It's February already. Life is moving along quickly per usual. I do wish I could slow it down a bit so I only had to get older every 2 or 3 years but that is not the case. After my Tucson trip I had some solid training here in Napa for 6 days and then packed up an overnight bag and headed back to Chicago to watch my former swimmers in their final dual meet of the year.
Luckily, I missed the blizzard by 2 days but I did get to see some of the aftermath. Cars on the side streets were completely covered by snow; literally, you could not see the car. If you had not dug it out by the time they came through and plowed I don't think those cars are going to be out until spring. I was in town for about 30 hours. I landed, dealt with traffic, quick swim, dinner at Spacca Napoli, bed, treadmill run and swim in the AM, swim meet and airport.
One of the seniors, Evan Dunn. The seniors were freshman the first year I was the assistant coach so we went through a lot together. Next year I'll have to go back for my first recruiting class. I surprised everyone and most were happy to see me. There are a couple who are not big fans for one reason or another. I think when you challenge people some may hate it at the moment but know you are trying to get the best out of them. Others, not so much; they just detest you.
After returning to Napa late on Saturday night I slept in, enjoyed breakfast with Andy at a local cafe and then got in a ride and run in the 80 degree temperatures. It is amazing to me that I flew only 4 hours and ended up a long way from winter.
Our next trip is in a couple weeks. We are heading to Tulum, Mexico for a wedding. The heat and humidity will be quite similar to Puerto Rico so I'll make sure to do some running to remind my body how to deal with the heat. I'll also get in some great open water swimming in the crystal blue waters. I am not taking my bike because I hear the roads are not super safe (fast drivers) but since we are only there for 4 days I can just take a small break off the bike.
After that it is off to San Juan for my first race of the year. I can't believe it is so close. I can tell because my training has started to change. I am still riding quite a bit but the rides are not quite as long and they involve more intervals and the words "race pace." Instead of long hilly rides I am back to doing some hill repeats. While I am much stronger than this time last year it is always a bit of a shock on the first day of hill repeats. The applied stimulus of climbing and then forcing the body to recover in a certain amount of time takes a bit of adaptation. However, while I thought I was having a bad climbing day the repeats indicated otherwise. I usually do my repeats on the same hill and I have it mapped out according to landmarks and time (ie, I should be this far after 4, 8, etc. minutes). According to my time and distance estimates I was doing pretty well. Swimming and running are undergoing the same type of makeovers. The first race of the year is always a bit of a shock to the system but I know that I will have the endurance and for the first time I am not coming off limited riding on a computrainer ONLY. I am so excited about that!
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Neale Walsh