The title of the post alludes to a lot of things this week, but ultimately speaks directly to our COVID announcement last week. What it means is we managed to keep me COVID negative for an entire week, so that I was able to still do the Paris to Ancaster race today! It certainly took a ton of adjustment for us all in order to make that happen. We all committed to wearing masks in the house 100% of the time (we even slept with them on). We all committed to different bedrooms. For me that meant spending the week in the room we use as an office with an air mattress on the floor. And for all of us it mean a lot of testing. Suffice it to say I have a lot of gratitude to Emelia and Danielle for the adjustments they made for me—because they had already tested positive.
I tested daily all last week and surprisingly I had zero symptoms and never once had a positive result. I had fully expected to see two lines in stead of one show up at some point which would have been the nail in the coffin for the race. It really speaks to how much being safe and smart helps because as I am sure Danielle will tell you, she got knocked on her ass! Surprisingly (and delightfully) last night, the last test, last night after work showed the same negative I had seen all week! So the great news meant that the race was on. And I would be spending my last night on that crappy air mattress in the office. I washed up all my kit, got packed up and set the 6:00am alarm. I was excited, nervous and most of all ready to find out what racing against others was all about.
To say I enjoyed it would be the understatement of the century! I had an absolute blast. I have loved riding on my own so much that I really doubted that I would like something that herded me in among others. But, right from the opening starting gun, I found that immersing myself in a community of people who loved biking just as much as I do, and then being able to push myself in a way I hadn’t—and against others—and I quickly realized this was a lot of fun. The distance (45km) didn’t have me worried as I regularly ride 40-42km on the Thames Valley Parkway. There were parts that felt very fast (riding against others does that). There were parts that were very challenging (lookup the P2A “Mud Chutes” and “Final Climb”). But overall I was surprised at how quickly it was over.
In the end I managed to finish the ride under two hours! This is actually faster than I have done my 42km loop on the Thames Valley Parkway! I only had one tumble off the bike in a very congested spot where a whole group in front of me slowed almost to a stop in front of me and I had to dodge the rider in front of me and I couldn’t clip out of the pedals in time. But the rest of the race went surprisingly smooth and I was really able to push myself! I finished 24th out of 132 in my age group and gender (Male, 50-59). And I finished 127th out of the entire 45km male field. Considering this is my first race ever, I am beyond delighted with my results! I will one-hundred-percent be back next year, for certain!
Going to start this post by saying how insanely proud I am of John. To say he has taken biking all in is an understatement. He never misses a ride day, I mean NEVER. He trained so hard for today so when Emelia turned positive the day we returned from her biggest competition and then 4 days later I did we were sure that we John would not be far behind. We did everything to avoid that. It meant playing bed rotation for a few days until John offered to take the office so I could recover from COVID and we could do what we could to protect John from catching the virus. We not only wanted to make sure he could race this weekend we also wanted to keep one of us healthy so supplies could be replenished and if things got worse for either Emelia or I John could be the one who took care of us.
Now that we are 2 weeks out from Emelia’s positive I am happy to say she is almost recovered. Her lungs still need a bit more to be 100% but she’s back at Cheer training and said Tuesday she was really feeling the effects but today she felt great. And now there is me, I am still dealing with COVID symptoms, the cough is lingering, dealing with terrible heartburn and headaches but the worst is my lungs. They are far from recovered. I am going to call our doctor tomorrow to see if we can get me in to get on a puffer to help my lungs recover. So right now I am dealing with a fair bit of symptoms. I was able to return to work from home at full capacity but really worn out.
Now that John has his race under his belt we can spend this week shifting our focus to the return to camping. Next weekend we return to our summer home at Auburn, we have started prepping for the season already, even adding a new to us canoe to get us on the river even more. We cannot wait until Friday night to be around the campfire with the Sherwoods starting the camping season for 2022!