We are in the midst of what I like to call the "Holiday Block Party", that time frame between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the weather gets cold and when us crazy triathletes head into the "off season". All of the competitive races are done and we all begin to focus on our "core training". I struggle immensely though with this time of year for several reasons: 1) I am, by definition, to a "T" the physical representation of a Type A personality. I crave structure. Looking for a good laugh? Take away my calendar/daily outlook and watch me squirm. Tell me you aren't sure what you are up to later and that you'll let me know in a while if we are hanging out and my erratic self will spend the next 20 minutes thinking out plans B, C, and D to your response. You get the point. I need to know what's going on, when and how it will be done.
As if I'm not enough of a whack job already, winter time means more than snow, hot cocoa and holiday lights....it means I need to drag out my heat lamp because I tend to get mild Seasonal Affective Disorder. That's number 2. Number 3: as much as I love the holiday spirit and family time it definitely brings about a lot of unnecessary stress. I usually opt to go out to Boston for Thanksgiving to spend some well needed time with my extended and much missed family. One of the benefits of this is that it changes up my scenery, lets me get away for a little while and, as much as I detest off days, it allows my body to catch up on some rest. I had a great time on the Cape, oyster-ing in the ocean, visiting Plymouth (they have this really great rock there!) and roasting chestnuts on a fire.
Coming back in, at 7:30am on Sunday, was bitter sweet. Here I was with a whole day ahead of me but getting up at 3:30am was no picnic. So I did what most people wouldn't consider doing: A two hour bike ride and an hour run. As I got out of the shower and slipped on my sweats one of my friends reminded me that it was the last day for the "Black Friday/Small Business Saturday" sales (And yes it was Sunday....I didn't get it either). Anyways, I swapped out my sweats for jeans, slapped some makeup on my face and of course dried my hair (since that was one of the 153 valuable lessons I learned from my father growing up) and dashed out the door.
....But leave it to me to find a way around that. Post-13-mile run this past Sunday, in almost 70 degree weather on December 2nd I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to bring out the wet suit and hit up lake Michigan. FACT: 70 degree air temperature does not equate to even remotely 'chilly' lake water. I think it came out to about 44 degrees. But that's still above freezing! So I got in, full body, sleeveless wetsuit and flippers. I thought I was dying! Or at least being stabbed all over my body! I had only gotten out a few feet before I had to turn around because my throat felt tight and I knew this was not a good situation to be in. As I took my walk of shame back to my car a few people stared at me with my suit on. They probably thought I was either a badass or certifiably insane for getting in the lake. Either way I decided this was one decision that would be making my top 10 "What the hell were you thinking" moments, and I would just have to be satisfied with hanging the wetsuit up to dry until April.