You’ve gotta love the taper. I don’t care who you are, you’ve gotta love it. Ok.. maybe some of you type A triathletes (and I would know, it takes one to know one) don’t think that sitting around watching a bunch of TV, doing your nails and getting nine hours of sleep an night is cool. I don’t think I’d be nearly as down with it if it hadn’t been almost a full 11 months of training 20+ hours a week, getting up at butt crack of dawn and spending every Saturday on a bike seat between 2-4 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love it… like love it, love it.
But it’s nice to have a break. I’m eating it up. Last night I stayed up until 10:40pm – whoooo…don’t you all fall off your chairs now!
So in other news, I analiated packing like a world class sniper and decided this weekend was a way better time to do it than during the middle of the worst work weeks ever. It's kind of like pledging a fraternity I think..initiation or something like that! Well, it’s been about two weeks and I’m pretty sure work is trying to kill me before I leave. I’m not trying to be dramatic. It just wants to send me stressed out and screaming out the door before I get to board the plane to sunny and beautiful Florida. I’m not sure why it hates me so much right now. I mean, what have I ever done to you work? Who knows, but if I make it to the flight, it will be a small miracle in itself.
Speaking of miracles, I noticed on my face cream this week it said.
Where there is faith, there is hope. And where there is hope, miracles can happen. Well I’ll be. If that isn’t the darnest thing to have on your face cream right before you take off for the biggest race of the season.
I think about what I’m going to write in my blog sometimes and when I don’t have time to actually write them it’s so funny. The turn they take is so completely different it usually comes out as if it was written by someone else.
That’s the beauty of blogs I guess, they are a snapshot of that one moment, where you are at that very time. I thought about giving up wine for this week in order to cleanse before the race. Then I thought…nahhh.. not really my thing.
For me, at this time, I’m just so thankful that I’m going to get the chance to race one more time. Racing is gut-wrenching, and hard, and it strips you down and makes you feel a cross between alive and a totally idiot for doing this to yourself. In college, I distinctly always remember finishing my cross country race or 3000 meter track race and wondering if I had given it every last drop of what I had. I always felt I held back just a little to shield myself from feeling drop dead honest spent.
I don’t know if it’s old age, or if I’ve just been doing this too long, that I now realize what it’s like to give so much and then give a little more. I consider it an art form…I really do (now I KNOW you think I’m crazy). I can’t help it though. I consider learning how to do that a skill that cannot be completely taught, you have to learn it on your own. It comes through years of competition and teaching yourself to dig into a place that you could never experience unless you’d been there before. It is a combination of experiences, and just plan wanting to be the absolute best that you could be on any given day. When the time comes to call on that place, your mind goes back to times where you’ve done it before, and you just know that when it’s right, you’ll go there again. It’s a dangerous place though, one that shouldn’t be visited too often and is only visited in training in very short durations.
Those of us that know it, know it well. We don’t necessarily look forward to going there, but at the time going there really isn’t a yes or no question. We’ve taught ourselves to go there and to do "anything less than that, is to sacrifice the gift". It’s a place of hurt and pain, but it’s also a place where you reveal who you are and call on things about yourself that you wouldn’t know about otherwise.
I have a feeling I’ll be visiting on Saturday. Believe me you, I’m not packing bags, or moving in…but I know I’ll be there for a bit and it will make me question everything. Hopefully, I’ll have the answers though and I’ll know that in the end going there will be better than the alternative. That’s the beauty of it.
So, there is so much too look forward too. My family and friends have come out in full effect this week – emails, phone calls, cards…you all are amazing. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and the best thing is I know you love me no matter if I am first on Saturday or dead last. You love me for me and that is why I will always be there for you when you need me. I’m so blessed to have you in my life. It gives me comfort and it gives me strength to be the athlete, but more importantly, the person I know I can be. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.. I can’t thank you enough.
On that note, as the bad cheerleaders say – Bring it On! Sunny Florida, Clearwater or Bust!!! If you’re down there and see me wearing an Mark Allen Shirt, please come up and say hello!!!! I’ll be hanging with my man Jim who is going to rip up the “65 to death category” as he calls it!! He’s such a blast.. I can’t wait to see him.
See you on the flip!