Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Into the Dark

It's been unusually hot here this week. I know many people live where it is really hot in the summer, but around here it's usually 83 with a breeze, so almost-100 is pretty shocking. So I went for a run at about 8:30 in the relatively cool darkness (though it was still 80 Degrees at 9:15). The local running trail was packed! Some of it is lighted and some is not, so all of us refugees from the heat were stumbling along trying not to run into each other in the dark.

I guess my workouts this week are turning to the dark side, because the pool where I swim has a "moonlight swim" at 8:00 Monday night with just the pool lights underwater still on and all the pool room lights turned off. Except that this time the underwater lights weren't on, so everyone swimming was suddenly plunged into darkness. It reminded me a bit of when I used to SCUBA dive at night. There's something about the darkness in water that is very peaceful, once you can get used to the feeling that things might be sneaking up on you (fortunately not likely in a swimming pool). In Seattle, some of the best stuff comes out at night underwater: octopus, squid, shrimp. Sometimes you can see bioluminescence in the water, which is like tiny underwater fireworks going off all around you. But here in the lap pool, there's not much to see in the dark so I called the night manager to come get some lights on and got back in. Once my eyes adjusted, I was hoping they'd take awhile to show up because I could manage to swim laps and even turn without knocking myself out, and it was almost like sensory-deprivation swimming. I think I could do that for awhile and really enjoy myself (freed from the slavery of the interval clock at least!)

It's all a big metaphor anyways for this last week of Half-Ironman training. Up until now, I was regretting not doing an Ironman this year, reading all the cool race reports from bloggers and the folks at Trifuel and remembering last year's fun. But then I finally got a really good week of hard training in for the Half-Iron (and yes, I know that one good week of training isn't really enough to tide me over, but it will have to do!) and I remembered how hard it is, how tiring, how you can never eat enough to not feel hungry, never sleep enough to not feel tired, never have enough time with kids and family and the housework goes to hell and.... well let's just say I think I'll be happy with my Half-Iron this year (especially if I manage to wobble across that finish line after my meager training schedule) and wait a few more years before Iron Fever strikes again.

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