It’s been a bit of a rough summer so far. In the Holding Your Ground post, I talked about how I wasn’t going to be breaking new ground in terms of distance or performance this year, and the way things are shaking out, I don’t think I’m going to do any triathlons this year. I had thoughts of doing Bracebridge again, or maybe dropping down to the Sprint level, but I think I know I’d be pretty much limping through it, and needing the better part of a week to recover. The concept of merely doing the race for fun and simply enjoying completing it appeals to me, but I know I’d be cursing how slow I am and everything that woulda/shoulda/coulda (Shel Silverstein shout-out!) happened this season with every stroke, revolution and step.
Immediately after getting back from Germany, I underwent a vasectomy. The snip. I’m thinking of devoting a post to it in case anyone was considering it and wondering about effects and impacts (don’t worry, there wouldn’t be any pictures), but for now, I’ll just leave it at the fact that I was unable to exercise (or even pick up the kids) for a week after a less-than-completely active vacation just as the summer was getting started. A summer that follows a brutal winter, where getting/keeping a good base was very unlikely. It also meant missing out on Band On The Run (at least the racing part, but the music festival/live concert was a lot of fun); I don’t think I’m going to post about it since it’s so long ago and I didn’t run it myself, but it’s a must-have for next year; family friendly, lots of fun.
So here we are, without racing goals, without a formal training program, with a weak training base and the summer has been rather rainy, if you ask me. Rain and storms has meant cancelling rides and open water swims at the cottage where I spend most weekends.
Still, I’m not writing this to describe what hasn’t happened, I’m here to celebrate what has been happening. For one thing, like they say in the movie The Crow, it can’t rain all the time, so the cottage has been good for open water swims. Unfortunately, due to some weird Garmin firmware crash (that my Forerunner 910XT has fortunately has recovered from) I don’t have any data to show you for it… the Garmin ate everything from June 23rd till sometime in Mid-July. I can tell you that I did the first one sans wet-suit.
That decision to swim without it was a good one, I got 1.4 km of swimming done in 33 minutes which made me feel good about where my technique, body positioning and endurance were at. I had a couple of other swims, one of which was in very windy and rough conditions and was really unpleasant, but at least it would toughen me up for adverse conditions, right?
We’ve taken the kids kayaking a couple of times too. The first time was about 1km, the second we got up to two. They’re pretty good about patiently sitting still, to the point where our arm endurance is a bigger limiter than their fidgetiness (I just made that word up).
The other thing the cottage has been good for is using my mountain bike. Rather than cart my tri-bike back and forth from the city, I just try and get out on the mountain bike, which I’m treating as part cycling training, part cross-training. The first time I looked for a trail in the area I encountered a massive mud puddle which a little too much for this novice mountain biker…. but when I hit the same trail the week after, it was dry enough to ride through and I got a little further.
Whenever I hit some challenging terrain (which, for me, is just about anything more than a dirt road) I giggle and hoot. I bet I sound like Daffy Duck out there.
Back at home, the Lightning Kid’s sleeping schedule has returned back to its horrible default condition. He’s less accepting of me as means to get back to sleep, but the good news is that when I’m industrious and organized, I prearrange my running gear so I can get up, grab it, change quickly in his room, and take him out running before he can wake anybody else.
It’s been a great opportunity to play with fasted cardio, since I don’t take any fuel before I go (though it’s super important to hydrate before and during, because I wake up as dry as a bone). I’m pushing the Chariot and taking it easy and just trying to kill 30-60 minutes so that the rest of the house can sleep. I don’t push the pace, and I’m just happy to be moving, and even then, I find myself tempted to stop running or turn around early. I’m training my body to recruit more of my fat stores, and training my mind to keep going even though I’m tired which is key for triathlon.
I wasn’t sure how much he was enjoying it, and in fact, when he starts asking for ‘Mama’ I know it’s time to get home quick, but I was surprised at how quickly he’s come to expect it: I got up early with him on Tuesday, and since I didn’t have my gear out and ready (and I was pretty groggy), I didn’t take him out. He grabbed my running shoes and though I took him out on the porch for a few minutes when he asked to go outside (not for long, because it was surprisingly cold and we were just in pyjamas), he threw a tantrum when he found we were going back inside. Sometimes when we’re out on the run if he starts to fuss I give him my water bottle to drink from. He hardly ever drinks from it, but he does play with it a little. The funny part is when he starts calling me to take it back; he’s like a little coach reminding me to hydrate.
So, though I haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, I’ve had some fun and that’s what summer’s all about… and it’s half over!
How has your summer been so far?