Less than three weeks to go until Race Day!! This means that we soon get to the “tapering” phase of training, where workouts are short and there are even rest days built into the schedule (as opposed to the rest days I take all the time when I can’t fit in a workout). I like the tapering phase, not just because I still get to eat a lot (I’m race-fueling, after all), but because it means that I’ve nearly completed my goal. There’s always a point in the training season when I get tired of it – tired of showering at the gym more than at my house, tired of getting up early every Saturday morning, tired of bike rides in the rain. Last week, that’s how I felt. But then we had a great bike/run workout on Saturday. Matt followed the rules: bike, then run, repeat 2-4 times (he did 3 bike loops, including a big hill each time, 4 runs. That’s 31 miles of biking, 8 miles of running. Holy smokes). I’m still getting over my foot issues (plantar fasciitis, or something like it, so I did my own variation on the workout: 3 bikes on the flat route, 1 run. 27 miles of biking, 2 miles of running. Biking 20-30 miles is starting to feel like a good-sized ride rather than an huge one, which is a big deal for me.
In some ways I feel totally prepared for Lavaman, others not as much (see below). But one change I’m noticing from previous race day lead-ups is something I hope I can sustain past the finish line. With my abdominal surgeries, recovery was slow and painful. Each time, moving myself from place to place required a lot of effort. And then, gradually, it wouldn’t. I remember doing activities like hiking and swimming for the first time post-surgery and feeling a rush of gratitude that I was well enough to do anything at all. The human body is amazing in its capacity to repair, and I felt in awe that I could run, ever, after being cut open.
That feeling of gratitude has been in a period of dormancy for some time. But I’m glad to say that, this week, it returned to me. I don’t care if I am the last person on my team to come across the finish line on March 24, a strong possibility. I don’t care if my times are slower than they were last year. I’m probably going to end up walking a lot of the run course, and that, too, is okay by me. I just feel really glad that I am healthy, that I am able to do the triathlon.
I hope this feeling remains with me for awhile, this gratitude that feels like it’s actually flowing through my veins, not just an abstraction I’m reaching toward. A tangible thing, like feeling the ground under your feet when you stand, or walk, or run, no matter the speed or the distance.
Ways In Which We Are Totally Prepared for Lavaman
• Bikes tuned up and ready to ship to Hawaii
• Large supply of Nuun (like Gatorade, but better) in our pantry
• Can run up the stairs at the gym with less fatigue than usual
• Know which pool at the Disneyland-esque Hilton Waikoloa has the best hot tub, and where the soda machines are located for post-race refreshment.
Ways In Which We Are Unprepared
• Can’t find our flip flops among the shoe chaos in our house
• Plantar Fasciitis persists (Janet)
• Open water swim goggles are leaky (Matt)
• Still takes some of us an hour to change a flat tire (you can figure it out)
• $1500 still to raise for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (you, you, and you can help us with this).
It’s one week until the fundraising deadline of March 12. Cancer needs an ass-whooping, now more than ever. Please donate what you can.