Since the July 4th weekend, we’ve had plans to act upon, and then a few actions that changed and altered those plans. There have been a few hot/humid sticky days where training has really been tough to acclimate back to since I just had finished dealing with it in Texas. But since we also only have one AC in the living room, we’ve spent some nights in one hot bedroom, enough to warrant sleeping on the couch for the next round of heat wave. Forget that – we pulled out and installed the bedroom one this weekend. Holmes liked it right away.

I was preparing to go on FPC’s bike trip to Cleveland this weekend but back on the July 4th weekend, Gina’s mom had been in the hospital to have surgery to remove sections of colon cancer. Granted she’s 80 yrs old and one tough corker, but the doctors insited she would fare well with the surgery. Unfortunately, she had complications that accumulated over the next 2 weeks and she just recently underwent a second surgery to correct those issues.

Now she is in the ICU recovering as of this writing, and it was obvious that this called for me to cancel any traveling to this point. Based on the title of this journal, we had been also planning another trip – a bit more permanent too. But the past 2 weeks have been tough on Gina and her family as each day they rotate visiting her and also plan to see how best to handle the issues that come with her condition. In addition to making sure her Dad – who is 90 – is also well cared for.

Yes, we have decided to move back to Charlotte effective August 1st. This has been a discussion of ours back in March, when both of us discussed our current work situations and ability to maximize our living standards. We love where we live based on location, but given Gina’s long commute, our combined salaries, being able to stabilize costs and desire to save, plus not being able to find a bigger apartment to make things a bit more comfortable, all have contributed to us considering moving back.

I spoke to Scott and expressed my desire to resume my role as manager at Charlotte Running Co., the job I fully enjoyed and missed for a number of reasons: the variablity in my duties, being able to construct my schedule, wearing what I wanted, enjoying the ups/downs of the day with my bro Dana, coaching and training the Thursday night crew, my run group, and just the way we lived down there, it just started to become more of a desire for me to return to. I couldn’t take the static structure where I was and felt I learned all I was going to without any change in position.

Now being a married couple, I felt it would also be better for Gina, since she was more active down south, had more energy by walking a lot, had an easier commute, and we could find more out of our time together than we were currently utilizing. In sum, we love our location, but were falling out of love with just what we could capitalize on and what we felt was to happen with our job development. We made the decision for both of us. We wanted better quality.

Scott was great in welcoming me back and made a great offer, with Donny now in control of the Promenade store, and Scott’s interest in a thrid store up north in NC, it was a great situation. Whatever transition I chose, it would be seemless, since I had always been in touch with my networks in Charlotte when we had left. I presented the option to Gina, and we looked into it with two scouting trips. Our friends were eager and supporting for us to return. In June, we were able to finalize our plans and signed a lease on a new, bigger apartment (with a pool), in a nicer location only one mile from the store, and closer access to transportation and area shops/restaurants/church.

We had to jump on the opportunity and signed the lease on the reverse date as our engagement – 6-11-11. With a move-in date set for August 1st, Scott is allowing me to ease into things part-time come August and fulltime on September 1. It will allow us to settle in nicely too (maybe do a few events!).Gina has started networking for positions here, and wanted to wait until we actually followed through on everything. Upon returning to NY and preparing for both the Texas race and FPC’s trip, I submitted my resignation to Polar. I needed the time off to do the bike trip and races, and now time to pack things up.

With Gina’s mom in the hospital all of July so far, it allowed me to pack up things ahead of time and try and help keep Gina focused on caring for her mom and discussing things with her family. I have visited her twice, but am not in a position to actually do anything other than continue praying and encouraging her to get well. I feel she needs to focus on getting better and has a great hospital staff at Lenox Hill working on her, but I am channeling most of my support to Gina and making sure she’s well rested and ready to go each day.

We have the same moving company we used when we moved TO Charlotte – Kaster Moving Co./Atlas Van Lines. We have tossed stuff, downsized even more, and really are taking simply what we need. We dislike the whole moving process, but it also helps shedding things and should make our new place seem even larger. We depart, with Holmes again in tow, on July 31st. I will update the new address below. We plan to spend next week finalizing our packing and maybe get to a Met game, but also we need to keep tabs on her mom’s condition daily.

Training wise I now focus on the Hood to Coast relay for the Big Kahunas and Coach Spano has this year’s team stacked and ready to best our time last year. He has me on Leg 9 and I am analyzing the course profiles for the 3 runs and will start adjusting my runs to the routes specific profile. For now, I’ve spent the last three weeks building back up and stacking my chips, but Gina has not stopped keeping tabson me and is making sure I add some lbs. still lost from Texas. I am grateful because it helps having that second voice.

One aspect I am still messing with is the cool off from the overheating that I have been experiencing as I acclimate back to not only the heat but the humidity here. I have done well, but have needed to utilize the following tips on staying cool after/during training – wet, cold towel kept in the fridge then dumped on the head, a mini spray bottle kept with cold water, the cold spray of the garden hose out back (and as I water the patio garden), and the days end cold showers. Yes, I have always taken my shower at the end of the day and yo, they feel sooooo good cold now.

Let’s not forget the foot tub of ice water and the BioFreeze either.ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Thanks big time to Odwalla as well – I have been able to constantly have a snack on hand and with the weather being so hot, as I hydrate after training, my breakfast bar has now included the ChocoPeanut flavor Odwalla bar – good protein too. I’ve adjusted to making some necessary changes to the “routine” to mix things up that worked well the first half of the year. Lather the skin with Aquaphor to avoid mosquito bites and it’s all good.

I get my uniform and final information for TEAM USA and the ITU World Championships come late summer. There is still plenty of time to focus my training on that event and I am secure in my preparations for it. We have the flight booked, the hotel set, and well, it’s our honeymoon so it will be great trip for us to end the year!!

I do plan to do a 5K locally here before we depart and then a duathlon on August 20th called the Nutrithon in North Carolina to get in tune before Hood to Coast. Molly Almquist has already booked a massage for Gina and a movement assessment for me. Thom at EPEC Fitness has renewed my membership too. And the crew at Kaster Moving has informed us the stuff will be there 1-2 days after we arrive. Awesome! They did a heck of a job loading us up too! I was afraid we’d be sleeping on the aerobed for a week!

Mineral water is not that bad. Heck it currently feels lik we’re camping indoors! Heck, we’ve roughed it out for a few days before, this is routine.Snuggle!!

So that’s where TEAMMC stands and we look forward to returning where we left off. We enjoyed our return to NY and have learned a ton – heck it even enabled us to have our wedding – but we just felt we never let go of Charlotte and having the option to return there has us excited and eager to get started again. Stay cool.


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