I've been going to the line in various athletic competitions since I was 14 years old. I joined my high school swim team and began my infatuation with suffering. Honestly, I do not think there is any high school sport that even comes close to swimming in terms of training volume, intensity and general discomfort. The rising popularity of rowing in high school athletic programs might rival swimming nowadays but crew was not an option when I was a kid. Oh sure, football players love to think they're such bad asses doing two-a-days in the August heat. But let's face it, they're standing around doing nothing half the time and their actual efforts last about 10 seconds. Compare that to swimmers doing between 8,000 and 14,000 yards a day in the typical program. Hell, back then, before we knew better, we did hard intervals everyday and did so without drinking a drop of liquid or downing a single calorie for the typical 2.5 to 3 hour workout. God, we were a bunch of over-trained knuckleheads!
God, what I wouldn't give to sleep like I did when I was a younger man. I remember hearing older people talk about the misery of poor sleep back then and I just did not get it. I mean, what were they talking about? You get tired, go to bed, fall asleep, sleep like the dead all night and get up in the morning. What's the big mystery here?
Well, sometime around, oh, I don't know, 6-7 years ago, things starting changing for me. Sure, I was hitting middle age when all the other crap you hear about happens but sleep problems? Come on! But there they were. Nothing horrendous. I mean, I wasn't an insomniac or anything. I just noticed myself waking up a lot during the night to turn over or whatever. It would often be at the exact same time of the night, too, which was kinda weird. I would wake up, turn over and glance at the clock and it would be 3:30am or something like that without fail. Strange. The beauty was that I would fall right back asleep and feel rested in the morning. I don't think it has ever caused me any problems performance-wise but when I hear how people actually sleep through the night I start to wonder.
Here it is kids. The original and grand daddy of them all! The finals in J-Hole this weekend, March 20th. Come and get some pain! Yep, bigger and badder this year with over 7,000 vertical up and down. You will not be disappointed. Yeah, the snow is not what it has been in previous additions but there should be just enough to make it happen. The organizers are busting their asses to work out any last-minute modifications to keep you off any dirt on the final descent.
As strange as it sounds to say on March 7th, I have not been on skis for two full weeks now. This time last season I was still putting in huge days with bouts of intensity getting ready for the two biggest rando races of the season - The Wasatch Powderkeg and the National Championships here in Jackson. Well, as everyone knows, this season has not exactly been huge on the snowfall front. It has also been sketchy with a predictably unpredictable snow pack that has killed at least one friend. So, when the temps warmed and the skies cleared I got on my bike and went for a road ride. Nice. I'm not skimo racing for the rest of this year so it matters little.
Cold and flu season. Yeah, it blows! Huge. It's even worse for competitive types like me and a lot of the readers of this blog. There are few things worse (aside from death of friends and family and other truly shitty things) than training your ass off for an event only to come down with some heinous virus a day or two before and either not compete or suck hugely attempting to do so.