I’m stuck at a marketing seminar in LA through Sunday.
Do you realize what this means? Do you realize that I am separated from my bike during ‘cross season? Do you realize that I am actually going to miss a cyclocross race? DO YOU KNOW HOW SAD THIS MAKE ME? Continue reading
This is supposed to be Gear Friday – I even have a really killer piece of gear lined up to tell you about – but then life happens.
Life happens and gets big. People fill me and my chest expands. I entertain reminder after reminder of our frailty.
At 7:34am I have to stop reading email. There is a switch inside of me that flips when I feel the lump in my throat forming. One email links to my cousin’s journal on her CaringBridge Site, in which she asks for prayer for her two year old daughter, ‘Tana. The baby girl goes in for surgery today to have her entire lung removed in what is to be the final, last-ditch effort to rid her of the cancer that threatens to take her life.
I don’t pray. Continue reading
Boot Camp ended this week and I wanted to run my timed mile in under 7 minutes. That was my goal. I got a chest cold on Thursday morning, the day before the run, but I figured I could still pull it off. I also wanted 60 pushups in the push-up test. I did 40 on the intake test and ran a 7:39 mile in 18 degree weather.
I figured these were challenging but still reasonable goals for improvement. I worked my ass off in camp, posted a perfect attendance record, and ate reasonably well. I wanted to see the results.
By the time I hit Friday morning I had already worked about 55 hours that week. My immune system was beleaguered from the stress and long hours. I woke up at 4:30am and put on all my favorite cold-weather running clothes: sugoi tights, high-school running bra (still my favorite), wife beater, long-sleeve, loose-fitting running shirt, pearlizumi headband. I threw Sam’s North Face flight-series anorak over the top for good luck and added stripey, stretch gloves for hand warmth. Downstairs I found my water bottle, apple and ipod mini just where I’d set them out. The mini was already set to play Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” at full blast on repeat.
I was nervous [but on the surface I looked calm and ready].
I was quiet and focused during warm-up until the start of the run. I kept reminding myself to cut slack, take off some of the pressure. “This is what you do.” I told myself. “This is what you’re good at. Relax.”
I got my ass handed to me this morning and I didn’t even have enough left to say, “Thank you.”
I was off. Tired. Tapped.
Monday mornings now come at me with a full dose of dread. More than your usual Monday mornings – these are soul-crushing and ass-kicking with the anticipation of another work week. There is something to be said for opening up the window to your full potential but the task of having to stand and look out of it while you make all the necessary preparations to jump is tedious.
I didn’t sleep well last night and woke up early to Sigur Ros, “Saeglopur”. I thought it would lift my spirits but it only made me melancholy. I was more serious and quiet in boot camp than normal. I dug my way down deep into the physical pain of burning shoulders and stayed there. It was comforting and real.
Inside the pain of slow squats and shoulder presses, all of the rest disappears and falls away. I’m not only addicted to the endorphins and the adrenaline, I’m entranced with the escape. I always find myself closing my eyes which used to drive my trainer absolutely insane.
“You are holding 25 pound weights above your head!” he would say, exasperated, “How can you even think of closing your eyes?”
Boot Camp, Week 2
Boot Camp was canceled yesterday so Tuesday night felt like Friday and then last night felt like Sunday. How’s that for confusing?
Luckily, we were back on for this morning and the roads are just melted enough to make me feel comfortable driving. I had my bike all geared up and ready to roll but, frankly, given the fragility of my ankle, I feel safer in the car right now. A crash could mean extra bad things – it’s not worth the risk.
Snowy mornings at 4:45am are all about layers. With an 8:30pm bedtime I’m no longer very sleepy when the alarm goes off but the warmth of the covers is still a temptress. Sleeping in lots of clothing helps, as does thinking about all the amazing workout layers I am going to pile on my body as soon as I get out of bed. I roll out quietly, pad over to where I’ve laid out my things and head into the bathroom where the light, mercifully, is on a dimmer switch.
Most mornings it feels like a prison break.
Don’t wake the warden. Don’t make a noise.
In truth it’s just courtesy and consideration for a partner who chooses to sleep past 6am but in my head it feels important and secret. It’s my time. No one can take it from me.
It’s my daily great adventure.
Glowing bright white haze. Windows frosted over. Presents are starting to accumulate under the tree.
Some for me. Some for him. Some for the cats.
I can’t seem to get well and the constant fatigue is starting to eat away at my spirits. I haven’t had a true appetite in a week though I continue to eat small meals when and where I should.
I want to ride my bike and run but I keep driving to work thinking that barring myself from the freezing temperatures is the right thing to do. At some point taking care of my spirit is going to overcome my commitment to taking care of my lungs. I need to see action, and soon.
Portland continues to steal my heart – I haven’t seen a winter like this in years. Good, solid rain followed by days of shiny, freezing frost. I love it all. In fact, I am dreading the end of the cold season.
The next three days will be overly full of work, errands, projects, and more work. I’ll be ready for the break that is coming.
Sam dropped me last night basically as soon as the road turned uphill. That’s ok – that’s what I was expecting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if I have to get dropped to get stronger and faster then I’ll suffer the misery of dangling wildly off the back.
As soon as he rode away from me I dropped a few gears and cranked it to try to keep him in site. Chasing sucks. And it sucks more when you’re doing it on your own. But it does make you work harder and I guess that’s the point.
We climbed at a good clip and as the road wound around and around I could catch sight of him up ahead of me on the next curve. I gritted my teeth, pedaled madly through corners, tried to find the best lines. My legs were on fire.
I started to close the gap a little and thought to myself, “That’s impossible. I shouldn’t be closing a gap on him – he must be waiting for me.”
I was only half right.