This past week was a week that had me out of town for 2 days attending the Central Region NATS Conference in Rock Island, Illinois. My son, Zack, made it to the finals in the Junior men division and took 3rd Place!!! The guest recitalist for the conference was former student Sarah Larsen who presented a wonderful display of artistry on Saturday afternoon with a well chosen program. She and her accompanist flew in from Seattle to share their talents. She is right on track with her career in this her 6th year since graduating from Simpson.
The Central Region of NATS includes Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Every 2 years, we gather with singers and teachers from many schools for the students to sing and the teachers to judge. It's a great learning tool for singers and teachers alike. Every now and then you run into somebody from way back when, and I was happy to see and reconnect with Paula Patterson (teaching at Missouri State University) and Steven Tharp (teaches at University of Missouri). Paula and I were in Opera Iowa and at Des Moines Metro Opera together back in the 80's, and Steve and I were in some productions together in New York City (the one we remembered the most was when I was Fiorello and he was Almaviva in The Barber of Seville way back in the 80's for a touring company called Opera Northeast). I had a lovely dinner and time visiting with Ed Andereck from Luther College, and Karen Brunnsen from Northwestern University.
We all got to hear great singing for 2 days and I congratulate all of the students on their preparation and presentations at NATS. Zack and I stopped in Iowa City on the way home to have dinner with Alexa. I think I scared Alexa with my Movember beard. At first she refused to hug me and kept saying oooooo....ick at the sight of my facial stubble. In spite of that, we had a quick dinner and visit before getting back in the car to head home. There were big storms just south of I-80 with ominous clouds, lightening and the driving was difficult due to the high winds. I made it home just before the rain hit and fell fast asleep.
Being that the out of town trip was on the schedule, it was a good time to organize and carry out a week of R&R in terms of bike riding. My body informed me last week after the Dirty Du what my mind already knew - I needed a rest and recovery week after 4 consecutive weeks of building up my hours to attack my seasonal hibernation eating habit!!! Normally, I take a R&R week after 2 or 3 weeks of hard training depending on a few factors, but delayed it this time to take advantage of the fall weather, Dirty Du, Banner Bacon rides, etc... .
The battle of the bulge and fall hibernation looks like this on the bike for the past 5 weeks:
Week of 10/14 - 6:05 hours
Week of 10/21- 6:25 hours
Week of 10/28 - 7:15 hours
Week of 11/04 - 8:00 hours
Week of 11/11 - 3:55 hours - R&R Week
I kept the metabolism fired up all week with 30 minute Zone 1/2 efforts and several days of weight lifting alternating between lower body and upper body work. And this time, I actually did modify my eating habits with will power and food choice to reign in the need to hibernate!! By Sunday's 30 minute Zone 2 spin - I felt recovered and my body had bounced back. My legs and mind were raring to go, but I kept it in check to complete the R&R cycle.
Zack and I went up to Drake University to catch their Sunday 2 PM performance of Sweeney Todd. It was very well done and we enjoyed it. Following that, we met up with Tara at Sbracco's for a quiet dinner to wind down from the weekend before heading back to Indianola to watch the Broncos and Chiefs game.
Now....on to the 13th week of this fall semester...