My legs are tight and creaky, my eyes are squinty and blood-shot, my face has gained over 1,000 freckles, my voice is more inaudible than usual, and I couldn’t be happier.
I feel used up, and I love it.
I lived outside all weekend. I pedaled for slightly over ten hours, ran over fifteen miles, and swam a few laps, too. It was glorious. I pushed hard riding on Saturday, and easy on Sunday, but ten hours in the saddle, is still ten hours in the saddle. I also experienced an array of seasons. It was cold, (for California), and wet on Saturday morning, and then cool and beautiful from sun up to sun down on Sunday. I rode along my favorite stretch of PCH, and finally pedaled confidently up and down my favorite neighborhood hill in slippery conditions. It was my favorite way to spend the last and first day of the week.
For a minute there, I wasn’t sure if my riding legs would be able to feel this good so close after racing Boston.
On my first long ride after the race, I didn’t feel so great. I pushed hard for the required intervals, but overall I was hanging on too close for comfort. I felt that annoying, yet familiar under-nourished Gumby-like feeling wash over me, and a true un-easiness jar my nerves; I did not feel like I was in a solid place just six weeks out from my next Ironman.
That is why I have a coach.
Even though I possess a decent amount of certainty for training and racing marathons in nearly any time frame, (either months in-between or weeks), I still feel green with triathlon. Yes, I am over ten years into this sport, and have picked-up a few needful tools along the way, but I still feel like triathlon is an endless pass/fail elective class that no one is forcing me to take, complete, or measure at all, I simply want to stay late and continue to ask questions and absorb every ounce of education I can while the lights are still on, and I have a seat in the room.
I believe having a coach any time of the year is valuable, but during this particular window of time, eight weeks in-between two very important and wildly different events, (the Boston marathon and Ironman Boulder), is vital. When I saw the following week’s workouts after my moment of cracked confidence, I laughed out loud, (late at night, while sitting alone in my office), because my coach laid out a fantastic, yet ambitious plan that made my stomach drop. It would require a Rubik’s Cube of physical energy and time management; I had a lot to do before clocking into work every day, but seeing that line-up of workouts was the jolt I needed to snap me out of my funk.
I will leave the details of the workouts a mystery, but if any of you are familiar with Hillary Biscay’s definition of the word “camp,” you can assume that I rode my bike a lot that week.
Every day, with each repetitive rotation, my legs eased back to their dutiful behavior of carrying me strong and steady no matter far I asked them to. My nerves transitioned from unsettled anxiety to jumpy excitement, and bliss flooded my bloodstream at the realization that I had tipped back over from marathoner to triathlete just in the nick of time.
I don’t know if I will be in the best shape of my life on June 10th when I swim, bike, and run all day through beautiful Boulder, but I am having the time of my life trying to be every single day between now and then.
Following is a special treat, one of the GREATEST music videos of ALL time, A-Ha's, "Take On Me." Enjoy.:)