Sunday, February 7, 2010
Weekend's weather & workout!
My first track session of 2010 was, well...interesting, wet, hard, challenging. The above photo was taken minutes after I had finished my cool down. I think its appropriate that the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital is in the background, as I wasn't sure if I could (or would) survive my main speed intervals. The standing water around much of the track in lanes 1, 2, and some cases 3 - only added to the joy.
Driving out to the track I was greeted with rain, wind, clouds, and...more rain.
However, I also saw a rainbow behind the air station - and even though it's difficult to see, I considered it a good sign.
Especially since the day's workout would be the first time I had visited the track since...since...um....when was I last at the track? Oh yes - since before Kona. Wow - the middle of last September then. Suffice to say - its been a while. Assuredly, I would need all the good vibes, positive omens, and rainbows imaginable.
The run itself was H.A.R.D.
What does that spell?
Hard. As in: Help. Abnormal (pain). Rough. (and now I'm) Delirious.
Who ever tells you that Ironman training is more difficult than short-course is wrong. Misguided. Confused. Pick-your-own-choice-adjective. And they clearly don't appreciate the difficulty of SHORT, HARD, MAX EFFORT workouts.
But that's a different post all together. (And before all you IM people get mad - I mean absolutely NO offense, whatsoever. Though the activities of swim-bike-run are the same, you're training your body in a VERY different way. 2.5-hour run zone 2 OR 8 X 800 meter MAX EFFORT repeats with 1 minute recovery between segments? You pick...neither is "better" or "more challenging" than the other. Just different. And they each have their own purpose.)
The 20 minute warm-up was the easiest part of my day, although I was absolutely soaked within 5 minutes. And no...not just a little wet. Soaked - like I had just jumped in the lake. Dodging puddles became pointless, so I didn't.
I was so drenched that...not only did I have to worry about the rear wedgie...but I was seriously concerned about the front one as well. At any moment, I was sure of a wardrobe malfunction; my soaked shorts were going places they've never gone before. I was quite offended.
Eventually I ran to the track to complete the final bits of my workout. It was covered...absolutely covered in standing water. The gale-force wind and driving rain only added to my joy. Hey - at least there wasn't lightning. Or snow. Deep down though, I wanted the challenge, wanted to test my limits - even if it meant sloshing through never-ending puddles.
And while wearing my sail-like windbreaker in the process. No WAY was I going to remove that thing during the "fast" bits. Driving rain + wind + 50-degree temps had me absolutely chilled. On the one hand the jacket provided a great push with the tailwind. The headwind...well...(shudder)....that was hard. I felt like a giant rubber band was tied around my waist and I was getting pulled backwards - and no matter how HARD I ran, I made little, if any progress.
But through it all - I had a blast. And kept going - as hard as I could. And even if I wasn't as fast as I once was - this workout was the first of many that will hopefully remedy that. And I relished the opportunity to tear around the track - because in spite of the elements (or maybe because of them...?) I loved it. Challenges and all.
Because that's what life is about - pushing beyond our comfort level, venturing into the unknown...growing and learning in the process. Add in the key-ingredients of fun, joy, happiness - and you've got the perfect equation, regardless of the weather.
And no - I'm not grim. This is the closest thing to a smile that I could muster post-workout. Thank you Jen Harrison! Oddly enough, I'm excited about my next go-around at the track. Here's to happy training, in all weather!