What a beautiful place Lake Tahoe is. I can't wait to get there. We leave in the morning. For me at least, it will be an escape from the increasing number of life challenges I've had this week. Just how many more things could have gone wrong, I don't know. And I really don't want to find out.
Yesterday I went out of town to train for a job I was going to take during the holidays and discovered that it just wasn't for me. So I quit before I even started it. Then the stress of what the hell I was going to do started setting in, and rather than smoke--which is what I felt like doing--I resorted to the Michael Phelps diet and a small amount of alcohol. Bad ideas I know, but it seemed to help for the moment. (Yes, I have weak moments, but fortunately they are pretty rare). Then today it seemed like everything I touched stopped working...my computers, my iphone, my GPS. Something was really "off" with me and it was not good. I walked into the grocery store with my list in hand and still didn't know what I was there to get, and on the way home I literally fell asleep while driving. I should actually be dead right now. But amazingly enough I'm here. When I woke up it scared the living shit out of me.
I felt much better when I got home and went for an easy 5-mile trail run. Running is such a great way to chill out the mind. I can see why ultra marathon runner Dean Karnazes loves it so much. More and more I think about these long distances (26+ mile) runs because I feel like that's where I'm headed. Longer runs are getting easier, especially the longer I go. It seems to be merely a matter of conditioning the body to take on the extra miles. One thing I wondered while running is, "how many marathons would be good training for a 50-mile run?" Or "how many for a 100-mile run?" Dean's book has really inspired me to go for it. I've already got my 1st half-marathon and 1st full-marathon planned out. My biggest concern is my shoes. I love my trail shoes so much, but I don't think they are going to support me enough on the road. The upcoming half-marathon should be a good indication.
As far as training on the bike, sadly Shannon and I haven't enough. A couple of nights ago, we took one of the borrowed bikes out and traded off running and biking to get used to the feel of transitioning. It wasn't bad. We just had a lot of trouble slipping in the sand on our inclines and later learned we had the wrong kind of tires on the bike. It was a good experience to learn this and also get more comfortable on the downhill parts. We started a little late so on the way back it turned dark. We weren't prepared with lights, reflectors or anything, so basically I rode the bike back on the trails completely in the dark. Interestingly enough it was much less scary, because you don't see what you are running over. The mental part of "oh no, I'm going to fall" wasn't there and made the ride a lot more fun. I realized just how much of the sport is really in the mind. And better bikes are really important. We're upgrading our borrowed bikes to full suspension rental bikes for the race. It will be worth it.
Oh, and it looks like I might have some better work options coming my way which don't include traveling! That means I'll be able to go skiing and snowboarding this season...Woohoo! Some things happen for a reason.