Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Conversation With Self on The Big Weekend

Building up to a long distance race (Ironman, or in my case Leadman) there's always a threshold you cross where suddenly the distances start to feel a little overwhelming. Okay, a lot overwhelming. The hours necessary to train begin to mount up, and inevitably you ask yourself the following question:

Me: Self, why am I doing these ridiculously long training rides and runs?

Self: So you can do a ridiculously long race, of course!

Me: Why would I want to do that?

Self: Because it's.... fun?

Me: I'm not sure I believe that anymore

Self: Because it's....healthy?

Me: I'm pretty sure it's really not

Self: Because there's an outside chance you'll someday qualify to go to the World Championships of people who train for ridiculously long races?

Me: Of course! That makes sense...

Yeah, none of it really makes any sense. Up to a certain point, the training makes sense. I know that I personally need a certain amount of time out there on the open road to keep my body functioning well, to keep my mind and soul balanced, and frankly to keep The Big Crazy at bay. But beyond that, training gets to be a strain. I don't know if this is the last year in a while I'll be able to train long, and maybe that's as it should be. This year, I'm committed.

So, this weekend included a 4.75 mile swim. A 10 mile run. An 82 mile bike. I woke up this morning feeling better than most folks do after a weekend spent gardening. Nothing hurts. Nothing sore, nothing tight, nothing painful. I'm sure if I took off in a slow jog I'd realize how fatigued the major muscles in my legs are right now, but beyond that my body has adapted really well to the ridiculous.

What lies ahead? For the foreseeable future, more of the same. It's just a tad demoralizing to realize at the end of an 80 mile ride when you just want to Get Off the Bike Already that in your chosen race distance you would still have 60 miles to go. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I wasn't.

Take the bike in for service, Robin. Get some rest. Eat lots of high quality foods this week. Be prepared to hit the road next weekend. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Exchange Between A Motorist and a Cyclist

Not all interactions between cyclists and car drivers are negative. Yesterday I stopped my bike when I realized a big newt crossing the road was about to get flattened by the oncoming car. As I bent over to retrieve the newt, the car driver stopped and the following exchange occurred:

Driver: Are you okay?
Me: Yes, I'm just saving this newt (holding up newt for evidence)
Driver: Oh, well thanks for doing that. I appreciate it.
Me: No problem. Thanks for stopping!
Driver: Well, I just wanted to make sure you were okay and everything.
Me: Thanks for doing that, I appreciate it.
Driver: Have a great ride!

Yes, I love where I live. Not to mention, my favorite cycling road looks like this on a beautiful June day:

Thursday, June 06, 2013

About To Become An Official Coach

I'm here in Colorado this week to go through USAT's Coach certification program, thus making me finally an "official" (or at least certifiable) coach. I've been doing the coaching gig for many years, but am looking forward to making it a bigger part of my life.They keep us hopping here, with seminars runnig from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, lots of good topics to learn about.

In other happy news, I got my invitation today to the National Age Group Championships. I don't think I can make it back to Milwaukee in August, but it's nice to know I qualified again. One of these years I'm actually going to go, I hope. Unfortunately, the year it was in Oregon, I was in Italy. Go figure. But still, I am honored to qualify, and happy that I'm having a good season so far.

I do intend to write up my race report for the Olympic Distance tri that got me the AG win and my slot at Nationals, but I've just been too crazy-busy to get it written yet. Suffice it to say, I had a great race, one of my best, and I'm excited to see what I can do with the rest of the season.

That's all the brief news from here, where I need to get to bed so I can get up early to the seminar.