It’s two weeks to my last (planned) race of the year and I’m feeling reflective. Summer arrived last weekend, full of friends and bikes and BBQ. Even though my first beach day of the year was kiboshed by yesterday’s persistent marine layer, the air has that warm dusty So Cal dryness that leaves you desperate for Coke on long rides.
Speaking of which, there were a few of those this past week. I’m not sure if it’s the new season or the fact that I’ve finally shaken that fatigue I was talking about, but at just under 18 hours, this week looked more Ironman-esque in its training volume. What can I say? I just really love training. I love the rhythm of physical activity, the sometimes social, sometimes solitary routine of swimming, biking and running every day. (The week before was a little lighter given that I was in Florida for a work trip, so maybe there was a little bit of “guilt training” thrown in there, too.)
Since last Saturday, I rode almost 200 miles in the span of five days. One 80-miler was a relatively easy ride with a friend going long and slow for her Ironman training, another was a short 90 minute ride before work with two of my strongest cyclist friends, and another 80 miler was a mid-week ass kicking with Beth, recent Ironman Cairns winner Luke McKenzie, and Pete, a former pro cyclist. In other words, ouch. With my pre-ride 2500 yard swim and post-ride 5k T-run, I was ready for an iced coffee and sedentary work session at the Carlsbad Library, happy hour at Solace, and skirt steak with sautéed chard for dinner back at the homestead.
I guess when I said I’m feeling reflective I meant reflective about workouts. I’m feeling reflective in other ways, too, but not that I feel like writing about on this particular Sunday afternoon.
Ah, Sundays. The past two weeks I’ve adopted this little routine (if two weeks constitutes a routine at all!) where I take the scooter to the Y for the 9:45 morning Masters session, run long, and then treat myself to something clean, cleansing, and vibrant. Last week it was the “Bapple” smoothie from a local juice place, made with beets, celery, apple, mango, and strawberry. This week, after struggling along in the 1:35 for 40 minutes before moving down a lane and then feeling devoid of pep on my 10-mile run, I scooted over to the Leucadia Farmer’s Market (it’s been too long!) and bought a Garden Veggie crepe and a cold-pressed Red Velvet (beet, carrot, orange) juice from a highly recommended vendor. I drank half, and am planning to use the rest in my next batch of kombucha (which, incidentally, is treating me well these days. That ever so evasive fizz is back!)
On the heels of a heavy training week, I’m finding myself not only looking forward to my taper for Vineman, but to what comes after. I have another solid (though by no means 18-hour) week to put in first, but am beginning to think about what “life after triathlon” might look like after my third goal race of 2013. I’ll still race short and local, but as far as long-course goes, my seven month term of loyal servitude to training has left me hungry for a break. I’m not yet sure what that break will look like, be it a dedicated block of cycling or swimming or yoga, but come July 15, the swim-bike-run routine is getting shaken up.
But just for long enough to stoke the fires for a new batch of fresh goals. Otherwise, why bother doing anything at all? Or, in the words of Oswald Chambers,
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?