Given the hubbub around Darwin’s 200th birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about evolution and adaptation. This was driven home painfully on yesterday’s “bigbrick” workout: ride for 3 hours @ 90% race pace, followed by a run of 2 miles warmup and then 10 solid minutes of “hammering” it as fast as I could go. I had not been on the tri bike in several weeks (rain, long ride on the road bike) and the first 25 miles were downright dreamy. I was pushing 20 mph easily on the way north from Pepperdine to Las Posas. I even had to check the GPS several times to see if I was confused – it took less than 80 minutes to get out past Pt. Mugu, my 1/2 way point. I definitely had more energy in my legs to go faster, so I was meeting the workout criteria. But on the descent from Las Posas back down to Hwy 1 my right shoulder started screaming.
This very second I am in my sleeping shorts. It’s 12pm, I have a 2pm client appointment way the heck out in the Hollywood hills, and I totally pushed off swimming 4500 meters this morning. Why? Because I didn’t feel like it, that’s why. I’ve told myself that I’ll swim those 3 miles and change this afternoon after I finish at my client. Will it happen? No idea. That’s something for afternoon Max to figure out. Morning Max needed to sit in his shorts and do nothing for a few hours. That’s right. Absolutely nothing. I spent the weekend with friends in the Bay area and I desperately needed just a few hours that were mine, alone, and not spent working out.
After finally getting a few hours to myself on Saturday (slept in, got a haircut, picked up the bike at Tri Lab) we went to a big birthday party and gorged on cheese from the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. Things are better today and when the light rain stops I’ll be heading out for a long ride with Ironman Julian. I’m still wrapping my head around moving into 1.5hr workouts during the week, but one thing at a time for now. Right now it just feels good to look forward to 50 miles.
It’s been a hard week. Iron Tim warned me not to go back into training until Wednesday, to give myself some time off after Saturday’s ride. I took Sunday off, but had already scheduled the last few sessions at Core Performance. Those sessions were set to expire at the end of January and they were kind enough to extend them another two weeks, so my frugal compulsion overrode the wisdom of my peers and I worked out for an hour Monday followed by an hour bodywork session that afternoon. Tuesday I swam an hour and change, about 1.75 miles, and then Wednesday back to Core Performance. Coach Brian moved me into 1.5hr workouts, and at the same time a bunch of clients had fires that needed to be put out quickly. One client in Burbank, which if you were looking for proof that space and time are expanding, try and drive to Burbank from Culver City at any time of day. I’ve titled this post “Going off the rails” because it’s Friday afternoon, my brain is fried, and I’m right at the edge of severe exhaustion. At 4pm I haven’t eaten lunch yet, I’ve got another client appointment before evening, and I haven’t worked out since Core Performance on Wednesday. Oh, and did I mention that Monday’s Core Performance workout crashed their computer system so the coach punched me up a custom upper body workout that destroyed my pecs? I am a giant wad of torn up muscle fiber, mental exhaustion, and overall feelings of being behind on everything. Work, workouts, clients, writing, you name it. Oh, and it’s raining. And my tri bike is still down at Tri Lab because I haven’t had the time to go and get it after being serviced for a rear derailleur issue. Fuck it. I’m going home.
The irony of being anxious – no, terrified – about riding more than double my longest distance is that what I needed most was sleep, and the worry kept me awake much of the night. This happens in the days leading up to races as well, it’s just that I had less time to obsesses over this ride having only agreed to do it a few days prior. I managed to get about 6 hours of fitful rest, but I was still haunted by a whopper of a migraine from Wednesday night. I don’t know if the drugs I take for the migraine exit my system in 24 hours, or more importantly, if the migraine had left my system. Migraines are both neurological and vascular in nature and here I was twiddling both of those functions. Signing up for races, agreeing to insane new distances, these are ways to push myself and my limits on my terms.