08 December 2010

Rainbows And Hogwarts Therapy

I'm alive—really! As the semester comes to a quick end, I am consumed by things such as grading, finishing a new composition, and fielding questions from students who feel like their various degrees of procrastination throughout the semester has suddenly constituted some type of emergency on my part. How does that work exactly? Okay, I must admit, I often resembled that student while I was an undergraduate. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to manage my life. Of course, my wife would insist that if it were not for her, I would be unable to pay bills, wash dishes, fold laundry, and make the bed. She knows the correct her way of doing things. Seriously, I know I am not going to get any sympathy here, especially from my female friends who probably understand the dynamics of my relationship with the wifey and understand that if it were not for her, I would not be able to tie my shoes before leaving the house in the morning.

In any event, my Thanksgiving tryptophan hibernation is slowly wearing off following my Thanksgiving Day feast, and as I promise yet again never to eat my weight in apple pie over the course of a weekend, I look forward to doing so every year around Thanksgiving time.

I had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Vanessa came home for the holiday and we had a chance to talk running, triathlon, beer, music, medieval stuff that I do not really understand, but I shook my head up and down and furrowed my eyebrows to pretend to know what she was talking about. Every once in a while, I would work in the occasional chin rub to add to the faux-illuminati experience.

Last Monday was my first day of training with coach Mary. My first week has been pretty tame—nothing over a one hour workout. I am back into the swing of running. Unfortunately, the end of my semester has been frantic—to say the least—and I have already missed a couple of workouts. I have not had the energy (I can always make time) to get up early and get out the door. More, because the weather has been yucky, I have had to stay overnight a few days and it just messes up my training rhythm. Ugh!

Here are some things I definitely know now that I am older and wiser:

1) The mental fatigue that results of having far too much on the burner at any moment (and trying to perform it all exceptionally well, usually gives way to physical exhaustion. This manifests with less mental acuity needed for my workouts. My muggle friends (i.e. those who do not partake in triathlon) think that running, biking—or dare I say this—swimming for an HOUR is merely a physical act. On the contrary, you need to be mentally connected to your workouts. If you are mentally wiped, chances are your workouts will not be as effective as they could be with proper rest and peace of mind.

The best way to combat this for me is to do my workouts early in the morning. That way, it is out of the way and I am not getting stressed about when I am going to fit my workouts in.

2) I started reading the first Harry Potter book with my oldest son, Luca. Why I have not read these books yet is beyond me. They are well written. My son asks to read the books with him on the weekend rather than watch a movie with siblings—very cool! I also find getting lost in the fantasy world of Hogwarts for a half an hour a night with my boys very therapeutic.

3) Hydration is important. Duh. For some reason, as the winter months roll in—and those of you living south of the Monongahela line, do not even pretend to know what I am talking about—I forget to hydrate. Sure, you warm blooded creatures get the occasional cold day, even week, but you can not possibly understand what it is like for us poor, wretched souls, stuck up in western New York that are pounded all winter long by the unrelenting white stuff. Anyway, more hydration is in order for the remaining winter.

I am just starting to get in the flow of stuff. Although, with the end of the semester quickly approaching and final grades looming in my not-too-distant future, I am still up to my earlobes.

I will get in a workout here in just a few minutes. I am walking up to the pool to get some much needed therapy.

More soon. Train Smart!


Alexa said...

do you sleep on the floor of your office??

Aimee said...

I love that a favorite color is "rainbow!" That is just so adorable and sweet!
I'm glad your first week of training is going good. I totally understand what you mean about mental fatigue. I think the mental aspect of training is sometimes harder than the act of training itself. Add on top of that mental fatigue from daily life and it just gets crazy!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Mark - you can't see it, but I am playing the worlds smallest violin for you, hopefully the soothing sounds will help you recover from the cold!

You probably get agitated when you hear us Southerners talking about the chilly 50 degree weather ...haha.

I feel the same way when you yankees talk about the stifling 80 degree temps in the summer!!!

Have a good swim buddy!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Medieval stuff can be very confusing. My son is resisting reading the Potter books, not sure why as he loves the movies. Oh well.

Mark said...

Alexa—no, I actually have friends who let me crash at their place!

Aimee—it is great to hear that someone understands the craziness. ALL of us deal with it. I try to remember that the chaos is only temporary and that getting through difficult times make me mentally stronger and more confident.

Jeff—I totally forgot that you have to deal with hundred degree temperatures, fire ants, rattlesnakes, scorpions, termites, and humidity. I will let you whine from about mid-May through August.

Kristin said...

I hear you on the mental fatigue. I think with the snow, the stress at work, Family obligations, the training this week is a little off..Eh, its your first week, youll get back into the swing of things!! :)

Mark said...

Thanks Kristin! I am sure I will bounce back. I actually had a great workout today. Phew!