Bike=71 kms, Run=21.2 kms. Total=97.3 kms.

See you at the next finish line….

Young Talent

MK Christmas 2019_Grand Theatre image_960x640Last night we went out to a local choral concert (a Christmas present!). It took place on the base and was a fundraiser for the Kingston Chamber Choir. The choir was joined by special guest Michelle Kasaboski. Michelle is a Queens music student that has made a name for herself singing jazz tunes. It was fun to see such a young talent live.

Baby-its-dark-outsideIt seems dark all the time. When I head to swimming in the morning, dark. When I head to the gym after work, dark. When will see more than a few hours of sunlight? A least we are able to do some walking outdoors as the temperature hasn’t been too cold.

The past week I ran 20.3 kms, biked 71.5 kms, and swam 6.75 kms, for a total of 98.55 kms.

See you at the next finish line….

Week of Relaxation

IMG_4732We had a great week of sun and fun in Cuba. We are currently waiting on the bus to return to the airport and then fly home to the cold weather. Back to work tomorrow.

I did get a chance to read 3-4 books and do some warm weather training. It was nice to run in the heat for a change!

Run = 21 kms, Bike = 20 kms, swim = 1 kms. Total = 42 kms.

Here are some pictures from the trip. See you at the next finish line…..

Vacation Prep

It was a long week. I would imagine it was the anticipation of knowing vacation was approaching. Most of the week was spent preparing for the trip. We had to get the house ready for the dog sitters (Thanks Mom and Lorraine!). Laura also was finishing up some painting and them putting away all the paint supplies.

Timelapse_snowAs the weekend approached there was unfavourable weather forecasted. We had to change our departure time from Kingston to try and beat a snowstorm that was approaching later in the day on Saturday. We managed to get to Ajax before it started coming down. We spent a few hours shopping at Yorkdale and then we met Brittany and Rui for lunch. It was nice to get caught up with them. We finally made it to our hotel at the airport, exhausted

iStock_air canada_000051922770_SmallIt was an early morning flight so we were up at 3am. Air Canada had systems issues so we couldn’t do the self-check-in. That meant standing in line. It was frustrating, but we were on vacation so it was easy to let it go. The plane needed to be de-iced and then we were on our way

 

IMG_4661Cuba was warm! We made it to the resort and headed to the beach to relax. I think that is what we will be doing all week. Eat and sleep on the beach! Well, I did go for a run this morning. I don’t think it is offsetting the food being eaten, but it is a start.

My training mileage was down last week due to trip preparation.

Swim 2.4kms, bike 34.4 kms, and run 11.7 kms.  Total = 47.5 kms.

 

See you at the next finish line…

Crazy Weather

rain-57bb8fcf3df78c876339a4e2What a strange week of weather. Early in the week it was unseasonably warm and rainy. I can’t imagine how much snow we would have if the temperatures were a bit below zero. Yesterday was driving rain that threatened ice. Laura and I went out last night for dinner and a concert and thought the roads might not hold up until we got home. Luckily, we made it home when it was still raining. When we got up this morning there was a thick layer of ice on both the cars!

Renovations continue. I probably don’t have to say that as I think they will be never-ending. Laura has been working on the upstairs hallway. We are trying to get that completed before leaving for vacation in a week.

shutterstock_486440014.jpgI hit snooze one too many times this morning and missed swimming. Probably fortuitous as I would have never gotten the ice off the windshield in time to make it to the pool.

Training this week plodded along. I did some of all three triathlon disciplines. I also dusted off the old weight routine, but didn’t actually begin it. I did pick up some dumbbells for hoe use. Maybe this upcoming week.

Swim 4.9 kms, bike 79 kms, run 18.4 kms.

Total 102.3 kms

See you at the next finish line….

 

New Year

2d9724045-tz-biz-101114-turkey-1038a.nbcnews-ux-1024-900The New Year is here and I am trying to settle into a workout routine. The festivities over the holidays were a lot of fun, but they also included lots of food! Time to work some of that food off.

I made it to the pool all three times this past week. Swimming is beginning to feel more natural once again. It is amazing how missing a few sessions really affects your feel for the water. I am not sure my speed is where it needs to be, but I am building a good base.

