Feb 28, 2010

8 Weeks in Arizona

It’s been some time now since I have been gone. The last eight weeks feel more like eight months. New friends have come and gone. Training has been good and bad. But all in all, Arizona has treated me well so far. I am starting to feel like it is a second home. Now that I am finally “settled,” I am really looking forward to the next few months here.

When arriving here on January 2nd, I didn’t know a single person in this entire city. Everything was difficult at first. I needed time to get to known this new city. Training was good, but it was hard not to overdo it (I ended up riding over 500 miles in the first two weeks). I was lucky enough to make a few friends here pretty fast. I did a good deal of swim and bike training with Doug Fahlbush in the first 3 weeks. He was an ex collegiate swimmer and pro downhill rider. It was nice to have someone pushing me in the pool every afternoon. Shortly after meeting Doug, I ended up meeting Ethan Brown and Doug Maclean. Hanging out with these guys has been way too much fun. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would have gone crazy during the 3 weeks I was injured from a mountain biking crash. Doug Maclean is a sick long course triathlete getting ready to race Kona this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finishing towards the top of the amateur field. Ethan Brown is on the USAT 2012 National Team. Look out for this kid making the next Olympic Triathlon team. On a side note, be careful if you ever beat Ethan at something (like at a pool game). He’ll make sure to beat you the next ten times while reminding you that he is a 2-time National Champion. It has been fun kicking it with these kids, it is a shame that they are leaving town this Monday.

After getting injured in my 4th week here, training took a different turn. I was unable to bike and run for about 3 weeks. In that time, I went back to my normal winter swimming. I spent my time swimming once or twice a day. That little bit of training, along with a few late nights with Doug and Ethan, kept me pretty sane. Those few weeks dragged by but lately I have been feeling near 100% again.

Recently, I just finished my first real week of training since the crash. My mileage has been fairly low, but it is nice to be training again. This week I did about 16,000yds swimming, 200 miles riding, and 21 miles running. I am about to start a two week training block that should get me back towards some type of fitness. Besides training, I finally started working out here. I work about 25 hours a week at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center and a few hours a week of tutoring. I have definitively stumbled upon the two best jobs I have ever had. Working at the pool is incredibly laid back and relaxing. We do some manual labor, but it is more like hanging out with some friends for a few hours under the sun. I am not making an incredible amount of money right now, but I have an income and life is simple as shit right now. Here is an example of my day.

Wake Up. Drink Coffee. Eat. Do a long ride on bike. Eat. Go to “work.” Stand around and hose deck. Watch pro triathletes and Olympic swimmers do their workouts. Eat. Swim Masters. Eat. Watch TV. Sleep.

It is pretty nice having zero responsibilities. It makes sleeping at night much easier.

**When I read this in ten years, I am going to hate 23 year old AJ**


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