This summer, I have been squeezing in a few swims at Hubbles Lake, trying to take advantage of the beautiful open water before and after my second hip replacement surgery in July. My brother, Paul, a triathlete who lives in the Seattle area, was here for a visit and I took him out to Hubbles to show him the favourite swimming hole of local triathletes.
I also made the summer last by swimming as late as possible into the season with my constant triathlon training buddy, Tania.
On Friday, my friend Tania and I drove out to Jasper National Park in the Rockies to do some riding and swimming. Her partner Stephen came later in the evening to join us. We stayed in a charming cabin beside the Athabasca River.
On Saturday, after lattes on the deck, we got our bikes ready for a ride. T and S were planning a six hour day, while I wanted to keep it a little shorter. I went off on my own to ride around Lake Annette and Jasper Park Lodge. By the time I got back to our cabin, I didn't quite feel like it was long enough so I went a bit further down the highway to add a few more kilometers. I ended up climbing up to Maligne Canyon, where I spent a few minutes taking in the magnificent scenery. All in all, I rode 35 kms, which is a pretty long ride for me right now. It was an awesome day! T and S enjoyed their rides, too - lots of climbing - and in the evening we went out for dinner.
Our plan on Sunday was to swim in Lake Annette. It's gorgeous - crystal clear water and a weedless sandy bottom. And wow! was it cold! It was painful to get in. We convinced ourselves that we would get ourselves fully submersed and then force ourselves to do 25m. We did that and then headed for the shore but then I felt like we were wimping out so I said we had to do more. I ended up doing 1000m and Tania did over 2000m! We got used to the cold and then really enjoyed the beautiful water.
Just as we were finishing, it started to rain so we sat in my Jeep and had a picnic.
We are so lucky to have such a beautiful playground so close to home. It was a fun and beautiful weekend.
It's been 11 weeks since my right hip was replaced and yesterday I was able to go back to spin class. The surgery went well and my recovery progressed as expected. I got back on my bike for very short spins a couple of weeks ago and have been building up to being able to handle an hour-long spin class. It felt great to be back at it and to see my friends again! I did my own thing during the class but managed to do some standing and sprinting, which made me feel great! My left hip will be replaced in July and until then, I plan to do what I can to stay active and connected.
As my posts over the last year or so mention, I have been living with arthritis in both of my hips for a while. It has deteriorated over time and become increasingly limiting in terms of activity. I tried to do everything possible to stay active and connected with my friends in triathlon while waiting for my hip replacements. I did the Allan Beach triathlon with teammates, the Kelowna swim, the Chelan triathlon, and the Harvest Ride. I also swam every Sunday with a friend, rode my bike well into the fall, and did a few spins with the club in December, once we had to go indoors. I managed to swim about 65,000 metres this year, most of it since May, and ride about 800K. I also ran 5K this year! Woohoo! (That was in the Chelan tri). This was a far cry from iron distance training but I feel good about it since I was able to keep going, right up until now.
My hips are pretty much used up now. But that's OK because I made the most of my time and I am having a new one put in on Tuesday, January 19 - two days from now! The right one has gone downhill faster so it's first and then the second one (left) will follow in a few months. I'm not really looking forward to those first few crummy post-op days but I sure am looking forward to being restored to full, pain-free movement again and getting back to my tri life! Depending on the timing of the second surgery, I do plan to be out at the lake a lot this summer for swims with my favourite swim buddy and maybe, if surgery happens quickly and recovery goes well, I can do an aquabike race later in the summer. We'll see. I am chomping at the bit but I want to be sensible and do it right so I can keep going for years.
For a while, as things went downhill, I didn't feel like I was a triathlete anymore. But I learned that there are lots of ways to stay connected and I also found out how incredible and supportive my friends are. They have already promised me that they will go for slow rides with me when I am better. I am so fortunate that this is a fixable problem and that my sport and my people are with me all the way!