Inevitably, I begin each semester with exceptionally good intentions: I will bring my lunch to school (because our cafeteria is mostly deplorable) and I will cook dinner whenever I can.
Inevitably, I make it a few weeks in and then the whole thing falls apart.
For example, right now, my Junk-In-The-Trunk Bag (which I bought specifically to carry lunch in) is full of everything but lunch. Today, it was stuffed with a hoodie, my zombie raccoon hat, my winter gloves, one pair of fingerless gloves (because who knows how warm it’s going to get when the weather report claims 54 degrees?), two spare inner tubes, a few packs of those Power Gel chewy things, and a whole bunch of other crap that I’ve just left in there since Death March. No room for lunch, unless you want to call the Power Chewies “lunch,” which I don’t.
The upside is, it’s Spring Break week, so I’ve at least done some cooking of dinner (okay, so last night we bought some fried chicken at the grocery store and the closest I got to “cooking” was putting a little bleu cheese dressing on some rainbow slaw). This feels good, even if it sometimes the result is merely mediocre (tonight we had awesome baked potatoes and steamed broccoli, but the chicken cooked faster than I expected and came out a tad on the dry side).
I’ve enjoyed cooking, and I’ve managed to sort of keep a lid on the kitchen-chaos (Michelle and I make a good team in terms of kitchen management). I would say that maybe I’ll go ahead and whip up some make-ahead meals to pop in the freezer for the last three weeks of school, but honestly I’d be lying. It would be nice to be that organized and motivated, but I’m not.
In fact, though I’m feeling well enough that I’ve put in around 32 miles (slow ones) over the past two days, I’m still really tired. I have not yet regained the zing that makes me able to ride fast. Yesterday I was able to spank it up a couple of rollers, but that was it. Today, I’d have to say my pace was … well … stately.
I’ve decided to let this whole recovery thing happen at its own pace. I will ride faster when I’m ready to ride faster. My training plan for spring is already shot, so I’m not going to worry too hard about it.
I’m still optimistic about making it to Almanzo. I don’t feel like I have to be healthy the whole time; I really just need to be healthy that weekend and enough of the 50 remaining days to keep from losing fitness. Almanzo is an endurance event, and endurance I still have. I can keep going, I just can’t really go fast. Maybe by Almanzo weekend, I’ll be able to go fast. Maybe I won’t. It doesn’t really matter.
There are times that my ongoing health issues feel a bit slap-in-the-face-y. Not, like, I feel stunned and ashamed (I don’t do shame or guilt; not in my makeup). I mean, like … have you ever walked into the corner of a doorway? (I do this all the time when I’m wearing my glasses because they totally hose up my peripheral vision; I wear contacts as much as I can and it isn’t for vanity [I'm hella cute in my glasses, people]).
No, wait. Here’s a better analogy: it’s like catching a wheel in a seam in the pavement on your rollerblades/skates (whichever) and hitting the deck. It’s surprising, it sort of knocks the wind out of you, and afterwards you have to get up and somehow get back on your feet and regain your momentum. It’s not like you didn’t know it could happen; not like you didn’t know the ground was there and that Grabbity was still working and so forth — but it’s startling, and some part of you goes, Oh, yeah. Gravity.
Inevitably, this is what happens when I get sick. “Oh, yeah. Gravity.” Oh, yeah. My immune system really iscrap. Oh yeah, the past couple years were the exception, not the rule. Oh, yeah. Now what the hell do I do to get back on track?
Okay, so respiratory infections every-two-months-like-clockwork-followed-by-two-months-in-a-row is even a little more frequent than the norm even for me. It’s frustrating.
Part of me looks at this and goes, “This is why my training gets so far and no further.” Except that’s not quite true. I make gains, I just make them more slowly than I want to. By the time I’m 50, I might yet be able to totally kick butt in the Masters’ races … heh.
I do feel like I lose less ground than I used to … or maybe I’ve just got a lot more ground behind me and it just takes longer. Maybe I lose the same percentage of ground, but having come much farther this year than I was last year or the year before that, it just doesn’t feel so drastic.
Oddly enough, that makes it less frustrating. Maybe that’s not odd, come to think of it. I don’t feel like I’m forever starting from 0. It’s like maybe I got to 10 and I’m starting from 8. I’m still a heck of a lot closer to 100 than I was before.
Well, this all got off track fast. I guess I’ll go check on dessert (lime gelatin!!!).
Rubber side down, people. Rubber side down.