I am experiencing something that us western New Yorkers refer to (most certainly in a politically incorrect way,) as an "Indian Summer." For those of you in other parts of the western hemisphere, this means that we are experiencing above average temperatures during the Fall. Why it is referred to as a "Indian Summer" is beyond me, although, I am sure if I really wanted, I could find the answers to all of life riddles on the absolute authority on truth—Wikipedia. Western New York is a pretty amazing place in terms of weather. Whenever people move here from other parts of the country, or from another country entirely, one of the first questions I get asked is "So, what's the deal with the wacky weather?" Of course, to me, going from the mid-60's one day, to near 90 a couple of days later seems more like the norm than some bizarre anomalous occurrence. Case in point: three years ago, as I was finishing up my Ph.D., I was leaving Buffalo, when all of a sudden we had a freak snow storm the first week of October. October! I am not talking a lite dusting—but a full-fledged, full-scale, here-comes-Santa Claus, white-out, foot-of-snow on my porch snowfall. The next day it was sixty degrees.
In any case, I am soaking up what remaining sunshine I have left before the winter months hit here in western New York. Have I mentioned that winter in this part of the world is just about one month too long. No one should be skiing in April. Except for skiers, and even they should not be skiing. Why does "skiing" have two "i's" and skiers only have one? Bizarre.
Anyway, I am at one of those places again where I am burning the candle at both ends. I am getting in some off-season training, but it is pretty casual right now. I do not want to go full-force and be burned out by January when I really have to start training again for the season. I have been trying to get in the pool almost everyday. I believe in that ten thousand hour rule. Granted, I am a mere nine thousand hours short right now, but it ten years, I should be a wicked good swimmer. I have been fairly consistent about getting in the gym, or going outside to do something every day, whether it's pumping some iron, or swimming, or some runs. Plus, wifey and I are working together in a concert this weekend that I wrote some music for. She dances with a company called BIODANCE that is based out of Rochester, N.Y.
Pictures of my incredibly talented wife to come.
Good News: My legs hurt less now. I have been stretching a lot more. Guess what? Stretching, although unbelievably painful for guys like me who have the flexibility of the tin man, is actually worthwhile. Instead of going out for a long run this weekend, I have done a series of shorter runs (mostly 5k's and four milers) during the week. The result is no calve, or hamstring tightness. So, I think I can start to gradually increase the mileage. I am getting ready to run my annual Race With Grace 10k. This is an awesome race. It is on Thanksgiving morning, so it is incredibly popular. Everyone goes out to run this race, so they have an excuse to eat as much as humanly possible for the remainder of the day. I know what this is like. For those of you who have been following my blog since its inception, you know that one of the most impressive weight gains in my life happened in between Thanksgiving and New Years a number of years ago. I put on 14 pounds. Nice, eh? For those of you looking to put on a little extra winter weight to stay warm, here is how you go about it:
1) Warm up a second plate for around 11:00 p.m. I am not talking a little snack, but a plate with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy. The whole nine yards.
2) Drink Guinness and Bailey's Irish Cream indiscriminately at all hours of the day.
3) Marry a Polish woman whose father thinks that Arbor Day, a deer sighting, or any of a laundry list of happenstance occurrences are great excuses to do a shot of vodka.
4) Let your exercise consist of going to the gym to fraternize with all of your friends without lifting a weight, running, swimming, or any other physical activity. (Note: be seen with weights in your hand occasionally, so that people think you are working out.)
5) Watch as many college bowl games as possible while snacking on corn chips and Oreo's.
I got in the pool again today. I am trying to get in the pool every day, even if for a little bit, just to feel the water. My approach this off-season is to get into the mindset of looking forward to my long swims instead of dreading them.
More soon—Train Smart!