As I was clawing my way up Clawhammer on Sunday afternoon, it struck me: I've been racing for almost 9 months straight. Nine months -- in a year that opened with unexpected tragedy and is closing with unbridled joy. Calling my wife a saint doesn't even begin to describe it.
There are only 10 days to go; well, 11 if you want to be pedantic about it. I'm at that magical place where I can count the number of "hard" workouts on one hand before I'm done, where the lure of a bowl of ice cream or an extra helping of Becca's cheese grits overcomes the nose-to-the-grindstone focus of the winter and spring and summer months. It's a funny predicament though -- much like with skiing and mountain biking, you need to be extra vigilant of the "last run" -- you may have the fitness and skill to hit that downhill one more time, but you also may be more tired than you realize. Especially when your brand-new son is waking up every few hours to eat.
Double Dare looms large, and I'm excited to close out one of my most successful seasons ever with a fun romp through my favorite playground with a good friend. After that, it's a well-earned rest -- only one possible date in November depending on whether this guy decides to challenge everyone to a duel -- that should include some quality time on the home front and some fun-with-no-focus rides on the "brown ice" that is forming in the woods even as I write this. It'll be a great chance to try some new things, see some new-ish places, and revisit old standbys. This certainly hasn't been the easiest year, but isn't it only through adversity that we truly find our way forward?