The new fall television lineup has been playing for a few weeks now. I have no idea what new shows are worth watching or what is happening on shows I used to watch. With the constant demand that ironman training puts on me and the need to turn in somewhat early for bed to get enough recovery sleep, I have no time for regular television viewing. I tried to use TiVo to keep up with late night shows I tried to keep up with, like Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but after a while, I realized I was just filling up the hard drive and not getting a chance to watch much of these programs during the summer months. I was able to keep up with Rescue Me and Entourage on a delayed viewing basis, but that was during the summer when the ironman deadline was further away...and scheduling that viewing time was a bit of a chore.
Now that we are into the fall, with youth soccer and college and pro football, there is just no time for downtime. I've got several good books I'm in the midst of reading, but reading time is hard to find. By the way, even though I'm not even half through it, I can recommend Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It the story of a reporter who travels to Mexico’s Copper Canyon region to explore the running habits of the Tarahumara Indians, arguably the greatest distance runners in the world. My stack of unread books gets larger as I tend to only consult triathlon training books and get a glimpse of the morning paper. My Wall Street Journals and Barron's issues go largely unread. I image time to do blog entries will get harder to find.
Getting out to see a movie? Dream on. I'd love to see Matt Damon's new film, "The Informant," or Ricky Gervais' "The Invention of Lying," but the best I can manage was to take my young son Alex to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." Kids movies are always good for a little recovery nap. I do manage to squeeze in a college or pro football game, but its usually background noise to doing other home tasks. No sitting down and actually watching a full game. Who has the time?
On Saturday, I drove back to Ft. Lauderdale from a seminar in Tampa to have my wife announce that we were scheduled at the last minute to go to a friend's house for a French themed dinner and a showing of the couple's summer trip to Paris. Since Salome & I are going to Paris in April for the marathon, I wanted to attend to discuss Paris. However, our son John was in town from Gainesville and we wanted to do dinner with him. So, we agreed to attend at 8:30ish and catch the slide show presentation. We arrive to find the dinner party was only on the soup course of a several course French dinner. While I love long dinners with wine, by 10 PM, I realize this party is going on to the wee hours of the morning and I've got a 6AM bike ride scheduled. We excuse ourselves and I get home to bed by 10:45PM.
The 70 mile bike ride Sunday morning was a great ride with a couple of the stronger riders in my circle of riding buddies pushing me through my paces. But the point is that its getting hard to fit in both a social life and triathlon training during this crunch month of October. I just got off the phone with buddy John to try to coordinate some long runs, rides and swims. With both of our busy schedules, its getting harder to do joint workouts. We alternatively refer to our training partner status as "VTB" (Virtual Training Buddy) or "ATB" (Actual Training Buddy). It looks like there will be more VTB workouts in the coming weeks.
As we discussed the need to schedule century rides, 2 hours open water swims and 20 mile training runs, John mentions that he can't wait for Thanksgiving when the AZIM will be behind us. I respond that in December, I plan to do nothing but go to holiday parties and catch up on my reading. I'll think about returning to working out after I recover from New Year's Eve.
So, when it comes to ironman training, there is normal life and ironman life. I feel a bit like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein as he asks Marty Feldman what brain he took for the Frankenstein monster. "Whose brain did you get?" "Abby something." "Abby who?" "Abby Normal." Yes, for these last 2 months before IMAZ, you can call me Abby Normal. I'll be exercising a lot and sleeping when I can. I'll hope to keep up on work and my son's soccer games. Other than that, I'll have little idea what's going on in the news and not a clue about what's hip culturally. Someone take note and send me a nice Christmas letter to get me back up to speed.