I am enjoying this time of year as I get to transition from structure, to a more relaxed kind of “play” mode. The transition of the season also makes for a warm (though colder temps) welcome to the holiday season quickly approaching. The mornings have a drag to them with a 7:30ish sunrise, and now an even sooner sunset. The weather is getting that fall chill to it and finally! The stores are set for holiday, leap frogging Halloween, some even Thanksgiving, and you see signs of Christmas in a few. I enjoy the holiday season. The work from training and racing is done and now its time to deconstruct, test various forms of workouts to stay in shape, test new nutrition, do things differently. I’ve enjoyed not strapping the monitor, sometimes no watch, and just “play”. Pumped up the basketball working on the skillz. Spend a lot of time with Gina – we celebrated our 3rd year wedding anniversary with a weeklong set of activities and dining – and just chill. She planted spinach and beets for the winter so we’ll see how the garden continues into the winter. Got the Xterra checked out thanks to the AAA Carolinas crew at South Blvd. Started reading a new book “Quitters” thanks to bro Brad Mintz. We even got to see our donated brick on the new steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Forever “cemented” in front of the church yo! I also make a point to keep in touch with my sisters a little more. Be available. But also spend that quiet time to listen.

I also ventured into the bakery world by doing some contract work for Kai’s Kookies (www.kaiskookies.com). Owned by Tracy and Patrick Watkins, they have a growing business and needed help organizing their books, files, office, and yes, even started teaching me some baking!! The hard part is the hours as I am sometimes there until 3am! They plan to change that – and mind that I am doing this on a temp basis – but getting 4 hours of sleep on most weekdays lead to a needed crash on weekends. It’s fun work and great learning experience for future endeavors on TeamMC business plans. Included in this is a start to my coaching plans for the 2014 season. I am still at Charlotte Running Co. on a part-time basis. The annual Turkey Trot is around the corner, and the 25th anniversary should bring out record crowds – so register at www.charlotteturkeytrot.com. And introducing the newest sponsor to the TeamMC brand ambassadorship – Wheaties! (www.wheaties.com)

When the clocks “fall back” is when I will resume the heart monitoring and a build of the base period. Once Advent comes along, the period grows deeper inward, and the darker days co-relate to the darker, but anticipating renewal of all things needing to be crunched up and awakened. I love it. Change. Each and every year. Give it back. Pay it forward from all the blessings received during the year. Boom.

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