Saturday, April 2, 2011

Preparing for the 2011 season

Okay, I've just returned from a trek to Annapurna Base Camp in the Nepali Himalayas, so no excuses back here at home. Time to get organized for 2011.

To that end, I've just looked over the calendar and found 10 races in towns that I haven't done before. I've posted them on the 'Coming in 2011' page, which is a place for me to stay organized.

There will be more, I hope. Things are pretty thin in the early months, but there's a brace of obscure towns (Brentwood, Epsom) in August, which also includes my first triathalon, which takes place in Surry.

Yes, it's a baby one (.25 mile swim, eight-mile bike ride, 3.1-mile road) but sounds doable for the likes of me. I haven't been swimming much so we'll see how close I come to drowning.

The challenge will be to sandwich races (and practice runs) into a busy schedule of silent film screenings and also hikes to get our soon-to-start-aging German shepard up to the peaks of as many N.H. 4,000-footers as possible. (She has, I think, done 17 of the 48.)

Plus there's the bike. With gas pushing $4 a gallon, last night it took me $50 to fill up the Subaru. (Welcome home!) So I'll be using it more around town, and would like to get in a few longer bike rides, too -- coming home from York, Maine would be a good one before the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth is closed for demolition and replacement later this year, I think.

And then there's the day job. :)

Also, since Nepal, I've embarked on a slow but steady effort to remake my eating habits. The big crime is generally stress eating, and that's so deeply ingrained that changing it will be a major task. For now, I've been working on small steps to gradually steer the ship in a new direction.

- While in Nepal, I had my last-ever Coca-Cola: a glass bottle of Coke made with sugar (not high fructose corn syrup) at the top of a mountain pass after a two-hour climb in the heat of mid-day. It will never get any better than that, so why try?

- After getting back, I could see myself making frequent use of a large stash of chocolate that's accumulated in the kitchen candy basket. Instead, I just swore it off. No more chocolate. It's never enough, and it leaves me feeling lousy later on, so that's that.

- Also since getting back, I've tried to limit myself to one dessert per day. That's going to be tough, so let's see how far into April I can get.

But barring injury or other misfortune, I'm ready to make 2011 a good year here in the chronicles of the 234 and log a good amount of new towns. See you at the starting line!

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