Some Like it Hot
This is the third part of a four-part series in which I reflect back on 2016. Links to other parts in this series are at the end of this part.
In July, Christine and I and some other friends decided to make a vacation out of volunteering at the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon. Some of our friends were participating in this epic race, so what better way to support them than by volunteering? We were assigned to the bike aid station near Wilmington (~Mile 50 on bike loop). With Whiteface Mountain as our backdrop, we did our best to cheer, encourage, and support these athletes. We also had fun with visits to the top of Whiteface, climbing through the High Falls Gorge, walking through Olympic Village, and running around Mirror Lake. As Florida was a brief respite from the cold and snow; Lake Placid was our brief respite from the heat and humidity. It was beautiful!
The heat continued in August, and it continued to sabotage many of my runs and one race, the Metro 10 (a 10-mile race in Albion that pitted Buffalo against Rochester). It also sabotaged my training for Half #15 – the Rochester Half Marathon, which was in September. After that Metro 10 race, I seriously questioned if I could even continue training for that fall half marathon. The heat and humidity had forced me to cut so many runs short and almost completely avoid hills, which is what I needed for a successful Rochester Half Marathon. Oh, yeah, I also turned 45.
The heat and humidity disappeared for part of September, but returned for an encore on, of all days, race day. Although not nearly as hot or humid as Memorial Day weekend for the Buffalo Half Marathon, the Rochester Half Marathon proved to be harder than expected due to the heat. Like Buffalo, I gutted it out, walked when I needed to, and completed Half #15.
Fall 2016 saw me switch out of my last required core class to take an independent study with my professor from the summer class. I was to write about emerging trends in the field of Technical Communication with a slant toward computer software documentation. My topics would be shared with an undergraduate class in a blog called “View from the Field.” This undergrad class was for computer science majors who needed to fulfill an upper-level writing requirement. The class was called Computer Software Documentation. Instead of using WordPress to write this blog, I used a different tool called TiddlyWiki. I also learned how to use GitHub and GitHub Desktop to share files and publish my posts to the live version of the class blog. This independent study was interesting, but also challenging. My professor said this venture would be a first of its kind for the department, and it was filled with many obstacles along the way. I felt I learned a great deal about the tools used and my own field, but I felt out of touch with the undergraduate class. It was never clear whether they actually used my blog.
Somehow I managed to log ~217 miles during one of the hottest summers on record.