Leg Four of my homeless/couchsurfing adventure has brought me to Naperville, IL. I've written before about how much I've enjoyed coming out to Naperville, hanging out with Liz, Chris, and Max, and getting in very good training that is not always easy or possible in the City. A while back, while figuring out what to do with myself in the time between when I left my job/rented out my condo and when I do my Ironman, I gathered up some courage and asked Liz and Chris if they may be open to the idea of me staying out there for the few pre-Ironman weeks. I'm not good at all at asking for favors and this seemed like a huge imposition, so I was extremely stoked when they very, very kindly agreed. Friends like that are really hard to come by. I'm lucky.
So, for the past week and a half, I've been camped out in the guest bedroom and living the life of someone who has extraordinarily too much time on her hands. My days are pretty simple: wake up; get breakfast; drink coffee (nope, not giving it up for my upcoming race, been there, done that, NOT doing it again); hang out with Liz and Max; lounge on the couch with a book (i.e., read for a little and then usually fall asleep); swim or bike or run or some combination thereof, sometimes with Liz, sometimes not; eat (much, much better than normal); go to bed at a reasonable hour (as in before midnight, regularly, something I never thought I'd be able to say). I punctuate the days with some trip researching/planning, some emailing, some perusing of gossip websites, maybe a little thinking about my upcoming race, but really, that's about it. Oh, and every other day or so I run a couple errands. Just a couple, though. I'm pacing myself.
Max's current obsessions are rocks and kitchen appliances. Here, as an ever responsible babysitter, I allowed him to combine them by filling the food processor with rocks. I think I'll definitely be pitching in for a new food processor pretty soon.So really, I'm just being lazy. It's amazing. I feel guilty every once in a while, like I should be doing something other than just being a bump on a log who also exercises a little. Like, I don't know, something productive for society? Or something that stretches my brain? But I get over that pretty damn quick. I took a huge leap of faith by walking away from my job and giving myself this down time. I know it's a temporary situation and soon enough I'll be busy traveling, and then after that, I'll be back to the work grind. So I refuse to let myself ruin my break by feeling guilty for it. And to the friend, who may or may not be reading this, who told me (nicely) that I was "a disgrace to gap years," because I'm not off hiking every mountain in the world (yet), well, all I can say is, my year, my life, and I'm doing it my way. And I'll get to my mountains...after I finish this little 140.6 mile race.
Plus, a slowed down life means that I'm recovering from my workouts better, my stress is at an all time low (evidence: I've stopped biting my fingernails down to little nubbins and I've actually started reading for pleasure), and I'm happy. Not bad things. I really like it out here. It's comfortable. There was apparently a Suburbanite hidden below my City Girl exterior. Liz and Chris may get sick of me pretty soon (or perhaps they're sick of me already) but until they tell me that they've had it with my lazy bones napping on the couch, eating all the food, and winding up the kid, I'm sticking around, enjoying the company, playing "rocxsh" with Max, and of course, sharing my iPad/"melmo" (so named because I have an Elmo app that's been a hit). And maybe I'll continue trying to influence one or both of the adult members of the household to drink with me from time to time. Maybe.
As for the triathlon stuff, it's going well. Last weekend, I headed up to Madison with my training group, participated in a 2.4 mile open water swim race, followed by a 116 mile bike ride, topped off with a 10K run. It was my longest workout day ever, and it went well. A couple days later I knocked my last long run out, surprising myself by holding an average pace that was better than my marathon PR pace. Now, it's all downhill (phew) until race day. I'm not far enough removed from the pain of the long workouts to really feel like I'm tapering, but technically I am. Make no mistake, though, the taper crazies will come soon enough. Or maybe, now that I'm rested and stress-freeish, they won't. That'd be nice.
Part of the Well-Fit Ironman Training Group, before our Epic Saturday