The Flying Circus is on the road again, making our way to Sedona, Arizona. I rented a 25’ Airstream this time. And since that is too heavy for my Volvo to tow, I also rented the Suburban to go with it. I feel like I need that bumper sticker that says “My other car is electric” to justify my personal contribution to climate change.

When I planned this trip, I did not realize it would be a journey of personal recovery. But as I alluded to in my last post, I managed to dig myself one heck of a big hole this year.

I’ll be honest, I have a history of overtraining. My first (and worst) experience was in 2009. I was the fastest I’ve ever been. At the top of my game and getting better. Even though I was working with a coach, I didn’t know the warning signs of overtraining. The problem is, you often feel amazingly good when you are just on the cusp of overtraining. You train harder, damn you feel good! But when the crash comes, it comes hard and fast. I had no concept of the damage overtraining can do to your body. Over the next few years I saw countless doctors, tried countless hormone protocols. I stopped training (I had to), I rested, I cried a lot, I even did yoga.

Eventually I recovered enough to train again. I never have been able to get back to where I was. I suspect that’s part of my problem. My rational brain knows I will never be that athlete again. But some misfire in my brain drives me to continue push the boundaries of what my body can handle to try to get back there; to skip the recovery I KNOW I need; to do all the things I would never let my athletes do. Why do I think I am any different? My rational brain knows my plan always backfires, yet I can’t seem to stop myself.

To be fair, while I often am flirting with overtraining by the end of a season, I have never (until this year) pushed myself into the abyss like I did that first time.

The past 6 weeks have been a slow-motion train wreck as my body finally pulled the plug: Weight gain, cold sores, acne and emotions of a teenager, deep fatigue, insomnia. I look like hell and I feel just as bad. And the worst part is that it’s my own fault.

The Flying Circus trip is going to be the start of my recovery. I plan to sleep a lot, go on slow walks and rides with Puck, do a puzzle, do whatever I feel like. I am going to try to have no agenda, listen to my body. Hopefully it will start to forgive me.


So here we go: Yesterday was the official kick off of the Flying Circus 2018: Arizona Edition!

I picked up the Airstream and left Denver at 5:00 a.m. Friday morning – I wanted to get the heck out of the city before the traffic started. My only mishap occurred exiting the lot where I picked up the Airstream, when I tried to take out the chain link fence. I scratched up the poor trailer a little bit; luckily the rental guy is pretty easy going.

After surviving Berthoud Pass!

After that I drove over Berthoud Pass on snowy and icy roads from the weather the night before. I made it over without mishap, just seriously white knuckles! In Fraser I picked up the kitties and Puck and then we headed on to Grand Junction. The Suburban is not the smoothest towing vehicle on the planet and we lurch a lot, which doesn’t seem all that safe, but it keeps me from speeding! 60 mph feels about as fast as I want to go.

We will spend two nights in Grand Junction, then two nights in Moab before we head on to Arizona.

The kitties were rock stars on the first leg of our journey. No poop or pee on the bed. Yet. We still have many miles to remedy that. But I’m prepared with waterproof coverings this time.

This Airstream is 3 feet longer than the one we took before and definitely feels more spacious. Although Airstream really needs to work on their quality control. This is a new model, but the construction is amazing crappy. Latches are falling apart, screws are falling out, things don’t work. Bill (rental guy) told me to expect this. At every stop I find a new screw that has come out and try to find out where it came from so I can seal it up with superglue. Crazy! It makes me feel slightly less bad about the scratch I put in it…

I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop in Fruita. Puck was sitting with me, but then freaked out when a bee came near so now he is chilling in the car. After I finish my coffee we will head out for a short afternoon walk. It is a lovely day here, sunny and beautiful.

Let the healing begin.