Sorry for the delay in posting. It's been a whirlwind of activity. Packing my loading truck, driving 12 hours, and arriving in the little mountain community that may be home for some time to come.
Boone is an essential place for university life and hard training. The town sits 3,266 feet above sea level. The air is crisp and raw, not hot and wet as in Florida.
Went for a "fun ride" out of a local bike shop on Monday. Fifteen miles out starting at Blowing Rock and then a return on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The climbs were steep, the pace was fast and the attacks came early and often.
Once we turned back onto the parkway, we pulled a gradual ascent and then tucked in for a 2-3 mile descent while the lush forests and valleys loomed off to the right. I was numb and it seemed surreal. Quite the route for a quick after work ride.
Running has been difficult. I am struggling at 12 minute miles. I now live on the top of a winding road and that climb sucks the wind out of my sails. Up, down and relatively thin air. It's a formidable combo that will take adaptability.
It's uncomfortable, yet exciting, to face a reboot of identity in a new geographic location. While in Gainesville I had the comfort of knowing where I plugged into the endurance sport community. Now that identity must be refined.
I'm sitting at a local coffee shop and just talked to an undergrad who was nursing a broken collarbone. She races for the collegiate cyclocross team at Appalachian State, and was telling me to prepare for winter rides. The climbs can be intense while the descents can be sub-zero wind chill. Time for Tommy to dig out the woollies.
I feel like a man without a country, trying to find his place. Stay tuned for more adventures. Moving on at 52 isn't easy but it was necessary. Academics and aerobic punishment...it's the life I have chosen.