I am having a hard time dealing with the idea that students are back in town. Orientation starts this week. Freshmen are moving into the dorms. Undergrads are partying outside their houses with their music blaring and their drunk friends are squealing until the wee hours of the night, waking up their neighbors (…that would be me). Yeaaah, college!!!
I guess I’ve been there, done that. I think my time in grad school has made me even less tolerant of such behavior, and now I just want people to leave my Keweenaw in peace. Alas, I cannot be granted such wishes, so instead I resort to working so hard that regardless of how loud they party, I’m gonna sleep through it.
Last season, I learned how to train for an Ironman. I knew I could survive it, but my training pushed me to race smart and methodical. This season, I have learned how to train independently. Or I guess, am still learning. I’ve done my first solo century, I’ve traveled to every tri I’ve raced this season alone, and I’m becoming pretty good friends with myself. Maybe this has something to do with my anti-social behavior in regards to the kiddies returning to Tech? I’ll drag out a training partner every once in a while (ok, maybe more often than that), but I think my Long-Course Psyche is building up strong. If nothing else, I’m learning to be more prepared (eg. no one is out there at mile 50 when I bonk, so I better have enough food to keep me going).
I’m making choices now that I never thought I’d make before. And I’m not talking about what kind of chamois cream to smear or what flavor EFS to put in my bottle. I am talking about my lifestyle choices, where I would rather go to bed early to get up and ride my bike than stay up late and drink beer. Not that I don’t do that from time to time, either. I guess another thing I’ve learned in the whole process of becoming an endurance athlete is balance. Recovery. Recovering my body, as well as my mind. And I know one great way of recovering my mind: spending time outdoors in the Keweenaw.
. Wash, rinse, and repeat.”]Luckily, I’m learning that diligence pays off too, at least I hope it will. I’ve been working on my swim with a friend who rocks, and she pushes me to get the workout in instead of sandbagging it because I’m bored. Turns out, having someone else there in the pool makes the swim less boring (dare I say, even fun?!).
And I’m having less of a difficult time getting on the trainer now that I’ve found the show Dexter. Whoever said television rots your brain never experienced an easy recovery ride on the Mag.
And last but not least, I’m starting to enjoy the weekend work days all by my lonesome. Who’s idea was this?
I asked myself that question when I turned right in Lake Linden and headed up the Florida Hill at mile 103 on my long ride yesterday. Four miles to Laurium, four miles of hill. But in all honesty, that hill was easier than the previous twenty miles I spent battling the cross winds off Lake Superior from Gay to Trap Rock Valley. And it was calming, having the entire five foot shoulder to myself, hopping onto M203 and just cruising home. Sure, I had a headwind on the downhill where I should have been hitting 45mph. Sure, I wanted to call Babebraham when I got to McLain. But not because I wanted to get a ride 9 miles from home, but because I’d been out for 8hours and I thought he might be worried.
So who’s idea was this? I know I can’t take credit for the scenery, but I can take responsibility for my choices. And I am really grateful I’ve made this choice.