It's been a good week so far. After spending the weekend with Rachel, Boo, and our newest family-member Savannah; I'm back at CGSC. I won't deny that I miss the family and it makes it a bit harder to stay focused. However, I did receive some good news.
First, I qualified for Short Course Nationals in Portland. While those "fast guys" will put the hurt on me, I'm excited to race on my home course.
Second, I might get an invitation to Long Course Worlds in Holland. I'd be thrilled to have the opportunity to represent my country in triathlon. I just hope they don't make me race in wood shoes:-)
Third, my swimming is improving...4 weeks ago, it took me 3:21 to swim 200 yards. Today, I knocked out a 2:57. Not fast, but better. Also, I'm starting to "feel" the water on my catch/pull which is HARDER, but clearly means I'm "getting it" a bit better...Just gotta get my boat anchor legs up a bit!
Finally, the dogs are starting to work it out. There has definitely been some fur flying, but we think they'll mellow once everyone is settled.
On Saturday, Rachel and I added our newest member of the family. Savannah is our newest Old English Sheepdog. She just weaned her final litter and the breeder needed to find her a home. Therefore, we're her retirement home. Naively, I expected that she'd immediately settle in and simply have a great time with our other sheepdog. Of course, I failed to consider that she'd spent the previous five years with 8 siblings in Montana and that a hour car ride with strangers might cause a bit of stress...Needless to say, the first 48 hours have been a bit stressful for everyone as we learn how we'll work as a family and let our new friend find her way. Will she have more love and attention long-term? Definitely. Is she uncomfortable today? Absolutely.
Even for those of us who consider ourselves "open minded," change rarely comes without resistance. I've just completed my third week of "the Method." At first blush it seems innocent enough. However, I could feel my body actively resisting the changes the program affects upon me. It started with a small craving for unhealthy food, was followed by an increased desire for caffeinated soda, and culminated with a huge grease-fest at a burger joint when I got home following a long flight. Fortunately, I've stayed aggressive with the workouts and I'm not looking back. All that I can control is what I do today...And today, I rode well and ate healthy. I want the changes I've requested from my coach...It's just a matter of reminding myself occasionally.
Have you ever noticed how quickly you can spend 60 minutes? Television, surfing the net, sitting around...
One of the interesting things about the Method is that it has really helped me appreciate time. 45 second intervals can last forever...In a strange way, I'm using athletics to help me appreciate that the QUALITY of the time we have is as important as the QUANTITY.
While there is nothing inherently wrong about taking a lazy day...I think the real question that I'm learning to ask myself is "am I actually living in the minute or just letting it pass?"
I don't have anything profound to say at the moment. However, I can say that I'll be paying more attention to living in the moment in my upcoming training. For me, that will be reflected by decreased dependence on "outside" stimulation such as T.V. during trainer workouts and my iPod during runs. These items have their place, but I want to take some time to get to know my own body for a while.
Saturday, I was supposed to ride 4 hours. However, I met with Joe Fox and the Cycle City crew for a little Dirty Kansa recon. Ultimately, I ended up with around 5 hours in the saddle, a few hours of gravel riding, a few hours of heavy winds, and a big smile on my face. Of course, the run following the ride was a tough one and my legs are a bit sore today. In the end, I completed around 70 miles of riding.
I can't even imagine how tough it was for the rest of the gang. They did 110 miles with the MAJORITY of it on gravel roads. I guess they breed 'em pretty tough here in Kansas!
Phew! Sprinting is hard when one spends most of their time in Z2...
Spent the night listening to the howling winds and wondered if we'd be caught in a thunderstorm on race day. Fortunately, the weather was clear, but COLD (42 degrees).
200 meter pool swim zig-zagging under lane lines...A goofy set-up, but I managed to hold form and avoid being passed.
14 mile HILLY and WINDY bike ride around Fort Leavenworth. Rode steady and avoided the MANY gigantic craters...err...potholes on course. My right calf cramped up (likely due to cold) on the longer descent on course each lap which was more of an annoyance than a real problem.
3.2 mile run with a little rise, but basically a good course. Started a bit too slow (good turnover, but not striding out enough). After one guy passed me, I snapped out of it and re-focused/ran hard.
Unfortunately, the TT start made it hard to race others. My lack of focus during the first mile of the run (and my slow transitions) probably cost me 3rd place overall.
5th Overall (165 starters) 1st 35-39 AG 2nd Military (beaten by 1 Army guy...Grrrr!!!)
The event was fun and run well. I really enjoyed the down home atmosphere as well as meeting some new people.