Thursday, January 31, 2008

Checking In

Life's been throwing a ton of curve balls at me lately. Can't really get into much detail in this venue but I can say a) thank God for training and b) when they said Ironman was a life-changing event, they weren't kidding. The training has been the only constant in my life. I crave my workouts since I rely on them for stability. I can count on my swims, bikes, and runs. I feel better afterwards and I can sleep at night because the training makes me too physically exhausted to care about the racing stream of consciousness in my head. By the way, I've discovered the secret to PRing in workouts: have a huge stressor going on in your life. Nothing like going hard to work the steam off.

Workout Snapshots:
Saturday: 72 mile ride with hills; threw in Torrey Pines at mile 70 for kicks.
Sunday: 14 mile run at base pace; started dumping rain at mile 12. I love running in the rain. It was raining so hard, I had to run with 1 eye closed to keep my contact from falling out!
Monday: much-needed day off and 1 hour massage. Ahhhh!
Tuesday: hard 5 mile tempo run
Thoughts were racing through my head. The only time my mind is quiet is when I run. My footsteps felt like I was chasing time. Trying to stay in each moment with each step. Life is nothing but fleeting moments strung together like a weakend spider-web. I chase after each moment in a futile attempt to catch them, slow them down, or make sense of them like a butterfly net with holes. I am trying to put reason into randomness. Everything is transient, in a constant state of flux. Running helps me to stay in that transient instance of time for just a little longer, savoring the sweet taste just a little but more.
Wednesday: 1 hr time trial swim; 3400 meters. I loved it. I found a rhythm and swam. I enjoyed feeling each arm turn over, catch the silky water, and reveled in the power of my stroke beneath me as I glided through the water. I got a swimmer's high. I wanted to stay there forever. I actually asked the coach if we could do 90 minutes next time. He gave me a really weird look.
Afternoon bike--I got in an easy 24 miles with a stop at B&L so Torch could get some much needed TLC. The ocean was turbulent after the recent rains, full of movement from opposing currents and a deep, troubled blue. My emotions matched the waters and comforted me.


M said...

Funny, I was just thinking this morning that "training angry" really pushes me along. I figure if I sweat out the anger on the bike or road, then I am much better person to deal with in my daily life.

Or at least that's the idea.

Anyway, way to keep hanging in there - I completely get the whole "craving" workouts - I was in Miami for a couple days, and when I got home I was actually excited to get on my bike. Who is this person I have become?!?!?

Ironman is life changing. In a good way.

Sara said...

Sounds like a great training week! Although I do hope the stressors all but disappear to make your life easier!

beth said...

sounds like a stressful time, nothing like a little (or a lot of) training to keep you balanced (or at least hanging on)...some say its cheaper than therapy, but as triathletes we know that's not true! which reminds me....gear=instant happiness.. go buy yourself some new running shorts

Rainmaker said...

Those sound like some rockin workouts mixed in there. Keep up the good schedule.

Hopefully the ocean will calm down a bit.

Benson said...

Crisis is temporary. Keep the constants that make you whole and healthy. All storms pass.
Keep up that great training...and recovery.

Shan said...

Rachel, I'm so sorry to hear that times are tough. Sometimes it feels like everything (bad or good) happens all at once and leaves us feeling like we've been hit by a truck...I certainly have felt that way before!

But keep on truckin'. It sounds like your workouts are solid and are a great help to ease your mind. But make sure you're giving yourself enough TLC so you don't get sick or injured!

By the way, I just saw now (2 months later) that you left a comment on my blog! :) I barely have time to write in it and just checked it today. I'm a grad student at UCSD in the biochem dept (Alex Hoffmann's lab - we study NF-kB signaling). I'm in my 5th year (almost done!), and am using the flexible schedule of grad school to let me train for IMAZ! :) I see that you're training for it too...the mileage sure is bumping up quick, eh?

Planning any long rides with the club soon?


Anonymous said...


I think I saw you on the train Saturday morning. But I wasn't sure if it was you...