It had been 44 days without looking at a map when I showed up to the Great Brook Farm local meet last weekend. That's almost long enough to forget what I'm doing, but luckily the conscious ability was still there, so if I stayed focused, I could find the controls in a reasonably efficient manner. That long a break is telling. I was pretty battered - mentally, physically, emotionally - after the World Champs. It took two or three weeks for the sickness to fade, and while I found it easy to pick up the habits of daily exercise, the motivation was gone.
I made a conscious decision to stay in that state. I don't have any important races on the horizon, and clearly my mind and body need a break from the intensity. Sure, I have smaller races I'd signed up for in some fit of motivation, but nothing worth altering the rhythm of my daily life. It's a little like when you hit cruise control on the highway - you're still getting to your destination, but all the worry about speeding is negated, because hopefully you hit cruise control at a reasonable speed. Just don't hit any puddles. It's a nice change of pace.
So, the emphasis has been on fun. Waking up, and wondering, what do I want to do today? Reflecting, what made me happy yesterday? Those answers often involves using my two feet to climb up something where I can see the world.
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to head to Lake Placid for some coaching development seminars, learning about different coaching strategies and new ideas that are filtering down and across and up. More importantly, the weekend started and ended with a quick jaunt up an accessible high peak - Cascade on the way there, and Hurricane on the way back. Can't complain about that life!
Our future as coaches... even in a sport like nordic skiing.
Extreme tubing - think twice when someone first hands you a beer, then hands you a waiver...
My spirit animal showing how it's done in ski racing.
Jogged up Hurricane Mt with Rob, on a day with good views.
This guy had a birthday, so naturally we drank good beer and ate good food. Ed has been traveling a bunch, for work mostly, and I've been adjusting to living alone by falling asleep around 9pm, or staying up way too late watching stupid romantic comedies. Neither are fantastic coping strategies, but better than some alternatives I can think of!
Tomorrow, I head out to Seattle for the weekend. I signed up for the Seattle Adventure Running Tournament (SART) in a fit of motivation some time last spring, and now it's time to pay the price, doing six sprint races over two days. Here's hoping a little experience and a lot of base will make up for my lack of sharp-end fitness and rusty navigation skills!