The new refrigerator was scheduled to arrive sometime between 12:15pm and 2:15pm. Actually, it was supposed to arrive LAST Saturday, but the snowstorm closed the Thruway and the truck with our fridge on it was coming from Ohio so…it didn’t make it. They called and rescheduled for the following weekend (as in, yesterday).
I had big plans this weekend. Big training plans, that is. I was going to get a 16-mile run in on Saturday, and a nice long, tough, swim in on Sunday followed by an intensive yoga session in the afternoon. I awoke Saturday morning to beautiful sunshine, and frigid cold temperatures. With wind. As I figured, I would have to get my run in a bit later in the day, once it had warmed up some. My parents had somewhere to be at 2pm, so I was hoping the refrigerator would be delivered by that time – or, even better, by the time they had to leave at 1pm – so that I would be able to get out and get my run in.
1pm rolls around, and still no new fridge, and no word on a more precise time of delivery. Damn. This means I am going to have to sit around and wait. My impatience steadily growing, and my motivation to get out and run steadily waning, the phone finally rings about 20 minutes to 2pm with the word that they will be there in about another 20 minutes. Almost on the dot, they were here at 2pm. Here’s where I will make a long story short: after taking a bit longer than I had thought they would, they finally depart just before the 3pm hour. By the time I get some things squared away in the house, it is nearly 3:30. And I. Am. MAD. I mean GRUMPY. I’m looking at the clock, trying to judge my time and how much daylight is left. Can I get 16 miles in before it’s dark? The temperature is now going back down, and the wind has picked up considerably. I have to face it. I can’t get out and run right now. For the next few moments, all aspects of anger, frustration, defeat, and my-training-week-has-once-again-been-screwed thoughts go through my head. I think about getting on the treadmill and pounding out 16 miles. I think about getting in a short run outside and finishing the rest on the treadmill. Thoughts are flying through my mind. Meanwhile, time is passing and the day is getting shorter. Then I say to myself, ‘Wait a minute. Calm down. STOP. Calm down. There is a logical solution, but you have to get back in your right mind to find it.’
My decision? Hop on the bike. Why? Of all aspects of a triathlon, cycling is my weakest, so, suffice it to say that cycling is where I need the most work. Therefore, when you get right down to it, when I’m in a training pinch, that’s what I need to do. For Sunday, I would get my long run in. I would have to forgo my beloved Sunday swim, unless the weather looked to be sans rain all day, then I might consider getting the swim in with the tri club in the morning, and getting my run in later in the morning. My big goal for the week was to get the long run in, so I would have to switch things around to accommodate this. That’s fine, that’s how training works. As I believe I have stated before, you have to be ready (and able!) to adapt.
This morning brought with it resplendent sunshine, significantly warmer temps, and slightly less wind. However, I was still in a bit of a funk from yesterday, and my motivation to run was not entirely optimal. I studied the weather forecast for awhile, and decided that I would forgo the swim entirely in favor of getting my run in during the morning hours; I didn’t want to be out running 16 miles in freezing cold rain.
So, at right about 10am I lugged myself out the door. Just go easy, I told myself, our goal is to just finish this today, not to set any speed records. My first five miles was mainly into the wind, but I kept my pace, and even within the first couple of miles, I knew how this run was going to turn out. My posture was excellent, there was not a whippet of fatigue to be noticed in my legs, and I was feeling supremely awesome. But I didn’t want to get carried away with these thoughts just yet – after all, I still had quite a few miles to go.
When I hit mile 9, I couldn’t hold my legs back anymore. For whatever reason, only having 7 miles to go made me feel like I was so close to the finish, that I could start sprinting. So, I let go of the reigns, I released the throttle, I pushed down on the accelerator…
I negative split the run; my second half was considerably faster than the first. I finished at a pace that was about one minute per mile faster than the pace I started at. I didn’t let myself go entirely – after all, it’s not quite time for that yet – but if I was feeling that good, I was going to let my legs have their day. This was the longest I have run in nearly three years, and the best I have ever felt. And that was when I knew, everything comes in time. Not OUR time, but a time that is determined by something other than ourselves. I knew then that I was meant to get my long run in today, at that time, in these (perfect) conditions. Because I did today what I was meant to do, what was intended for me to do. And that is something that I cannot change, that I cannot determine.
My right hamstring and IT band tightened up quite a bit after I finished, so I’m glad I now get to head into a recovery week. Recovery for my body, recovery for my mind. I look forward to rejuvenating, and now, especially, I look forward to the start of my next cycle. Everything in time…