Weekly Wrap. Week 1.
Who could have known, that inconsistency, can be consistent as well. But there could not be a better place and time to start it off anew, than a new year, weeks starting from “1” and to try to work out the good old structure, which seemed to work for almost 3 months.
In retrospect, travels and inconsistency in my training got to me and I started losing grip on the writing process – simply by having too few to share or the momentum of it got lost in the travels. I was travelling a lot during October and November and these were my first trans-continental travels as well. Such travels and timezone shifts were very difficult to put up with, however, they gave a lot of new experiences and fascinating moments to remember and to reflect on. So in general, I am happy that I had a chance to travel so much and to such interesting places. Unfortunately, there was the downside of it as well, where my training and writing (writing to bigger extent) got impacted by them. While training volume dropped down a bit, writing has been evaporated and was not happening, to a point where I just did not want to produce anything and decided to take a break.
The break seemed longer than I could have anticipated, but let us hope that it was for the best and with a blank canvas of 2018, I will be able to get to my previous consistency and share my stories of training, achievements and racing, which is already placed in my calendar. I will try to start with a quick recap of October to December, so we are all on the same page. So off we go and I hope that you will share my excitement in reviving this blog!
Wake me up, when October Ends: Thailand
The last entry told story of me and Dovile, throughout the first few days in Thailand. I went into the details quite explicitly and tried to translate our experiences here. In total, we have stayed for nearly 2 weeks, travelling from Bangkok to Koh Samui. This island of promised paradise and sandy beaches became our only visited place in Thailand, due to time restrictions and some beforehand planning.
For the first 4 days, we had a villa in the hills to ourselves with a great view, a swimming pool and excellent weather (surprisingly, we had not encountered any rain, even though we came during monsoon season). If you were exposed to planning the travels in Thailand, you already know that most of the commute and transportation is being done on scooters. And this is what we had planned to do as well. Secretly, all my life I wanted a Vespa and this trip seemed like a perfect opportunity to revisit those dreams. My wife had mentioned multiple times that this villa is up in the mountains and they are really steep. Really. All her emphasis on the word “really” did not break through my wall of “macho” man and utopian hopes of driving a vespa. And when we got to the island, we were picked up by local “uber” driver, who drove us up to the place we were supposed to live and we were greeted firstly by REALLY steep hills and our host. Now the combination of “really steep” makes much more sense and I realise that they are not only extremely steep, but they have sharp turns, which you do not see into. My utopian dream is slowly fading away, but testosterone is building up. After settling down in the villa and a quick shutdowned lesson how to use the motorcycle (because I was embarrassed to say that I actually will need to be taught how am I supposed to drive in here), in the best Jeremy Clarkson’s paraphrase – How Hard Can It Be? – I go out to try and test the motorcycle.
Engine on, start, acceleration, a short move forward, turnaround and now I am accelerating uncontrollably, scared and with short flashes of my stupid thinking, hoping that I will not hit a car, which is next to me and not roll down the hill. It accelerated so harshly and in spur of the moment, my hand on the torque turned the handle down, which gave it even more power. Luckily, I dodge the car, I dodge the wall and I use ground to put this “locomotive” to stop. And this is how I crashed on a tropical island, with high humidity, multiple life-threatening diseases around – having my right side of the body excused out of skin in multiple places, bleeding heavily and a heavy blow to the elbow, thigh and right palm. Result of that drive can be summed up easily with this video.
This stupid decision had an impact on our stay, because we did not have other means of transport and there was no way I will touch a motorcycle anytime soon. Then, we were quite far away from interesting places, stuck on a hill quite far away from shops, bars and even other cities. Each uphill or downhill, which we did on foot, cost us about 30 minutes and uphills cost us muscle soreness the day after. If we were to call an “uber” – it was extremely expensive and taxi was even more expensive, sometimes, they were not even going there, as it was not profitable enough.
After being trapped, we decided to go to city of Lamai, which was located next to the beach with a lot more going on. It was much better, however the chaos and weirdness of Thailand persisted. I think that at that point, we had already have “overexperienced” it and even sandy beaches and fresh coconuts were not doing it for us to make us happy. We have stayed in Lamai for four more days, however we did not find tranquility in them. We had some fun moments, but ultimately Thailand and us will become those friends, “who still never talk sometimes”.
