June 23, 2010

traveling, resting and feeling lucky(grateful)

The last couple of weeks have been an interesting learning experience. I made some good decisions, some bad decisions and fortunately had some luck along the way. When we got back from Hawaii we had a few days to unpack get caught up on work and then the plan was to get out to Boulder early for the Endurance Corner camp. That should have been enough stress travel to hold us over! Somewhere in my overzealous excitement to race, I added a for a layover in Richmond Virgina long the way where there just happened to be the Xterra East Championship race the same weekend. Imagine that! It all looked good on paper anyways.

I had been inching to do a "fast" race for a while and have gone back and forth between a number of races. I originally set my sights on the Auburn Half Ironman (with a name like The Worlds Toughest Half it caught my eye!) and then I signed up for the Deuceman Half in Arizona. After not doing these race I found myself racing in training here and there... That was OK as Gordo has me on the "boys just want to have fun" program for now but I was feeling pretty shelled from the intensity and was ready for an unload before getting back on the program for the Kona build. After putting aside some longer races closer to home I signed up for a very short race on the other side of the US. Not much to say about it now but it did feel real good to be racing an Xterra again. The journey to get there was more of an experience. Race report on the way...

I was reminded that you can rest and not be rested. Laying on the beach in Hawaii should have been a good time to mentally and physically freshen up. . . and it was for the first few days. However, getting a tan actually does rob some energy in a weird way. I'm not complaining at all! Believe me there is a good reason why you should be "hydrating" and laying down when you are bronzing. Clearly, this is hard work. Something to keep in mind before Kona too. Don't expect to tan up and feel rested if you get to the island a few days before the race. That is the time to head for the shade. Back to the rest part. By the end of the week I had some late nights and some long drinks. That mixed with eating all kinds of "food" that I have not had in a long time left me feeling pretty behind by the time we finished up our final flight home. Lucky for me the good times were worth it and the timing was good.

After getting back from Hawaii we had a few days to catch up on work, unpack/pack before flying into Richmond, racing and flying into Boulder to recover from the race at altitude and at a training camp. Sometimes I wonder if I have learned anything at all!

The beauty of Boulder and encouragement from the team here is enough to fuel us, even if we missed out on all of our sleep, we feel very lucky to be here. The value of the Endurance Corner camps is extreme when you consider the resources, wisdom shared, encouragement given and time saved from the mistakes you will avoid by trying to go at it in your own way. The training and "races" that we are experiencing everyday is a lot of fun and meeting new friends gives a special kick to the effort and enjoyment of the training too. Monique and I have also spent our off time touring Boulder on bikes. We REALLY like it here

There is also an added element that makes recovery just a bit better when you have support on every ride, food provided and getting pointers from the sports best. With seven coaches, guest speakers and specific skill review days it just gets better and better. We have had Chrissie Wellington, Bobby McGee, Laura and Gregg Bennett, Craig Alexander and it is just Wednesday! I am telling you this because I want YOU at the next camp so we can hang and crush some dreams in a remote location! Block out your schedule for the next camp and make sure you freshen up a bit before arriving ;-)

I feel luck and I am learning. Meeting and talking with some of the people here is quite encouraging and humbling. They are so down to earth and balanced in life. I believe being at that level (and putting in that training volume/intensity) requires a balance in life and commitment to purpose that is superior. When I get tired, I spend... I spend money, energy and cycles and become I am horribly inefficient. This comes more often than not when I am out of balance and make some bad decisions and try to muscle out of it. That does not work well for the long haul... Being tired highlights my bad habit(s) and provides a good reminder.. At least it gives me something to work on...there is no quick fix. Taking the long view of things and commitment to purpose often helps to get efficient fast but it takes a long time to make it stick. "There is no easy way"

Tomorrow is off to the pool early so it is off to bed for now. Its been a good week so far!


J.P. Patrick said...

You're making Craig look a little frail there in that picture!

Boulder rocks! Glad you're enjoying it! We're doing a night run up in the mountains along the Flatirons on Saturday if you're feeling "boy stupid!"

jameson said...

go run with JP!

sounds rad man... when is the next camp?