10252-andy-potts-kona-swim-tips-700x394I struggled last week with a muscular issue in my right calf. It had a negative impact on my running. I could run, but not as long as I would have liked. I ran yesterday pain free for the first time in ten or eleven days. I hope it holds for my planned runs this upcoming  week.

My cycling was indoors (of course) on my trainer. I have been watching a series called Carnival Row while biking. It is nothing special, but it helps to pass the time. I enjoy outdoor biking so much more. It is a long way off.

We are headed off on a beach vacation in a couple of weeks. I am really looking forward to doing a HOT run and an open water swim or two. It will be a good opportunity to wind down and get some extra training miles in.

Last weeks Stats:

Swim 7.1 kms, bike 80.7 kms, run 17.5 kms

Total 104.6 kms

See you at the next finish line….

 

Plans for next race season

2019_loadingAnother year has passed, but this one was much more eventful. Due to my illness and treatments I never really had a chance to train and race like I enjoy. Yes, I swam, biked, and ran, here and there, but it was just to stay connected to the sport. The physical ability and motivation just wasn’t there. When I reflect on the year I am extremely lucky that I am even here to be able to set any goals at all. Each day is so precious, I know that now. I am stronger than I thought.

businessman-with-question-mark-pondering-problem-vector-16381349I thought long and hard about my future in the sport of triathlon. Was it still important to me? What kind of goals would keep me motivated? Would I have the support if I did decide to pick up my training again. After many deep conversations, some of them with myself, I decided to aim high once again.

I started by signing up for the 1/2 Ironman in Mont Tremblant once again. It is a late June race and that should keep the motivation up throughout the winter. I wanted to do a late season race as well. I looked at some other 1/2 options. There was a race in North Carolina that was appealing. There was also one in Georgia in the fall. I landed on neither of those, but rather I signed up for Ironman Arizona in November. So there you have it. I have a 1/2 Ironman in June and a full Ironman in November.

IRONMAN_Arizona_100x-8_large_largeThis will be harder than the first time around. You would think it should be easier, but I am that much older. I am also coming off treatments and if I am truthful I have never fully recovered. And finally, I have to lose weight all over again. It is a tall order, but there is no time like the present to blast through new barriers. Can I become an Ironman once again after a cancer diagnosis? Hopefully. If things stay positive on the health front.

Stay tuned for more regular updates.

See you at the finish line, again….

Summer Musings

Well it has been awhile since my last blog post. Life has been busy. This time my post will be about the positive things in my life. There are plenty of them (I will not mention the “C” word this time)!

IMG_3692.HEICThe summer has passed by quickly. I have moved into a new house in Harrowsmith, Ontario. It needs a lot of work. I always wanted to live in an older limestone house, but I envisioned something that was move in ready. This place was not! We have spent the summer engaging with contractors on the installation of doors, electrical work, exterior work, as well as septic system replacements. Yes, there is a ton of activity going on at the house. It has a nice feel to it and Laura and I are very happy with our choice. It will just be awhile before it has great street appeal.

Oh yeah, that house also seems to have a bit of a “spirit”. There have been several eerie things. Doors opening in and closing on their own, brooms standing up on their own, and fans turning on and off by themselves. These things happen to everyone right? I don’t go into the basement at night. That is the purpose of dogs. If they come out of the basement unscathed, I will consider it.

IMG_3879.HEICMy fitness has dropped off significantly. With all of the fun I have been through medically, it has been hard to keep up a good fitness routine. I am still running three times a week and recently started back swimming three times as week as well. It will be a number of months before I feel “good”, but the desire to get there is now back. That is the biggest hurdle. It was tough watching my friends do the Ironman race a few weeks back as I was supposed to be doing it as well. I think that is what gave me a kick in the butt.

IMG_3855.HEIC

We had a week of vacation recently. It was busy! We camped for a night, came home and showered, and then went to New York City! We certainly got our steps in! We walked to all of the main sights. We did a food tour in Chelsea. Many good treats were consumed! We were lucky and had nice weather. The heat wasn’t stifling and we had no rain. Of course, shopping was also high on the priority list! After getting back from New York City we drove to Toronto and did a Barista course. My attempts at latte art were not good. My latte was described by the instructor as a snowman in a snowstorm. I don’t think it was meant as a compliment!

UnknownAs you can tell, life has been anything but boring. Life is also very precious so enjoy it while you can. I hope you strive to be as happy as I am! You only get one shot at it.

