The summer months, as much as I love them, often feel a bit unreal, as if I'm stuck in some Never Never Land. Returning to the reality of work can be a jarring experience, however, there is also something comforting about a schedule - it's the scaffolding that keeps the minutes and hours and days and week in place and defines the ebb and flow of each week. Usually, by the end of summer, a part of me needs the predictability of a schedule to set a rhythm to my life. That said, the beginning of the year felt rough this time around! My mouth was disconnected from my brain during meetings, so I have no doubt that I made a less-than-coherent statement or two. As I endured the marathon of meetings that we have at the beginning of the year, I came home feeling depressed and fairly uninspired. Not a great sign.
Fortunately, returning to the classroom, despite the stress that comes along with the first few days, has reminded me that, yes, I like teaching. At this point, I feel less frenetic than last week and am finding the sweet-spot in some of my classes. I've managed to adjust to the "look professional" expectation, and I'm building back my teaching stamina - standing (or pacing, which is mostly what I do) and talking more throughout the day. By this week, I have a better feel for my classes, and I've already survived several school events, so the year seems to be well underway. In other areas of my life, I'm also trying to return to "normal". Again, I often view summer as a break from the norm. Now, we're on a budget (although a bike fitting with lots of upgrades did not exactly fit into that so-called budget, but I think that someone else will feel more comfortable on his improved bike!), so we are making an effort to curtail many of our evenings out. Food-wise, this seems like a good time to try to eat more responsibly, so I'm weaning myself off the caramel sea salt ice cream habit that blossomed over summer.
I have also resumed some swim/bike/run activity, but my enthusiasm definitely continues to flag. I would not mind that so much, in fact I would probably have given myself the entire month of September to focus on school/work, except that I committed myself to the Malibu Triathlon back in March. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I definitely have racer's-remorse at this point and cannot believe that I'm supposed to 'race' day-after-tomorrow! To be honest, I'd happily do a no-show if the race hadn't been SO freakin' expensive (again, it seemed like a good idea when I signed up). Not racing seems like throwing money away, so that is just not an option. I am, though, still kicking myself for blithely signing up for this race those many months ago. At the time, it also seemed like a great way to end my 2012 triathlon "season", but I did not predict the mental and physical exhaustion that would kick my ass at the end of August. Maybe I should have, who knows at this point?
So, with my lackluster enthusiasm in tow, I'm going into this race with a completely different attitude than I've ever had for the whopping 4 previous tri's that I've done. To say that I haven't really trained is not at all a hyperbolic statement but is quite simply the truth - since August 6, I can count on my hands the number of times that I've swum, biked and run. While the bike and run don't concern me too much, the open-water ocean swim could present a challenge, especially because Malibu can be rough! If I don't completely suck at the swim, I should survive the bike/run portions (although the last time I tried a brick, I ended up walking at mile 3 - so lame). Needless to say, I've re-evaluated my previous goals for this race - whatever they were. I'll be happy, I swear I will, with a decent bike ride and if I don't walk during the run.
I will say that the other positive from this race is that we are going to have a mini-getaway tomorrow night (in a cheap motel, very romantic, I know) so that Saturday morning doesn't start quite so hideously early. Also, the weather has been miserably hot the past few days, so a day in Malibu will be a nice reprieve! Finally, it really SHOULD be a gorgeous day and course, and maybe I'll see some famous people? Maybe I'll even beat some famous people?! Oooh, the excitement just might kill me.
And then, after this, I'm going to start to plan out my fall 'training'!