Jumping into October!

Well, that's it for September 2016 once the clock strikes Midnight tonight.

As I mentioned rolling into September, a flood of emotions about many issues seem to have ruled my thoughts during September. Serious health issues of my wife's parents - especially her father. Loss of our family pets. And on and on in some way all contributed to a bit of a muddle through period in our lives during September. Throwing myself into a busy Fall Semester helped, as did rehearsals for the upcoming holidays, some repairs on our aging fleet of vehicles, and a bit of focus on getting things in order in the house (interior and exterior).

Tara, Zack, and I flew out to San Francisco to spend Labor Day weekend with Tara's father. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness in August, and we wanted to visit with him. Zack returned last week to spend 5 days with his grandfather, and Tara is there this week. Obviously, it is a tough time for the entire family, but from my view - the entire family is doing everything right.

I located a hiking trail where he lives, and was able to head out for about an hour hike to enjoy a portion of their trails - not to mention the sunny California weather...


Needless to say, an odd juxtaposition considering why we were there to visit. But exercise is a good way to clear one's thoughts, enjoy the fresh air and nature to recharge one's emotional batteries. We flew back to Iowa on Labor Day to be back at work the following day.

Two weeks later, Tara organized an excellent surprise birthday weekend on the occasion of my turning double nickels - or rather a common speed limit of 55 - at the Hotel Pattee in Perry.

I must be pretty dang easy to plan a surprise party around, as like my previous one 5 years ago, I had absolutely no clue about this one. I was only told to be ready to leave at 4:45 on a Friday and to bring my road bike along. I had no clue where we were going. Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the Hotel Pattee, checked in, and went downstairs for our 7 pm reservation for what I thought was going to be a nice quiet evening of husband and spouse chatting - and I walked into this lovely group of friends...



We drank, ate, danced, drank some more, danced some more, and ended the evening with a highly infectious game of couples bowling in the basement bowling alley at the Hotel Pattee.

Speaking of the post meal and what seemed like umpteen glasses of wine haze before the dancing even had begun...


Fun was had by all bowling (perhaps the intoxication enhanced the laughing and fun....), and we all managed to make it to our respective rooms a bit after Midnight. The plan was to meet at 10 am for a morning bike ride. I was a little cross eyed in the morning, but after a nice breakfast - we were off on the Raccoon River Valley Trail to get multiple hours of riding in to burn off the previous night's intake. I had a great time!

Hats off to my lovely spouse for planning a weekend with friends. It was just the shot of medicine I needed - and at the right time.

I managed to also throw in a Cyclocross Race over in Pella to keep my top end fueled knowing I wanted to do a mountain bike race or two before the snow flies. I raced in the Masters 55+ group. I wasn't dead last (came in 4th out of the 7 or 8 of us in the old man's group), but did see my highest heart rate during race for 2016 as it's a full on effort for 40-45 minutes. Mix in a slight uptick in my riding for the month compared to August, and it is now time to JUMP into the month of October with legs that feel a little better than they did in August.

Due to a rained out race last weekend, I will begin the month of October with the rescheduled mountain bike race at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve in Minnesota. I try and take in at least one or two races of neighboring state series when I can, and tomorrow is one of those opportunities.

Bike time jumped up about 20% over what I did in August.

September 4th 15.3 Miles -- Duration 1:59:07
September 6th 6.76 Miles -- Duration 00:41:45
September 8th 18.7 Miles -- Duration 1:15:04
September 10th 13.0 Miles -- Duration 1:09:44
September 11th 14.47 Miles -- Duration 1:38:55 (Including a Cross Race)
September 12th 18.3 Miles -- Duration 1:14:02
September 14th 20.8 Miles -- Duration 1:27:19
September 16th 7.81 Miles -- Duration 00:40:52
September 17th 39.7 Miles -- Duration 2:42:34
September 18th 12.9 Miles -- Duration 1:20:40
September 20th 10.9 Miles -- Duration 1:00:34
September 21st 6.88 Miles -- Duration 00:30:39
September 23rd 15.2 Miles -- Duration 00:44:58
September 24th 27.19 Miles -- Duration 1:54:00
September 25th 36.2 Miles -- Duration 2:23:05
September 26th 11.7 Miles -- Duration 1:00:46
September 27th 12.5 Miles -- Duration 1:30:02
September 29th 10.2 Miles -- Duration 00:46:12
September 30th 12.3 Miles -- Duration 00:57:27

September Total Miles: 310.81
September Total Duration: 24:57:45

And that's a wrap for September, 2016!!!

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