The day off that was not!!

July 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Two days ago was Sunday – the day after my first long run of  my half-marathon training program.   Technically  it was a day off – I went on a 40 mile bike ride and not just any 40 mile bike ride – a 40 mile bike ride full of steep hills and rollers.   Yes, I was bad but I had my reasons.

For the past almost one year, I have been spending a lot of time in Wisconsin.  I very much enjoy the area in which I have been “hanging out”.    I have always had a special spot in my heart for the Dairyland State.  Four years ago, I competed in the Ironman Wisconsin race – nicknamed IMoo.  I spent two summers riding my bike every other weekend, like all the other aspiring IMoo triathletes.  I poured a whole hell of a lot of sweat, tears and DNA on the beautiful country roads which circle  and zigzag along the cow and crop covered countryside.  So, with this past year of hanging out and watching cyclist after cyclist wizzzz by me, I have had an ‘itch’ to get back out on the carbon two-wheeler and wizzzzzzzz, as well.

I have previously touched on a few of my blogs about burnout and lack of training desire.  IMoo was the particular training in question and subsequent race that brought on the nasty spell of burnout.  After spending two very intense years of training and focusing on one race, I totally fell apart after crossing the finish line – both physically and mentally.  Please do not get me wrong, I loved the race.  It was the most difficult, incredible, inspiring and mind-blowing experience that I ever had, but when it was over, it was over.  Kind of like a balloon flying high above the trees and – poof – it gets punctured by a branch and deflate in an instant.  This was the let-down of all let-downs.  I could not get myself focused to get on the bike, swim a lap or run a mile.  I did have a few false starts, so to speak.  I participated in a few 5ks and I went biking quite bit, but on my hybrid with my two boys.  I still continued teaching my fitness classes, I just did not teach myself.  In some ways it was nice and relaxing.  In others, however, I found it a bit frustrating.  When some of my fitness acquaintances were gearing up (no pun intended) for tri season, I was working, dealing with personal crap and, well, lets just spit it out – getting damn fat!  The most frustrating part, however, was trying to re-again a part of myself – a part that defines me and makes me feel whole.

The ride yesterday was quite intense.  The last time I rode this course was back in 2006 during the race itself.  I had a lot of penned up emotion swelled up inside – anxiety, nervous excitement, fear – and I did my best to convert it to energy.  I did just that and managed to fudge my way through the difficult 40 mile course.  It certainly was not pretty or graceful, but I made it through to the end.  If anyone was within ear shot of my foul mouth, they would have stuffed a six-pack of bar soap down my throat.  I was engaged in a constant inner conversation –   telling myself :  “You can do this”, “Why did I set out to ride this course”, “What the hell was I thinking”, “Isn’t this area beautiful”,  “Hmm, I do not remember seeing that house over there”, “Ah aren’t those baby calves cute”, “Stop thinking about your sore knee”, “I cannot wait to get a tall Coke filled with ice”, and so on and so on…..  Yes, colorful conversation to say the least.  I suppose you could also say I was engaged in a battle of wills – my ‘I can’ and ‘I can’t’ – and a war between the bike vs myself.

I made it through unscathed and, when all was said and done, was very tired but relieved.  It seems I still have that Ironman fighting ability after all.  I am thinking September, 2012 – IMoo!

Entry filed under: cycling, Exercise, feelings, Outdoors, physical, Running, triathlon. Tags: .

week one – long run Week 2 – Tuesday

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