10 weeks to go.
I entered the final quarter of the school year, and my teaching career as a whole, yesterday. I won't hide the fact that it's been a very stressful Spring. My coaching operation has blossomed into a full time job; one that I desperately need to find more time for. I'm extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated, talented athletes. Slowly but surely my vision of coaching a well rounded mix of age group, elite age group and pro/elite athletes is coming to fruition. I find myself both inspired and motivated by the work and results that my crew continues to turn in and am very excited about all that the '08 season holds in store for them. It's going to be a great year!
In addition to training over 30 athletes, I'm honoring the commitment I made to the Manchester-Essex school district and am finishing out my time there as a P.E./Health teacher. The 50 - 60 hour per week combo of full time coaching and part time teaching (60%) doesn't leave me with a lot of free time, but I continue to pound out 18 - 20 hours per week of training as I prepare for the 2008 tri season and my real debut on the Pro circuit. Thankfully, I have a very supportive girlfriend and partner in Michelle, as she's taken on the brunt of the household chores (cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc.)
and has never once complained about my having to work late into the night, 7 days per week, including Saturday and Sunday nights (our social life is basically non-existent these days!).
But... I'm getting it done. Life is nothing more than training and working at the moment, but I fully realize just how lucky I am to be completely immersed in work that I truly love. I'm thankful that I won't have to attempt to keep this pace up much longer, but when I feel as though I'm at wit's end trying to hold it all together, I think about the thousands of soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan; Any amount of work or training related stress that I experience is completely insignificant compared to what these men and women must face on a daily basis. Here I am, safe and sound, fretting over the fact that I have to cram 6 hours of training and another 6 hours of work into a Saturday, while our servicemen and servicewomen are worrying about IEDs, snipers and suicide bombers every second of the day. Kind of keeps things in perspective.
After completing Sunday's long ride with my brother Corey, I spent the afternoon bouncing back and forth between work and live updates from ironmanlive.com's coverage of IronMan Arizona. It was a great thrill to watch Jordan Rapp secure a 3rd place overall finish in what turned out to be the closest 4 man finish in IronMan history (top 4 men all finished within 1:20 of each other)
! I'm currently planning on capping my '08 season with the Fall running of IMAZ, so watching Jordan finish so high up really motivated me to pull the trigger and do what needs to be done on the training front between the months of late September and mid November.
But until that time, I have to make sure that I stay focused upon the task at hand: Whipping myself into shape for my early season events. I figure that I'll be at about 95% of peak fitness by Eagleman come June 8th. Realistically, there's no way that I can beat the guys who are able to focus 100% of their time and energy on training and recovery. I have to accept the fact that the best that I can do is all that I can do between now and the time that school ends. From there on in however, race prep will be a cake walk! I'm already dreaming about 4 hour training days and a more relaxed work schedule. Just have to "soldier on" for 10 more weeks...