Pacific Nomadic

Times of transition can be beautiful, exciting, terrifying. They are almost always a little disconcerting, as we step onto a new path, or even into a new identity.

Things have been quiet on the blog lately as some transitions have been underway for me and for Endurance Efficacy. The website has a new look, and I am offering a new service. But the thing I am most excited for is the expansion of my blog world. I will be covering some new topics, including the nomadic lifestyle, my own athletic career, and lifestyle design.

In an upcoming series of blog posts, I will be exploring transitions, specifically relating to the idea of intentional lifestyle design. I will be sharing some of my insights from the past three years of transition, uncertainty, and change in my own life.

In recent months I have been lucky enough to cross paths with some other nomads and athletes (and even a few nomadic athletes!) on paths similar to my own. In exchanging stories with these inspiring individuals, I realized how much I have learned in the past few years as I stubbornly pursue my dream lifestyle, often swimming against the stream. These upcoming blog posts will be a chance for me to share with you some of what I have learned, and help unite a growing community of athletes, nomads, and other folks engaged in intentionally creating their dream lifestyle.

***

Over the last two months, my current home base of Oregon has suffered one of the worst fire seasons in local memory. The air became too smoky to go outside. I will be the first to say that my suffering was as nothing to that of those who were forced to evacuate (some of whom lost their homes) as well as the hundreds of firefighters working those long and dangerous days to help keep the rest of us safe. Nevertheless, it was frustrating and unpleasant to be stuck inside, unable to do the one thing I came to Bend to do: train.

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Simulating a ski workout…in the living room.

So I hit the road. I’ve been cruising around the west coast for about 5 weeks, visiting friends, checking out some new training grounds, and enjoying the spontaneity of this impromptu trip. It is quite a feeling to decide to pack up the car and hit the road for an undetermined amount of time. This freedom is what motivated me to live the life I do. No boss to report to, no obligations that can’t wait, or be done remotely. The ability to live simply, without a lot of things in tote. These are the building blocks of my nomadic life.

Each one of these elements could (and will) be a post on its own. Today, I want to tell you about the adventures I’ve had.

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I began my travels with a week each in Seattle and Portland. The biggest challenge of city life is training effectively. But I discovered, to my delight, that urban rollerskiing can be quite fun, thanks to the many bike paths that crisscross both cities.
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It simply involves a little research, getting out at odd hours when the paths aren’t crowded, and being patient with the many stares, as lots of folks have never seen a rollerskier before. Portland and Seattle both have pretty good access to true nature as well, if you’re willing to drive about an hour. I enjoyed a stellar mountain bike ride in each region

This short trip represents my determination to combine my athletic life and nomadic life. With a race season on the domestic pro circuit approaching, it was critical that my training remain a top priority as I traveled. Proving to myself that it can be done, even in cities, was empowering. Upcoming blog posts will feature more musings on combining seemingly separate identities to make one epic lifestyle.

Dealing with my food allergies is always a challenge when I’m on the road, as I can’t eat at restaurants and most processed foods are out for safety reasons. Thankfully I have enough experience traveling with my allergies to have a pretty good system down. It requires some planning ahead, particularly for the long drive days and the days when I’m sleeping in my car and don’t have access to a friend’s kitchen. I am looking forward to being in Bend for the next couple months and having regular access to a kitchen!

After a quick stop on the Oregon coast (where I saw my first starfish) I headed on down to Truckee, California to meet up with a friend and past teammate of mine for some rollerskiing and mountain running. Truckee is a small mountain town near Lake Tahoe with incredible access to mountain trails, rivers, lakes, and winding roads, and best of all, no smoke. I thoroughly exhausted myself with my biggest volume week of the season: about 26 hours of training in a week. Truckee also sits at over 6,000 ft, whereas Bend is only 3,000, so I was feeling the altitude. From now until race season, training hours will decrease, while training intensity will increase. I will be doing more intervals in preparation for races, which begin on Dec 2nd.

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STARFISH!
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Mountain run near Truckee, CA

The best way to follow up this intense week of training was to take a week to relax, and so I headed farther south to Las Vegas, where I met up with a friend to go rock climbing at Red Rock Canyon. Red Rock is my favorite place in the country for climbing, and this was my 6th time returning to the canyon. We enjoyed a week of easy hiking, hard climbing, and yes, a little rollerskiing…even on an easy week I can’t stay off the skis entirely.

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On top!

Another highlight of our time in Las Vegas was meeting up with a friend of mine; a musician from Prague whom I first met over four years ago. In a life of travel, sometimes the fleeting encounters are the ones that mean the most. Martin and I have seen each other three times over the past 4.5 years, once in New Hampshire, once in Prague, and of course this time in Las Vegas.

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As exciting and refreshing as it was to organize this impromptu trip, see old friends, train in new terrain, and get away from the smoke, I am very happy to be back in Bend, where I will be for the remainder of the time before race season, which is only two months! This will be a critical time for staying well rested and getting some high-intensity training in.

Look for some upcoming posts about lifestyle design, and as always, be in touch with any thoughts or questions about my own athletic or nomadic life, to share any challenges your are facing in your own lifestyle design, or simply to introduce yourself. I love hearing from you.

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