Currently quiet here, and definitely not quiet in the rest of my life

For what I hope are understandable reasons, it’s been more quiet here than usual. Let me go into the various details:

I’m cleaning up and packing ahead of my move to Las Vegas next weekend. Pretty much everything I don’t plan to carry has to go. I have to pull about three years of clutter out of my closet and sort out what can travel vs get donated vs get tossed. I have to sort out packaging and carrying my books. Any furniture I incidentally don’t get hauled away has to be fit into my car on go-day.

road near trees

Photo by Simon Migaj on

Along with all this, I have two big projects at my job. I’ve undergone accelerated training for my new role, which will basically be all go after Labor Day, once I’m settled in Las Vegas. At the same time, I also need to ensure I have all the equipment and access I need while I’m still in the office, because once I move I’ll be remote two time zones away, and any equipment I’m missing will have to get shipped. So we’re trying to avoid that. Plus I have to make sure everything I’m bringing with me works!

On top of that, I’m wrapping up loose ends in my current position, while still doing my day to day job. I have to make sure standard operating procedures exist for all my tasks, in case there’s no other working knowledge on my soon to be former team on how to handle matters. I’ve already been slowly working on this the last month, but now we’re trying to get everything done.

Plus, back at home, I have to iron out the utility account closures, insurance transfers, address forwarding and changes. Plus I have to table-set documentation for registering my car in Vegas, because I may have as little as a week and change to secure new plates and a new driver’s license before I have to shove off on assignment. I probably need to pick up transferred insurance docs and get an emissions check as soon as the day I get into town, and get to the DMV as soon afterward as possible, plus (assuming there are NO issues; any that do come up have to get sorted out that day) see if in any way they can expedite delivery of the driver’s license (they of course do the plates on-site on the spot).

So, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of stress and competing priorities ahead of my move. I don’t think any additional prep could have avoided many of these time crunches. Stuff like organizing my stuff for transport and returning equipment had to happen the week/day of for obvious reasons. I can’t do anything about Nevada DMV stuff until I’m physically in town.

In terms of running, I’ve had to curb any substantial training. I am running more since recovering from my previous injury, but it’s more of a “medium distance running when time and space allows” volume. I have made sure to get to the gym and train every day in some capacity (thankfully, transferring and sorting out my gym membership will be a lot easier!), so I probably haven’t lost terribly much fitness. In fact, I ran 4+ easy miles last weekend and despite not having run that much in a while it felt completely fine. So the cross training is working! I’ll keep it up until I’ve got to go.

Given the rare opportunity, I plan to run a bit in some of the towns I’ll be staying in. I’ve mapped out some apparently reasonable routes near lodging to get some miles in during the early mornings. I’ll actually get more rest than usual since I’ll be driving. I’ll be sitting most of the day!

Dinner could have been a big challenge, because at the end of most of the these days it’ll be after 8-9pm and stores will be closed. In past road trips I’d often surrender to whatever fast food options were nearby. But as I recently discussed, I have the ability to prepare food in a hotel room as long as I have a rice cooker.

I could get and use a Foreman grill (I actually don’t have one right now, and given my packing concerns I’m in no hurry to go buy one), but I could also buy and bring cans of wild caught tuna, which as a dinner protein is just fine. It also eliminates the need to dispose of cooked oil. If I leave home with a bag of brown rice and cans of tuna, I am probably okay.

Arriving in Vegas will be the easy part. Parking at home is readily available. Once I bring everything inside, I have all the time I need to sort it out. In previous moves, I had to secure keys to a new place, plus parking was limited. I won’t go into details but you should have seen the RPG-puzzle-like logistics I had to leap through to get my last move done three years ago (plus I had some incredible luck with parking that avoided some complications). I certainly will not miss that aspect of Chicago.

It also speaks to my increasing material minimalism. Moving even without furniture is rather complicated (much of my current stress comes from displacing the little furniture I currently have). Every residential move tempts me to sink to Mark-Manson-like lengths where everything to my name fits in a single backpack.

Serious running and a day job makes this impossible, of course. You can’t rely on just 1-2 pairs of shoes or 2-3 changes of clothes. 35+ miles a week of running will wear out a pair of running shoes in less than 3 months, plus running shoes aren’t always work appropriate. Some situations require different clothing. And of course, if you work out, you sweat and your clothes can reek. You need a change of shirts, at least. Doing laundry every day isn’t practical. So, I’ll keep working on it, but my best effort is probably going to look different.

I have to sort out what gear and clothing I need to travel with for work. But I’ll have more time, space and leeway once I arrive to figure that out. And I won’t have to bring my whole life with me like I need to next week.

While it’s still hot in Vegas (current daytime temps are cruising around a late-summer-typical 104-107 degrees Fahrenheit), I can still get in daily early morning runs near home while I’m in town, plus visit the nearby gym every day as desired. That gym also has better air conditioning and more cross training options than my current gym, plus it’s not nearly as crowded. As my stress level drops, I can devote more energy to training.

But will my stress go down? My new job will be challenging, and once I’m their property for good they will likely throw more at me, plus there’s a sizable learning curve. And then once I travel to the next work site, I will face a lot of competing demands while trying to put the pieces together and get used to the demands.

I’m going to say conditionally yes. There’s a lot on multiple fronts I’m dealing with right now, and the bulk of any anxiety is centered around getting my current place cleaned out. My current job still has time sensitive demands. Even my next role is making competing preliminary demands. Once there’s no apartment to sort and clean out, I feel like I’ll have more than enough bandwidth to engage the added repsonsibility.

And, even with potential 10 hour days and 6 day weeks and possible evening or overnight shifts, doing just about everything else in my life on the road will be a lot easier than everyday life in Chicago. I will drive everywhere, in a car I keep in good working condition. I won’t have to walk miles, navigate transit systems and traffic jammed streets with no parking. In most site cities, the worst traffic they will have to offer won’t be anywhere near as bad, plus they often will have freely available parking (so many take that for granted).

Most of all, I will have time and energy to run regularly. Getting to the gym (my Planet Fitness black card membership gives me nationwide club access) won’t be much harder. Corporate housing may even have fitness centers with more options. Working out will often be more of a welcome stress reliever than a competing demand.

Plus I don’t need to begin seriously training until the end of the year, because the only race I have planned right now is the 2020 Vancouver Marathon. A sufficient training cycle for that can begin at the start of 2020. I have a while to get used to the new lifestyle and see how to best flex my training around a fluctuating schedule.


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