What a week for training here in Connecticut. The weather was perfect - low 70's and sunny. I did quite a bit of running the last six days and most in the trails which are beginning to look as though it's late September, not late August. The trails changing, the kids back to school, the highways more congested again - I can't believe the summer is over. This being an off year for racing for me, in a way I'm glad it's passing quickly. At the same time, who doesn't wish time would slow down a bit?
When you take some down time or a year off from racing, you hope that during this time, you get recharged. Either that or you hope that you come to a conclusion that your done with all this training and racing silly shit. However, I don't think the latter ever happens. There are those who will say they have moved on but deep down they aren't fooling anyone including themselves. Let's face it, this sport, this lifestyle becomes a part of us. And as silly and inconsequential as it may be in the big picture, it's still a part of us, and a healthy part of us for the most part.
I know that I'm recharging because I'm already starting to plan my 2009. I usually wait until the last minute to plan my schedule - I guess it's a good sign that I'm already thinking about it. When I first started training and racing triathlons, it was all about the race. I loved to race and raced often. As the years have passed, there's been a shift. Now, I really enjoy the training and although the satisfaction derived from a 1 hour trail run on a crisp early Wednesday morning may not equal that satisfaction from doing a race well, it's still satisfying none the less. I guess what I'm saying is that I've mellowed over time. However, I realize that I need to race also. I still want to "test the waters" and the only place to truly do this is in a race atmosphere, and I also need a carrot out there to keep me honest. Otherwise it's too easy to get complacent and become average. You don't learn anything by being average. I'm sure there will be times during the season next year where I question why I am still at this. Without a doubt, I will go through these mental games in the week leading up to my big goal races. But as I cross the finish line - as soon as I cross that line, I'll realize why it's important for me to go through the process and continue testing myself.
Anyway, my legs are shelled today! I picked up my running a bunch since coming back from vacation last week and I'm paying the price today. I have that "sledge hammer to the thighs" feeling. It's a wake up call that I needed to change my running plan up a bit.
Good luck to Keith and Joe and John racing in Louisville today!
The Verve - Love Is Noise (you may initially be irritated by the riff but it grows on you quickly. Good to see the Verve back.)
Cold War Kids - Something Is Not Right With Me
Beck - Think I'm In Love
and for the James Bond fans; Propellerheads - On Her Majesty's Secret Service