Monday, October 13, 2008

The Beginning of the Trip

First day of the trip and finally got to sleep in! The alarm was set for 8am, a blissful hour plus extra sleep than I get on non workout days and much more shuteye than I get on days I pull myself obsessively out of bed for a morning run, bike, swim, or all three days. Those days usually start at 5am but not anymore. Not for the almost 2 weeks of vacation for the trip to Moab, UT I’m currently on and not for a bit longer. I’ve made declaration that I “was not going to follow a workout plan until November and then it would only be a loosely followed plan”. I made the decree to my friends, though most believe it less than if I had told them I was going to propel myself into outer space using nothing but a rubber band and good ol’ fashion elbow grease. I’m notorious for my workout schedule obsession and my addiction rivaled only by fat kid to donuts to the workout high. Just typing that I wouldn’t do a planned workout gives me the urge to chew bite my fingernails and tense up.
The “Colleen’s Gonna Chill Out For a Bit” proclamation 2008 is no doubt being helped my road trip. The trip is also a way for me to step away from the schedules, weights, calories burned, nutritient tracking mindset that I’ve been in for the past 4 months leading up to my Half Ironman. Typically I would be at my desk right now planning out my next workout. I would have taken an whole 2-3 days off, though probably with some yoga or an “easy” run worked in somewhere, and start with a new plan or new focus. At this time of year, I’d probably start working on my marathon plan. Not now- I’m chilling, keeping it easy, and enjoying just being an athlete. I don’t really have a off-season because one season rolls into another, one compulsion ends and I’m off to the next one until that goal has been snatched off of my race calendar. Even as I’m typing this, riding in the car with Greg driving, the hills and mountains make me think of trail running , quickening my pulse and it hasn’t even been a full 100 hours since I did 70.3 miles. Ah, the feel of the trail under my feet and the quickness of maneuvering you must have to spare you ankles….heaven!
If you don’t understand this, you aren’t a racer. Maybe you are a racer but you aren’t in the same clubhouse as I am for racing. That’s cool for you. That’s totally fine- this clubhouse sits very, unsteadily close at times to mania and the wrong side of sanity. It’s a fun clubhouse, more like Pee-Wee’s playhouse or Chevy Chase’s Caddyshack than a uppity, exclusive clubhouse and it’s my home. I have many friends in the ranks that certainly make my hard workout days seem like easy days. I’m an endurance-o-phile (yeah, that’s a word, trust me, I’m a scientist and besides, I have a degree in English so it must be right) and they are too. Seated next to me is Greg, fresh off a 6-hour mountain bike win after taking time off for injury. We are rolling out to Moab for a 24-hour that he and some of my other teammates will be smashing it as the Lonestar Mashers 4-man team. I’m in good company and enjoying the ride.
Reading back on this posting, I’m realizing I digressed seriously from the original plan of word flow. That’s ok. I’ll talk about the trip more later.
For now, I hope all my friends, you are having joy in the saddle and riding blessed. Be at peace and be thankful.

1 comment:

Frogg said...

Love it. When you write your first book, I want you to reference "endurance-o-phile." :D It speaks loads to the world of calorie burners and those who pride on wearing a number bib until they shower off a finsh line victory. Not just for the photo opp, but for the self victory of feeling what it is like to cross an actual finish foot in front of the other with hands in the air. Or actually one hand in the air and the other stopping the Chrono mode on their sportswatch.

I love it. Enjoy your trip and keep writing. It's one of the MANY many things you do best. Its good to hear that you are giving your body a rest, but I know that is nearly impossible. But impossible is a dare, no?

Be well and whatever you do - do it BIG!

Much love,

PS. I referenced the quote you word on your arm today in my staff meeting. I think my kids like it b/c it got really quiet when I was explaing. Thank you for sharing.