Sunday, March 29, 2020

2020: Postponed, Rescheduled, Cancelled (Ramblings)

What should have been my last big workout before my pro debut became a weekend of baking, riding a more moderate 4 hours on Saturday followed by a run and a lot of puzzle-ing.  I'm sure just about everyone reading this has had their plans for the first half of the year up ended due to COVID-19.  Yes, it's a disappointing and frustrating and all of the things, but I'd much rather hit the pause button than see even more people sick and our healthcare system even more overrun.

I had grand plans to make a quick trip to Galveston the first weekend of April for Texas 70.3 followed by a big trip at the end of April to Houston for Ironman Texas, then hop over to St. George to spectate and sherpa Ironman St. George and then hop on over to Virginia to ride Skyline/SkyMass, visit family and friends and cap off the trip with a wedding.  Well all of those events have and been postponed/rescheduled.  I realize the biggest blessing of taking my pro card this year may be that I haven't really lost any money yet on all these changes, just a lot of airline credit now with United Airlines.

My last true big training weekend was the day after we found out Texas had been postponed. Andrew had a sprint triathlon that Saturday up on the North Shore of Oahu so I went and supported him for the morning and then rode some Pineapple Hill loops before riding home straight into a headwind the entire time.  To be honest watching everyone race had me super mopey.  I didn't want to race that sprint, I wanted my races, my shot at toeing the line of Ironman in the professional field.  After a bit of mopiness and an exciting race I was at least motivated enough to get my 100+ mile ride done.  I was grieving the loss of the plans I had made, the time I had put into preparing for those plans - both physically and mentally.  I think effort wise I put more in mentally preparing to show up at that start line than I ever had before.  The physical part was hard work, but not much different than the hard work I'd put in all the years before.  Sure it was more hours and a lot more time in the pool, but I was enjoying it and looking forward to seeing the results of the work I had put in. 

Just as all the pools were closing we were able to get 1 more swim in at a pool on base and ever since then a slight lingering ear issue became a full on ear infection.  After a great telehealth visit with my PCP and some antiobiotic ear drops it's finally on the mend.  Since the pools are closed and the water hasn't been great for OWS it has made it a bit easier to stay out of the water and actually let this clear up.  But to be honest, swimming is probably the thing I miss the most.  Since the end of December I've been doing 3-4 Tower26 swim workouts per week + 2 nights with Kailua Masters.  I feel stronger in the water and I'm excited to see how that plays out once we're able to race again.   In a few days I should be good to jump in the ocean so I'll hit the open water as soon as I'm able and try to keep some of the swim fitness and feel for the water going.

So here we are with no races in the foreseeable future and the June/July/August - heck rest of 2020 races -with a big old question mark and potentially on the chopping block.  For now I figure I stay the course training wise.  Dial things back just enough that I'm not overly stressing the body, but stay ready to put in a couple Ironman builds when the time is right.  As for coaching, for right now this is how I'm also handling most of my athletes.  Now that we're seeing it's going to be quite some time before any of us race we'll change things up a bit and perhaps spend more time developing their limiters, if that's something that excites them.  Unfortunately, for us swim limited folks we'll just keep doing bands and core work like it's our job. 

Earlier this year, we finally launched Vertex Performance PT. I do offer virtual appointments- just saying.  We haven't done much with it since launching the site and doing some 1 off sessions with friends.  The ultimate goal is to have a physical space and real business once we settle down back on the mainland.  This pandemic definitely has me rethinking.  As a business I understand wanting to stay open - but really 1-on-1 hands on physical therapy isn't essential for all that many cases (yes, absolutely there are some scenarios where it's needed) but in a time like there there's not much you can't do for yourself if we just video conference and address your restrictions/impairments.  Considering this virus can be transmitted by asymptomatic individuals, working in a physical therapy office becomes slightly terrifying. The outpatient office I work at here on Oahu was closed all of last week, because we had had a patient who was in on the 13th that tested positive for COVID-19.  Now I have a moral/ethical dilemma in front of me - do I go in and potentially expose myself, bring it home and potentially expose Andrew, etc etc.  Hopefully, we'll both be fine if or when we do come across COVID-19, but who really knows, nothing is for certain with this novel virus and most of all I'd hate to pass it on to someone more vulnerable.  Completely TBD yet on if, I'll actually return to work ( I want masks, I want gloves, I want refilled hand sanitizer, I want guaranteed sick leave if myself or one of my PTAs becomes ill, I want screening at the door for incoming patients, I want space to be appropriately distanced from anyone else in the clinic, etc).  I probably won't get these answers until or unless I go in on Monday.  The other side of this raises a whole new issue to consider when or if we do open a physical clinic of our own on the mainland.  Outpatient physical therapy - not quite essential medical services - definitely grounds to build our virtual consult, treatment and coaching services with our online platform.

Overall, I feel super lucky to be weathering this storm in Hawaii, with my love, and not be in a financial pickle due to all the craziness.  If this had happened at this time last year I wonder to myself if I'd sneak over to my friends house and/or just move in with them for ease and practicality.  I can't imagine being stuck isolated in my apartment, alone, for an undetermined amount of time in Virginia.  If any of you are in that situation hit us up on House Party - we'll hang out with you (just remember we are 6 hours behind EST).  There will be a start line to toe, there will be finish lines to cross, celebrations, travel, etc all in our future.  What's important in the here and now is staying as healthy as possible, helping keep our communities healthy, and encouraging others to do their part with social distancing, self isolating, etc as needed to help decrease the rate at which this is spready.  As an aside, I hope this teaches everyone a good lesson about just staying home when you are sick.  I'm sorry I don't find it heroic to push through a day in the office when you are unwell, especially when your job involves touching people, all day!  Our finish line looks different than we're used to right now, but we'll get there.  Stay healthy, stay happy and do something that makes you smile everyday.