Friday, September 30, 2016

Summer Wrap-Up

Today is the last day of September.  It's also the last dress-down Friday at work, a practice that lasted all summer.  Sigh ... there's something nice about just putting on jeans and a polo shirt to go to work.  As we turn the calendar into October and Q4, here's a quick look back at my Summer of '16:

It was the summer of my discontent.  Not entirely, but with apologies to the Bard, there were certainly a number of downsides to the summer:

Two biggest negatives:

1)  Triple-whammy of tick-borne illnesses:  Lyme disease, plus babesiosis, plus anaplasmosis.  The latter is rare, the combination of all three put me on a RI health department watch list. I thought I was just having a fever, but it really sucked the joy and strength out of me for about three full weeks, plus kept me away from the beach and outdoor mid-day running for longer.  Just last week, I had my last blood test for the three diseases and resulting elevated liver enzymes.
Nasty, horrid, vile, despicable creatures.

2)  Heat.  Even Mikey B and Tommy jumped ship on the "I love HHH runs" mantra.  According to, each of the 48 contiguous states had above average heat this summer, and three of those had a record hot summer since records were kept in the 1800s.  Not surprisingly two of those were RI and CT.  Ugh!  Seemingly race after race this summer was a sufferfest of heat and/or humidity, including:  Beavers (July), Blessing of the Fleet (July), Kerri (August), Bobby Doyle (August), and Surftown (September).
Uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Two best races:

1)  Loon Mountain 10K Race.  My first ever mountain race, but not my last!  I didn't know how to pace or strategize for this race, but really enjoyed it.  57 degrees at the start didn't hurt.
Challenging race against a beautiful backdrop of mountain peaks.

2)  Vesturgatan 24K Wilderness Race, Iceland.  Cool temps with highs in the 60s, drop-dead gorgeous sights with snow-covered mountains and miles of fjords just added to the excitement of running in a foreign country.  Being on the podium with Matthew celebrating a 1-2 Walker finish topped the cake.
Gorgeous scenery the entire race course.

Two best tris:

1) Block Island Tri.  A perennial favorite, this was my 7th annual iteration of hopefully many more to come.
Block Island Town Beach before start of tri:
Fun tri and get-together with friends.
2)  Rhode Warrior Sprint:  Jumped into this one late, and had a lot of fun with it.

With Matthew, just before start of our swim wave.


  • Hot, humid races are just not fun for me. I will continue to run perennial races like Blessing and Block, but otherwise, am going to have to think twice about signing up in advance for some of the others.
  • Did very little biking this summer.  Missed the many group rides we did the previous summer, and the social get-togethers at coffee shops that ensued.  Maybe Chris' return to RI will get them going again in '17?
  • While I'm not a big swimming fan, I do truly enjoy tris.  Had a dearth of them this year, and would like to do more next summer.
  • Finally, I'm loving the trail races (minus the HHH at Beavers).  Adding a destination makes it even more fun. Have no idea where next summer will physically bring us, but would like to run another new trail race or two.
On to the fall ...


  1. Nice recap. I almost forgot about the tick diseases you had. What a terrible start to a tough summer. Coffee stop bike rides will be back! I need you guys as much as you need me.

  2. Great summer, Gazelle! Happy you are rid of that nasty illness. Always enjoy training and racing with you and the rest of the crew.

  3. Please no repeat of Beaver... that was terrifying... Glad you are healthy once again and hopefully Lance will be back to encourage your biking!! It was a decent summer for biking.