This weekend was incredibly busy, and also marked I think my third Saturday night in a row out, which is closing in on a record for me considering Christmas eve will also be busy. Tiring, but fun. I got up early on Saturday morning to get a run in before driving down to Mass for our coach meeting. These meetings are time consuming, but also quite helpful. I always feel like I (and most other people) get way more out of things when there is face-to-face contact and conversation. And as usual I learned a lot that can help me not only as a coach but also as an athlete.
That six hours went by surprisingly fast and then I got to spend some time hanging out with Colin Kropelnicki - the youngest QT2 team member right now mostly managing walking around the house with some couch climbing to mix it up - we headed over to Maggiano's in Boston. Since I went to school right around the corner from there I am familiar with all of the street parking and luckily found a nice spot on Charles street that only cost me an hour and twenty minutes worth of parking meter fees before it was shut down for the night rather than $25 or something similar to park in some garage somewhere. It pays to have a car that isn't much bigger than a rollerskate as you can park just about anywhere.
Enough about that, though. The party was a lot of fun. It's fairly rare that I get to go to a party like that that's full of "my" people, so it's great to really be able to sit down with almost anyone there and have something to talk about. Although I do have to admit that the team has gotten so big that there was one table in which I only recognized like one of the ten people sitting there. But then again since most of these people I'm used to seeing in their training attire sometimes it's tougher to figure out if you've seen someone before when they're suddenly not wearing their bike helmet or a Headsweats hat. Either way, I did get to meet and talk to some new people and catch up with some people I hadn't seen in a while. I swear, after not racing all season I feel like I hadn't seen some of those people in years!
It's great to talk to some of these people and hear how the team and the coaching has really changed them. I heard from more than one person who had lost like fifty pounds, now looking super fit. People who had tried and been successful at their first Ironman and just loved the program in general. Sometimes you come across triathlon teams that generate a certain kind of vibe that can be somewhat off-putting, but I definitely don't think this is the case with the QT2 team. It's just a really great group of people.
I managed to extract myself once we were forced to leave Maggiano's (due to what time it was, not because we had become too outrageous to handle - though if given a few more minutes some people may have crossed into this territory) a lot of people headed to the bar across the street but I had definitely had my fill of fun for the evening knowing that I still had to drive back to NH, so I hit the road. It's funny to think about when I first started racing and I'd make up my training plan based on some book or something I read on the internet and I'd show up to the race and not know a single soul except my parents who had come to watch. I wish I'd had this kind of group when I first started.
Now it's just back to the grind and getting ready for Christmas. I will say I feel like someone has taken over my body because as of last week all of my presents were not only bought, but wrapped. My previous present-buying "strategy" involved going to the mall the last Saturday before Christmas - you know, when it's totally not crowded at all - and stay there until I had something for everyone. This time suddenly I was starting at the beginning of December and had everything ordered and arrived so early. The weather has been unseasonably warm though and other than October of all times there hasn't been any snow, so I keep forgetting how close Christmas is and really how close I am to heading south for the winter. I better get used to driving a lot again, although at least now I'm in a car that goes 350 miles in a 10-gallon tank as opposed to last year's 250 miles on 18!