While out on my ride today I happened by and stopped to watch two races, the Santa Monica Runfest 5k/10k and Playa Del Rey Triathlon. Spectating at races is a common thing for me and the reason is twofold. I enjoy supporting fellow athletes, hearing my name while I’m racing is an instant motivator and it’s good to return the favor whenever possible, but more so to add fuel to the fire. I’m not sure what it is about seeing someone in visible pain and suffering that creates an urge to want to put one’s self in the same position but whatever it gets me pumped up big time. Today it was a strong craving to crush a 5k then to smoke an Olympic Tri. In a month when down at Arizona there’s no doubt I’ll be fired up with desire to do another Ironman.
Meanwhile I have been spending the majority of my time lately eating junk food, indulging in cookies and ice cream, drinking beer, staying out late and sleeping in (7am!!). I’ve enjoyed myself more than usual, added some weight and am noticeably more out of shape but somehow at ease with it. I had a conversation with a friend of mine this week, a competitive triathlete, to discuss 2015 season planning and he mentioned to me that he was disturbed about adding 10lbs (this coming from a guy who placed 29th OA at Ironman National Championships and did a 4:20 at HIM World Championships in the last couple months.
I mentioned to him that it’s good to indulge this time of year. For one to enjoy it but more so to remember what eating that cookie tastes like, drinking beers or sleeping in late, because for 10 months or so out of the year it’s what we think about when tired, hungry or mentally drained and the truth is it’s never as good as you think it is when you can have it, only when you can’t. There’s some things I really enjoy, like the ease of pressure from more hours in the day, such as how I stopped at the grocery store every other day this week to buy ingredients for dinner rather than planning the whole week in advance. It’s nice not to have to organize the little things so extensively. But ultimately sacrificing these simple reliefs are worth it for the bigger picture.
I think it’s comforting to know what other’s are feeling and doing this time of year, with the understanding that we are all on different plans as well. I generally like to do road races in October/November and seeing today’s 5k/10k had me sad initially about missing out however at the same time know I would have underperformed big time had I tried. I have aspirations of doing well earlier in 2015 and therefore feel the need to take a solid month off (from regular training, not working out entirely) to refuel the batteries so I can get started a little earlier this go around (November vs January). I feel like the most positive thing I can do therefore right now, to be a better athlete later is get my mind out of all things training related.
It was nice today to go for a long ride, which I’ve done every freaking weekend this year!!, but with a completely different lens having no Garmin or game plan. It was fun to explore and spend the majority of time looking at the ocean rather than HR or Power numbers. It is crazy when you really think about it because I/we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and are so lucky to be able to train in a controlled environment year round, yet somehow at a certain point, after so many rides, we forget how fortunate we are, at least I have. Today was a good refresher of that point. I also look forward to getting into some group activities (ride/runs/etc), there is no pace too slow, only too fast, so hit me up if you would like company.