Yes, I'm training again. Yes, I'll soon be racing again. But for now, a handful of ramblings out of the blue...
I love riding out to the middle of nowhere on my mountain bike. Alone in the quiet with your thoughts. Turning your sweat to mud...there's nothing like it. But I realized today that I like mountain biking on urban/suburban trails almost as much. Nothing like the not-so-distant hum of cars in the morning rush hour to help you realize how glad you are NOT to be among them. I can also appreciate the post-ride commute. On mornings like today, the lack of Tucson freeways/endless stoplights allows plenty of time to pick cactus spines out of your shins on the way into the office.
Early morning mountain biking can be dangerous. Little sleep and stepping into clip-in pedals before you're fully awake. It can lead to things like falling...before you get out of the gravel parking lot. But the good thing is that "typical" mountain bikers are not early risers. So, if you happen to fall, you aren't likely to be seen. Not that this would happen to me ever. Not that it happened this morning.
I have started training without music. It used to be that I always brought the ipod on solo rides and runs. After four months without any music, I have learned to enjoy the silence again. Wilderness runs are all about the wilderness anyway, right? What good is it if you can't hear the coyotes, quail, and other random desert creatures? On harder workouts, the silence forces me to focus on the pace and effort. I figure if I can hold strong through the silence, it will only make me a stronger racer.
When we bought my wedding ring, I thought that the ring was just a bit too big. The saleswoman said something to the tune of, "don't worry, when you have kids, you'll grow into it." Despite my annoyance, I bought the ring anyway. I am down probably ~20 pounds since that day, and my ring always tries to slide off. I refuse to get it re-sized--it's a constant reminder that I'm taking care of myself. I have told myself for many years that I would be fine being the fat middle-aged father or the bald middle-aged father. Considering that I could probably count the number of haircuts left in my lifetime on my fingers, I'd better keep getting in shape!
All for now. Cheers!
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