Quick Note: I’m pages away from finishing One Mountain Thousand Summits by Freddie Wilkinson. Every time I’ve opened the book thinking I’m going to finish it — which has been four or five times in the last couple of days — Wunderkind wakes up from a nap or needs some special attention. I’m okay with the interruptions, actually. I’ve learned from Stephen King that reading is sometimes done in swallows, sometimes in sips.
I am also about 90 days away from the 10K race I’ll be running in April. This run will be the first milestone on my year-long plan to go from sedentary Washington, DC professional and armchair mountaineer, to being an active and fit husband and father.
The challenge to continuing to workout and train throughout the year is really about consistency and not getting bored with routine. Great athletes in professional sports, like Derek Jeter, Alex Ovechkin or Tiger Woods for example, have a tolerance and appreciation for routine. It allows them to focus on their game performance because all the factors of life are worked into a steady, somewhat predictable routine. For the most part, they all establish their way to prepare for an event and they don’t deter from it. Same meal, same warm up, same schedule, sometimes even the same music.
Preparing for the mountains is a bit trickier because the challenges we seek vary from location to location — unlike ball parks and ice rinks. Are you preparing for an Alaskan peak or a Colorado 14er? The training may be similar, but the time in preparing and the time that you need to be at your peak performance will be different; Alaskan expeditions tend to require more time commitment and therefore you need a bigger base of strength and reserves.
I’m preparing for the 2013 Stowe Derby. It’s a wacky skiing event where you ski down Vermont’s Mount Mansfield and then through town to the finish line. You have to commit before the race to compete on either skinny skis (nordic) or downhill skis. I’m going to ride and skate on my nordics. At least that way I’ll have an easier time on the level ground.
The race isn’t until February 2013 but it’s a goal that motivates me. Hopefully, I can develop a routine around this that I doesn’t bore me and that I have an inner desire to return to even after I get injured, sick or when work gets too busy for a brief season. Right now, I’m just running and doing some modest strength training. I already see benefits from my initial training, but sticking with it may be the toughest part, for any of us.