It has not escaped my attention that it been a while since my last post. My season came to a premature end. No Leadman Bend for me. That’s life. Which meant that I enjoyed a particularly long and relaxed rest period before training for next season. Guilty pleasure. Does everyone else feel this during rest periods, or is it just me? It was so rewarding to do workouts just for the sheer fun of it without having a particular goal in mind. Although I’m generally pretty good at keeping myself in the moment during workouts, as we all know it can be a challenge at 5:00 a.m. when you’re dead tired, everything aches, and you have your hands full just pushing yourself through a training session.
So I have to admit that this unplanned break has been great. With no goal in mind, workouts were just plain fun. I found that slipping into a Zen-like (as if I had a clue about the basic tenets of Zen Bhuddhism) meditative state was effortless. For me, at least, Garmin is the enemy of living in the moment.
In August I drove to the small town where I grew up. There’s a road just out of town that I’ve been running on since I was sixteen. Running is many things to me. One is an emotional release. If I start a run with a head full of negative feelings I can usually work through them fairly quickly and then settle in. One minute I’m raging. The next I’m in rhythm, taking in the warm evening air surrounded by the scent of alfalfa, ponderosa pine trees, my own sweat and dusty silence punctuated by the occasional call of a raven.
My neighbourhood has an old 25 m outdoor pool (you know the type – unheated changing rooms and cold showers) that opens up at 5:30 am between the beginning of September and the 2nd week of October during the annual maintenance closure of the large indoor aquatic facility. Usually populated by young children in the summer. Although we had spectacular weather this fall here on the west coast of Canada, it was a wee bit chilly on the deck in the mornings. But, oh, the rewards. There were usually no more than 4 or 5 of us in the pool. Never had to share a lane (in fact there was no need for lane ropes). Slipping into the water in the dark when the moon is out and putting down the laps into the dawn. These sessions were sublime. I’d often take extra time between sets just to watch the early morning sky and the steam rising off of the water.
My unscheduled rest period was punctuated by an equally unplanned trip to Hawaii earlier this month. Which allowed me to attack the pile of books I’d accumulated but not yet read. It also allowed me to get in some early evening runs on one of my favourite “road” routes, the coast highway to Hawi on the Big Island (which also happens to be the middle section of the bike segment for Ironman).
So, now. I’ve picked most of my races for next year. I’ve got some mileage in the new shoes. The vacation is over. The rest period is ending….and I can’t wait. To everyone who is finished for the season, be proud of y0ur accomplishments. Dream big for next year. And for those who have races left in the calendar, you’ve done the hard work….enjoy.