And I’m back. As it turns out, contrary to what the fax said on the machine two months ago, there is indeed no such thing as a full service culture tour of North Korea for only 359. After much groveling and proclaiming forever my dislike of Seth Rogan, the authorities let me go with most of my fingernails.
Ok, so let’s get this blog restarted, refreshed, and revamped. Time to pour the Redbull, chug the Americano, and take a big dunk in the ice bath. Now, looking back at the last few months, I noted my blog had focused mainly on training and not enough on the hilarity of the insanity that is triathlon. So little less training, more on the philosophical conundrums of 0500 rides and peeing in a wetsuit.
With this change, it is rather appropriate that I ramble on a topic that has been on my mind, and that is balance. The past six months of life has been a whirlwind of caffeine, writing, research, business, and beer. Fortunately, this elixir has been a mental cleanser, and helped reestablish a sense of balance in my life.
Prior to this summer, I wouldn’t really have batted an eye on getting in three workouts in a day. In fact, that is something I would call a good day. Not that there hasn’t been great success with such endeavors, but not so much when much when a part of it is fluff. Now, with asbestos fibers floating figuratively in my head between biostatistic formulas, my triathlon training….or maybe my riding, running, and swimming, has become a drastic experiment in efficiency. Lets explore this.
For my runs, I stick to a well developed warm up over 15 minutes. I never deviate from the warmup. The lack of a warmup for me is like skydiving without packing the chute; you are going to end up flat on the ground as a pile of goo by the time the trip is over. After that, I work it, three times a week. Either 1 mile repeats, 200 spin ups, or 25 minute tempo. Then I throw in a long run of at least 13 miles each week. At the end of each run, I throw in at least a half mile to mile of marathon pacing. No more daily three milers of marathon pacing.
Cycling is stuck to the mid volume Sweet Base Plan on Trainer road. I had to throw out any rides longer than 1:30; I just don’t have time this year to be riding around at 70% for 2+ hours regularly.
Swimming. Well I just turn on the shower. Seriously, I think I have put in 2000 yards over the last 2 weeks. My swimming is so bad, my arms feel like superman’s butt on a kryptonite toilet after a simple 1000y. With all my lunch meetings now, my swimming has mostly been held up with simply getting access to pool. I hate to say it, but the specter of the caffeine laden morning swim seems to be beckoning.
This reduction in training, this affront to pushing the limits of my body’s capabilities, was more difficult to swallow than a shot of Jagermeister (yeah, I said it…blegh). Stress increased. Anxiety increased. Sleep decreased. But then, breaking through such real but wasted emotion, pieces of my life that I had forgotten began to glimmer. For example, I rediscovered my love of reading, art, and writing (see, I am here now). I began cooking again. My kids and I bonded more over two great American past times, football and Minecraft. Go Seahawks. My wife and I started building a new home. I began to rediscover my faith. Balance.
What I find most novel about this experience is the double edge nature of pain. When I first began running, 40+ pounds and seven years ago, the pain of adjusting to a new active lifestyle was terrible. We all remember that chaffing. Now, at the other end of the spectrum and heading in the other direction, the pain is there again, again signaling a change for the better. The adage of no pain, no gain is proving it’s worth.
So if anyone wants to buy a nice Cervelo….HA. Just kidding. I am not racing this year, but I am still a triathlete and still living the endurance lifestyle. I’ll be planning on Ironman Coeur D’Alene in 2016 still, after the current test of endurance is over. But for now, I replace an obsession with a few things in this world with a passion for many. I hope you stick around for the latest chapter in my journey.