Training: Two steps forward, a somersault back

That literally sums up my training this spring.  I’m not where I was in October, but to describe my winter and spring training as uneven would be a slight understatement.  My first “race” is coming up, and I feel woefully unprepared – or, well, woefully unfit for this particular distance and race.  I’ve certainly learned quite a bit from training through colder and darker months, and the main takeaway is that I will never, ever commit to a pretty big race (70.3) for the beginning of May.  The timing worked well when we lived in California and I was happy to train throughout the “winter” months, but it’s a different story here in Colorado! Even though it was a mild winter by anyone’s measurement, I found it hard to string together solid weeks of training.  Yes, a week here and there, some workouts that felt good, maybe a handful that I’d call “great”, but I lacked overall consistency in training.  And, I’ll say that as every weekend came around, I felt torn between skiing, which was what I wanted to do, and training, which is what I needed to do.   Continue reading “Training: Two steps forward, a somersault back”


You know you’re getting older when…

I feel that, as I look at that half-century point which seems to be closing in at a quicker pace every year, there are a multitude of ways that could finish this statement aptly.  The grey hairs, of course, springing up on my head (and sometimes elsewhere!); the wrinkles that have appeared, especially over the past two years; and, most significantly, the way that my body just doesn’t seem to “bounce back” these days.  This is probably the most notable to me, at least on a daily basis, and the most frustrating.  It is, however, the reality of being over 45 – that, at least, is what my trainer/rolfer guy told me this week. Continue reading “You know you’re getting older when…”

That commitment piece

With 2017 well underway at this point (hello February!), we’ve officially hit the mid-winter doldrums at school.  Still, I’m looking forward to a break coming up, and a short month will probably feel better too, especially as the days grow longer by small increments.

I’ve mentioned time and again that a full embrace of life in Colorado has come along a bit slower than I expected, and it’s challenged me, but that I need/want to bridge that gap this year.  One major piece that will give me more of a sense of stability and direction is now in place (at least for the next 12 months) – the job front!  Basically, I feel as though I’ve been looking for a future job for the past 15 months.  Even when I’ve had a job (last spring and throughout this academic year), the situation seemed uncertain and left me feeling unsatisfied.  I haven’t had a full-time contract for this year, and I signed it fully aware of that situation, but it’s chaffed to not be truly invested in the community and in teaching. A large part of my sense of dissatisfaction stems from the fact that I’ve felt guilty about not contributing to our household finances (this is full disclosure here!), but it also goes deeper than that.  At my last school and even the Swiss gig, I felt over,-involved, which I loved.  People (teachers) often bitch and moan about that aspect of teaching, but it’s also something that most teachers enjoy – or they wouldn’t do it.  For me, being “all in” regarding the school community energizes me while taking a more laissez-faire attitude has the opposite effect, leaving me with a sense of inertia.  So, that’s a long explanation to say that I’ve had an offer that for the next 2 years.  It will, yes, keep me teaching middle school Spanish (sigh – that is another topic altogether!) but will also give me a sense of stability and focus. Continue reading “That commitment piece”

Looking at you, 2017!

Now that we are officially a week into 2017, methinks that I should truly reflect on 2016 in broad strokes and think about what that means or how it informs 2017.  I won’t moan and bitch yet again about 2016, but I will say that it was not my finest year.  I learned a LOT about myself which, at age 44, I suppose is something to celebrate, but I’ll be honest and say that I also wasn’t happy with what I learned.  I still get easily “stuck” in a fixed rather than a growth mindset which I find frustrating, and I question that I truly embraced all of the opportunities that came our way.  That said, I also felt limited this past year – financially and physically and emotionally – and it was hard to be present and also to look to the future with a positive attitude. Continue reading “Looking at you, 2017!”

A true off-season

Yes, the ubiquitous post-Ironman blab here!

To begin, life has kept me busy with tons of family time and quite a bit of travel – to New Hampshire and Texas!  I might have experienced a few moments of the post-race blues, but not many. The New Hampshire trip was work-related – faculty orientation in the lovely town of Hanover.  That went quite well and I enjoyed meeting my colleagues for the fall, but I had the worst return trip when my flight was canceled and then I was re-routed through Boston the next day.  I have to admit that a few tears were shed because I just wanted to get home.  And, once I got home, I had a quick turn-around, leaving to drive to Texas a day-and-a-half later.  The drive wasn’t as bad as I had expected – low expectations?  In Texas, I spent some quality time with the family and embraced some good old debauchery, eating and drinking with abandon.  Even with all of this traveling, I also tried to rest so that I’ll be ready for the fall, which will involve some high-intensity months (but not training!).  In the past, I’ve taken a step back in the fall but tried to maintain some semblance of training.  This year will not follow that pattern!  So, what will I be up to?

First of all, I’ll back up to my post-ironman moment – I know that it’s silly to return to the race saga/drama, but immediately after finishing, I felt like total crap but better than I did at IMCA.  I suppose that this is progress?  Either that or I learned from last year’s ironman to set very low expectations for any sort of post-race celebration.  This year, I briefly hung out with friends and family, drank a sprite and some chicken broth.  Fun times!  Once Michael and I went back home, I did eat some chicken and even drank a bit of his beer without feeling sick.  Perhaps, if I ever do another one (which I promised myself I wouldn’t when I was finishing the run but never say never), I’ll actually manage to eat the post-race pizza?  You can always hope…

Anyway, getting to the start line reasonably healthy and making it to the finish line in one piece felt like a huge challenge, especially with my foot issue and other aches and pains that I dealt with over the course of the season.  I’m not complaining, but I recognize that my body really needed a break.  So, in the month of August, I biked twice (I actually felt okay the first time, but the second ride just about killed me!), swam a handful of times, and laced up my running shoes a few times a week for very easy runs.  The running fitness, for whatever reason, seems to return fairly quickly, I would expect because it is the discipline that feels most natural to me.  However, I’ve continued to deal with and try to manage my left foot issue and make sure that running doesn’t aggravate it too much.  I hope to continue to run into the fall, but I suspect that continuing with swimming and biking will present more of a challenge to me while I’m in Switzerland!

Yes, I leave a week from today (YIKES – how did that happen?) for Zermatt, Switzerland to teach at a 3-month program for American high school students.  I am crazy excited but also a bit overwhelmed and nervous.  I spent the last 10 years teaching at the same school, so for the last few years, the beginning of school wasn’t a time that provoked “Holy crap!” thoughts.  This, however, does.  But, one of the reasons that we moved from Southern CA was to take on new challenges and experiences, and this teaching gig will definitely fit the bill for both of those, in the classroom but especially working with students outside of the classroom.  A major component of the program is outdoor education, so I am looking forward to exploring the trails on foot and skis this fall!

Zermatt - and, yes, that is the Matterhorn!
Zermatt – and, yes, that is the Matterhorn (which means “mother mountain”)

This opportunity will be a fantastic chance to travel, explore a beautiful part of the world and learn quite a bit, hopefully!  So, yes, this is my off-season – my focus will shift, which feels like a healthy move right now, but keep me very engaged.  It’s time to expand my world a bit more, and I think that I’ll find plenty of new adventures in Zermatt and beyond.