Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summer on the Horizon

June will be here before we know it. My teaching career has developed in me a sense of anticipation for June that rivals a child's giddy, suspense-filled expectation of Christmas morning. Teaching can be both an incredibly taxing and a character building form of employment. The duties associated with teaching often roll in waves. Those waves can be gentle rollers which uplift the teachers' spirits sufficiently enough to keep us buoyant. Sometimes those waves maliciously elevate us to the point that we can see dark troughs or even larger rogue waves that threaten to upend or submerge us. Each school year brings a few storms brandishing menacing whitecaps that simultaneously test our sanity and cause us to question our choice of profession while tossing us about in torrents of activities. Eventually, though, the waves become more familiar and regimental. These sublime waves allow us to see the orange sun on the horizon or a rainbow painted across the sky or a white sand island beach or distant snow-capped mountains or whatever it is that each one of us calls the summer break.

I am currently enjoying the final waves of work. More importantly, though, I am thrilled to be entrenched in the process of planning another busy summer. Oh sure, there are several family/home projects that need my attention. That's a given! I will complete each one of them in between the workshops and races and trips. It is the planning of the training, racing, and traveling that is on my mind as I write this piece.

First up is the Appalachian trip in June. My son, Tyler, is attending a week-long Anatomy and Physiology Camp at Appalachian State in Boone, NC. I plan to drive him there and hang out in the area hiking, climbing, cycling, and running while he is at camp. The Boone, NC area is a haven for people like me. I have already discovered so many possible activities that I am wearing a bib while writing this. There will, most certainly, be a few more posts detailing the events of that trip.

Upon returning from the Appalachians I will piddle with those projects while I taper for the Muncie Endurathon Duathlon. I have wanted to race in Muncie for many years, but my shoulder will not allow me to swim even a hundred yards. The reemergence of duathlon has caused the race directors to offer a Du version that I cannot resist. I will race it despite the fact that I have already decided to participate in the Leadville Silver Rush 50 mile trail run in Leadville, CO eight days later.

Those races take place on July 10 and July 18. There is also a 50-mile mountain bike ride on July 17, but I have yet to find a bike. I will only compete in the bike race if a can buy a cheap enough used full suspension bike or borrow one for that race. If anybody has one or knows where I can find one, please contribute to my masochism by letting me know!

Some really great friends and, possibly, some family members are meeting me in CO. They will crew me in the Pb50 and carry/drag me to the top of a to-be-determined 14er. Together, we will see heavenly sights, eat fine food, and drink tasty beers! I am looking forward to this bonding experience in the mountains that I have come to love so much.

My other goal in CO is to climb the rest of the Sawatch Range 14ers. Having summitted only six of the 15 peaks, I have my work cut out for me. Through reading trip reports and carrying on conversations while climbing other mountains, I have developed a strong desire to experience Huron an Antero, but I am sure I will enjoy every climb. If my legs hold up, I will venture into the San Juans for a climb.

Writing about my legs holding up reminds me that it is time to pause the pining and get back to the business of training. And baking cookies! Today I bake (and eat?) two batches!!


  1. I have a friend (also a teacher) who lives in Lenior, NC that I should get you in touch with for your Boone trip. She grew up in the mountains and knows the roads and trails inside out (by foot or by bike). She's also plenty speedy to keep you motivated. Ping me when you're about to head that way.

  2. Awesome. I am still trying to find out where best to fit in the running and cycling with the hiking and tourist activities. Thanks! ST