February 09, 2006

The Good, The Bad And The Rambling

Morning Workout
20 minutes
2 1/2 miles
Heart Rate Zone: Lactate Threshold (zone 2)

40 minutes
Main Set: 2000 meter time trial

Random Comments:I'm tempted to say that the run was fun. But I think I mostly just want to say that because it rhymes. The run was fun. It
's even a jiggle to say, ain't it? And it sounds so very Dr. Seuss-ish, might I add. The run was fun. But really, I wouldn't necessarily classify this mornings run as "fun". It was more.... well.... it just was. The run was. Very Tao of me, huh. The fact is, the run was just a warm up for the swim anyway, so I don't know why I'm spending all this time talking about it. I suppose it's probably because the swim was definitely not fun. Au contrare, mon ami, the swim sucked. I felt like I wasn't moving at all. As for my swimming form, well apparently I left that back home in bed. The more I tried to concentrate on maintaining proper form and just swimming easy, the more difficult and tiring it became. The counting of the laps went by so agonizingly slow, I almost started yelling at the walls each time I approached, hoping my anger would make me have swum more laps than I already did. Have you ever stared at a digital clock and waited for the number to change? I know you have. Admit it. Each minute seems to last an hour. The painfully slow transition from one to the next is enough to make you give up. But I didn't. I continued on. So did Cat. She made it through a terrible swim as well. Neither of us gave up. We're good like that.

I realized something interesting from today's swim. I realized that there are good days and there are bad days. That's what I realized.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking - for Godsakes Sammy Simpleton, did it really take you this long in life to realize that basic fact!? And for that matter, the thought is so damn fundamental I don't know if it even qualifies as a realization. You must be retarded.

Well, first of all, it's not nice to think that. Take it back. Second of all, you really are quite belligerent. You should see somebody about that. Third of all, let me explain.

Within this whole Ironman training tom-foolery there are, as you can imagine, some very long training sessions. Already we have 5-6 hour days of workouts, and we're still six months away from raceday. You can bet that we're going to be ramping up quite a bit more over the next few months. But looped into those long, grueling hours are also shorter workouts, whether they be recovery sessions or time trials. Take today, for instance. All we had was a 20 minute run followed by a 2km continuous swim. Piece of cake. These short workouts are practically as good as a rest day, when it comes right down to it.

And let me tell you, the short days are a god send. I love looking at the daily schedule and realizing that all I have is an hour or less of exercise to do. It's like a little vacation in the middle of a busy week. But, you see, vacation isn't always the perfect picture they show you in the magazine. Sometimes it rains when you're on vacation. And sometimes your flight is really bumpy. Sometimes you get so damn frustrated at the ineptitude of the hotel workers, you just wish vacation was over and you can get back home to the comfort of your messy place.

Which leads us right back to today's realization that there are good days and bad days. Those good and bad days, I realized, have absolutely positively nothing to do with the actual distance and time it takes for the workout. I went for a two-hour run on Saturday (preceeded by a swim and a bike) that was pure and utter joy. As for today's twenty minute jaunt? Ugh-Argh-Yech. Sometimes it is easier to get through a four hour workout than it is a forty-five minute workout. Because, as we agreed, there are good days and bad days. And all I can do is live for the moment. Bad days eventually end and eventually roll into good days. And I know I will survive the bad days to get to the next good day.

Of course, it sure would be nice for Ironman day to be a good one. Is that asking too much?