See you at the finish line….

Brighter Future

no-more-chemo-women-s-hoodieIt has been some time since I posted a new blog entry. Life has not been boring. After a few rounds of chemo my test results were really positive. The doctor decided to skip a round of chemo as I had responded exceptionally well to the previous ones. It was to give my white blood cells a chance to regenerate. About a week ago I did another round of testing. It was the same routine with an MRI, PET, spinal tap, and blood work. The doctor called with the results last week and they were good. Well, better than good. There was no longer cancer cells in my spinal fluid and the forming tumour was almost non-existent. The PET was also clear. I am now on a three month monitor protocol. This means that if all goes well I can enjoy the summer without testing and chemo. It is the best news ever (understatement).

01_Feet_worst_weight_hacks_doctors_stop_following_500736880_nensuriaMy training has been pretty much non-existent for obvious reasons. I made the decision a few weeks back to cancel all of my scheduled races for the summer. It was not an easy decision, but doing long distance races is not something to take lightly and I know I am not physically ready. Now with the great news above I can start to get back to a regular exercise routine. I have to lose some of the weight I have gained throughout this ordeal. I may be the only person in history that gained weight while on chemo! Well, it was a possible side effect, but I think it was more related to my exercise decrease.

WhatsApp Image 2019-05-25 at 2.08.34 PMBrittany has moved into her new house! I spent a bit of time with her in Toronto yesterday unpacking and assembling bedroom sets. It is a really nice place! I think I have seen my future, and it is living in her basement apartment. I get the relative discount. Right? Brandon and Kayla are looking for a new place in Ottawa now. There may be more education in their future and they need to get settled into a new place first.

 

 

See you at the next finish line….

 

Vacation and Chemo Round Two

IMG_3196It was time for a vacation. Brandon, Kayla, Brittany, and I headed off to Barbados for the week. We took two separate flights, one from Montreal and one from Toronto. The drive to the airport was horrendous as the weather was nasty. Dad drove us and managed not to kill us before the vacation even began. After waiting an hour for the rental-car we were on our way to the villa.

 

IMG_3211The accommodations were great! We had a three bedroom until that overlooked the ocean. There was a private pool and fancy parking that required a gate code. I did the driving all week, on the wrong side of the road. Brandon or Brittany were in the passenger seat and thought I was a little close to the curb. I think I was overcompensating for not hitting the oncoming traffic on my side of the car. It is a weird sensation. All of the intersections were roundabouts. It took a bit of practice but by the end of the week I was a pro. I did however hit a few curbs with brightly yellow coloured rental car that screamed, “Stay away from this car at all times”.

 

IMG_3305We ate very well. Each night we tried a different restaurant. There was an area of town called the St. Lawrence Gap that was known for its eateries. We went there three or four times and never had a bad meal. It overlooked the water and provided some spectacular views. On Friday night we went to the Oisten’’s fish fry. It was a very busy spot. Tables were lined up on the beach and we had a good, but not great, meal. It was more about the ambiance. We took pictures of most of our meals as that seems to be the thing to do.

 

IMG_3291We spent some time at the wildlife reserve. The monkeys were the highlight for all of us. They are so cute and have such character. It was easy to spend a couple hours just sitting feet away from them as they jumped and played in the trees. Brandon had an opportunity to hold one of them on his chest. It was a baby and he fell right asleep. When it was time to leave the little guy clung with his claws on Brandon’s t-shirt. He would have fit in the carry-on.

 

IMG_3397

I did a number of training runs throughout the week. It was hot in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I picked the morning. The streets were busy and not well suited to running. I did what I could and enjoyed the times Brittany was able to join me. I really feel the lack of energy due to the treatment. That is disappointing but to be expected.

 

 

 

IMG_3390So, we are all heading back to reality now. I received test results when I was away. After my first round of chemo the tumour is beginning to break up and shrink/disappear. My cancer cell count in my spinal fluid has dropped dramatically as well. However, my white blood cell count is still critically low. I was happy not to get too sick when I was away and was able to enjoy the time with the kids. The medical news was very positive as it means my body is responding well to the chemo. Fingers crossed for continued success. I don’t want to get too optimistic at this point. It is an emotional roller-coaster ride. I start round two this upcoming Thursday.

 

See you at the finish line…..