On the night before Lake Placid Camp, a little checkin. If camp is anything like it was last year, it will challenge me in ways that I can’t anticipate, so I kind of wanted a “before” snapshot.
So here’s what’s been up since my excellent college reunion and 5K run:
- My runs continue to rock the freaking house. I can consistently run 30 minutes at a time, usually with paces under – even WELL under – 10 minutes. I have never, ever been able to do this before. Even my sluggo recovery run after planting trial beds all day at work yesterday clocked in at where my top speed was a month ago. I love that I can trust my legs now…but that I still need to, and want to, be aware of how they’re landing and how I’m picking them up, with every stride. And I love that it’s flower season and that I can run by awesome baskets and beds of flowers. Dig it.
- This weekend I get to try my first transition run (which is a run after a bike ride) on Saturday AND my first 45 minute run on Sunday. Oh my goodness, I want to pull this off!
- I finally got through some swim dopeyness. Just couldn’t find the sauce to go hard; or when I did go hard, my speed wasn’t there. But then finally I got a good set of hard efforts for which I left it all in the pool. Also got myself in the lake a few times and actually enjoyed it! This is mostly HTFU practice for me. I like swimming; I’m not good at getting in the water. But I will be in Mirror Lake this weekend!
- I know that most of my dopeyness during workouts comes from poor fueling. I am much, much better now than I used to be. I used to drive myself to bonkland – or juuust up to the border – regularly. Like I was proving how much I could do on how little fuel. That I just didn’t have the needs of everyone else; that I could somehow transcend. Obviously this reaches beyond sport and into the rest of life. I’ve spent a lot of years trying to prove – or pretend – that I can pour myself out without needing to be poured into.
- And now, slowly sometimes and like an anvil to the head sometimes, I’m seeing that having enough fuel doesn’t make me greedy or selfish. It makes me functional. Happy, even. Most of all grateful. Because when I realize how much I do have, it’s sometimes a little overwhelming. It can be easier to make oneself weak by limiting nourishment than to face life’s confusions as a person who is fully functional yet still imperfect.
- But thankfully, I’m seeing that there’s a point when running from pain becomes scarier and more tiring than facing it.
- For that reason, I’m way psyched for this weekend. Last year at Lake Placid Camp, I went into the 56 mile bike ride a wee tad bit overconfident. I’d ridden hills. I’d ridden well over 56 miles. What was there about this that I couldn’t do? Well…I’m not sure exactly why, but my right knee lit up at about mile 42. Turned out to be my IT band, but I didn’t know that then. And instead of sitting with the pain and trying to figure out what was needed to release it…I kind of freaked out. Mostly because I was SUPPOSED to be able to handle this ride. And I saw the pain as failure. As an embarrassment.
- But after 11 months of rehab from my accident, I’m now USED to random pain whose source I don’t really know and whose onset I can’t justify. I’m used to massaging, working stuff out, and in the process becoming way more connected to my body than I ever was before.
- The Lake Placid ride will be my longest ride since my crash, by a long shot. My longest to date has been 2 hours and 10 minutes, and this loop will probably take me 3.5 hours, or maybe more. I will not be shooting for any specific speed, heart rate, or power. My goal is to stay well fueled – I have a blow-by-blow plan laid out – to read my body, and just to enjoy the hell out of it. It is SO beautiful up there! Oh yeah, and keep the rubber side down.
- I do have one small physical issue going into this weekend. It involves soft tissue rather than musculoskeletal pain. I will say nothing more for now, but to be honest I am a bit nervous that it will get in the way of my ride. I’ve worked so goddamned hard to get to this point; I wanna ride my bike! But, we’ll see what happens. I’m so, so ready to see what this weekend has in store for me!