Monday, March 3, 2014

I Live in Iowa: Week 147

This was the kind of week that defines me. No, nothing particularly life changing or me at the top of my game happened, but it was another week grinding out making it happen. Getting stuff done is what I do, even though it isn't always great, progress goes forward.

I worked a lot. Perhaps not a ton of hours, but I've been working full days than going in to the office a little on Sunday. I would take my laptop home and do work, but I don't have the Internet, which kinds of limits my ability to use a laptop connected to a server at home. As we near my departure date for Asia, it becomes more critical that I get as much done as I possibly can.

In running I ran a small 47 miles. Between work (taking the energy out of me), coaching athletes tapering, and some left knee pain, a few weeks after my right knee pain clears up, I didn't run so much. However, I did run a really nice interval workout of 4:56 1600 m, 3:00 k, 3:01 k, and a 66 400 all with 600 m rest in 3 min after each. Not a blow it out of the water workout, but always nice to run those kind of paces in practice.

This is a perfect lead in to what a phenomenal week of coaching I had! After helping coach a sophomore to a mile and 5k records earlier in the season our team had school records in the women's Distance Medley Relay (DMR) by 34 seconds, women's 4x800 by 23 seconds, women's 4x400 by 2 s, men's 4x800 by 6 s, and we missed the men's DMR by 3 s! Not to mention we had great performances in many of the individual events as well.  After more more than two and a half years, we have the kind of meet that we set out to have. Oh, we have plenty of room to develop, but it's a good place to be. I am blessed to be part of this development.

In Everest news I bought a jacket, another GPS and a satellite tracking and texting device. Nothing I necessarily need, but as I have mentioned before, with an expedition pending, money loses some of it's value. What is the value of having the perfect hooded soft-shell jacket on a snowy windy day at 21,000 ft? Well over the $120 I paid for my new one. What is the value of sending a text message from the South Col? It must be several dollars, perhaps dozens of dollars, maybe over $100? I'm also still waiting on my boots.

On the other hand, as Everest nears, I feel more disconnected, not in a good way. In other words, how do I relate to people? I didn't have this feeling leading up to and after Pakistan, but maybe I was too immature to understand it. Most people don't go to a place where if things go well, there is a higher chance of dying. And… I am afraid. Before Pakistan I was too inexperienced to have this fear. The reality of the number, the volume, of people that die, lose fingers and toes to frostbite, brain damage is just tremendous. On the one hand, I have this superiority complex that I am above many of those problems because of my experience and desire to monitor myself, but two weeks ago Chad Kellogg died. In many respects, his accomplishments as a climber may parallel my own. I don't live in a vacuum. The statistics, by definition, apply to me. Mentally, one can approach this sort of thing, but the mental fortitude necessary is so far removed from 21st century life, that I struggle to tell others about it. This is getting long, how about more on this tomorrow.

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