Wake me up, when October Ends: USA
After coming back to Lithuania and travelling from CET+5 timezone, I had a conference to attend in USA, Minneapolis just in 2 days. If I did not know the definition of jet lag by that time, I was getting closer to have a degree in it after this trip. Luckily, me and my colleague were flying with Delta airlines, which turned out to be great. And I was surprised, how greatness is directly proportional to the amount of small bottles of “Jack Daniels”, which you can get for free during the flight. During this flight, I got introduced to my new best friend “Honey Jack Daniels”.
Trip to Minneapolis turned out to be great and felt much more within my comfort zone, especially after all the experiences and differences in Thailand. There I started slowly getting back to training: jetlagged running, as well as some bike sessions, which were fueled by crazy amounts of fat and chedder cheese. It might not be applicable to all USA, but Minneapolis had chedder everywhere! And it was a pleasure to be there, because people were so friendly. I felt comfortable and happy, when I had to speak to anyone there.
In addition, it was my first time at JAMF Nation User Conference, aimed at MacOS infrastructure news and tech. Some of the presentations were sharing some superficial knowledge or were simply uninformative, but overall experience had inspired me how can I apply it in my work at Danske Bank.
Overall, trip to USA turned out great, however it took about 2 days afterwards to get back to normal life in Lithuania. Although, I was extra happy and proud of myself, how after the 11+ hours flight with no sleep, I came back home and still managed to get a 2 hour indoor bike workout done. And this concludes my October, full of travels and jetlags. During which, I felt like I could sleep anywhere, but not in an airplane.
Remember, remember, the month of November.
Seriously though, November was just extra busy at work with myself trying to get back into structure with training. Trying to stop drinking alcohol here and there, with no apparent luck, due to my newly discovered addiction to ‘Honey-Jack’. I had some tough sessions, which did not go as expected on the bike – I still have troubles sitting through a 3 hour steady HR bike session. At 2h10 minutes something snaps in my mind and it becomes extremely difficult to withstand the last 50minutes. Even when my favourite show is running on a computer next to me.
As there was a good lack of time, I managed to get an old bad habit up and running – I started playing Starcraft 2 once again. The most stressful game, I had ever played and which previously was making me very unhappy. But I always seen this game as a great platform for improvements: decision making, information analysis in a short period of time, stress management, ego reduction, quick reactions – you name it. To some it may sound silly, but Starcraft 2 was and still is one of the most instrumental computer games, which I use in my self-improvement. After coming back from USA, me and my friends got together to watch Starcraft 2 World Championship in the first weeks of November, nobody was playing at that point, nor we had too much interest in the competitive scene either. But while waiting for the championship to start, we played a bit, discussed a bit, then watched the matches and for some of us – the old urges suddenly clicked and bit by bit, the urge to play it again started building up. And now, we still do. I think I have come again, a little bit further, a little bit in front of my previous self, after the past 2 months of Starcraft 2 and I hope that I will be able to move forward more still.
December and fake winter.
During month of December I spent most of the time finishing what was started in November at work. There was quite a lot of it. Had to make a quick trip to Denmark as well, to catch up with my team. Other than that – I was even more focusing on the training schedule and planned activities. December became one of the most successful months for me, in terms of training – I have managed to finish most of the planned workouts.
Unfortunately, during Christmas, there was a stomach flu virus lingering around and I got it on the Christmas eve. At first, I was trying to complete a 3 hour bike session indoors and as usually, it starts well and at 2 hour mark, I started breaking down. But this time, to a point, where I just could not continue without some “brain damage”. So I decided to quit at 2 hours 20 minutes and be more fresh the next time, when I get to this challenging workout. I was quite unhappy and disappointed at myself not being able to finish it. The next morning, right before the trip to Dovile’s parents, I had a 1 hour 30 minutes run planned. And as per normal, I woke up earlier, started getting myself ready. But with every minute I felt worse and worse, to a point, where I could not be in vertical position without vomiting or nausea. This ended up in me, staying at home during Christmas eve and lying in bed. Luckily the illness did not stick for too long and week after I was able to resume my training. Unfortunately, I shared this illness with my wife as well.
Song of the week: Lucid Planet – Apparatus
Reading: Haruki Murakami “Kafka on the Shore”
Game: Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PS4) / Starcraft 2 (PC)
Average Weight: 78kg
Quickly looking back at this post – I am happy to have it written down. It came out easily and gave a lot of satisfaction. Hopefully my readers will be happy with it as well and you take it as a welcome back gift.
Thank you for stopping by.