Time Change – and Time for Changes

Finally this Sunday we get to turn the clocks back! With the sun rising close to 8am each day I was starting to get into a sun-deprived stupor in the mornings. Since Gina gets up at 5:30 to get ready, I’m usually up by 6. I do my training, stretch, then hop on the bike to get to work by 9:30. Sometimes, I’ll do a brick where I’ll ride then run to work just to mix things up. The past six weeks have been great in building a run block with some speedwork and tempos mixed in on the bike in prep for the Thunder Road Half-Marathon on Dec.8th. But seriously, with the cooler temps (broke out the hats and gloves) if there was ever a time I’d be able to sleep til 8am, this was it.

I’ve been able to adjust and get a rhythm at work where I can now deal with the pace along with being on the feet all day without crashing by the weekend. Riding back on quiet streets provides a nice way to spin out the legs and clear my mind too. It’s a great experience even though I was juggling with learning on the fly. It helps to work with great people too. Gina mandated a sleep-in day usually on Sundays where we just don’t plan anything and let the day fill itself in with what we want to do. That’s been great (though I’ve been allowed to do a easy ride before breakfast!).    

Got to go bowling the other night and managed to roll a 170 and 166 even after a year of not playing (it’s all neurological). Gina hit for 100 and 106 though she didn’t have her ball. I did come away with a nasty thumb blister too.  It is a fun game though.

Was running with Curtis the other day and he mentioned he was doing the Dowd Y Half Marathon. He surprised me since I thought he was doing the 5K but he was feeling good and had a string of great workouts which boosted his confidence. I told him I would pace him but as we got closer to Saturday, and the fact he wasn’t registering till race day, I just didn’t feel I could pull out a quick time without getting hurt. I had no plans to taper (brick on Friday) and mentally had my goal on December’s race. If I put on a bib number, I’m going to race. If I’m going to race, Gina’s going to be there (she wasn’t since she was taking the X in for service that morning).

I called him and told him I was out. Since I wasn’t entered, it didn’t matter much, but I felt I was letting him down – even though he said it wasn’t a big deal.  I didn’t sleep too well, but knew I was doing the right thing.

This morning I headed out for an 18 miler ending at the Nissan joint where Gina would be. I felt good and relaxed throughout and had my mind on a lot of things as I bounced between association/disassociation. Form is coming along greatly and upper arm strength improving with my 1lb Speedo weight I’ve been carrying. Also acclimating well to the upper 30- mid 40 morning temps too. Met Gina some 2 hrs later and had enough time to stretch, walk around the lot, and recover while we waited. Gina left when I did so by the time we got the X back it was almost 3 hours total for the service. We got back, made a weekend brunch, and relaxed before doing some errands and Church. I checked the internet for the race results and HE WON!!!

Curtis pulled out a great time and won by a few minutes. I was so jacked I registered for the Thunder Road five minutes later and committed to the race. Now  I have a reason to stay on the training schedule I’m following and bring the race into focus. I was so happy for him! The guy has certainly been putting in the work and it is paying off for him. After the summer he’s struggled through, he deserves it.

On a sad note, Ryan Shay died during the trails in NYC. Just fell and was out. I admired the guy the way he represented EAS, but Gina mentioned in rightful curiousity – “how does a fit person just drop like that?” Big Man G works in strange ways. Makes things easier to put into prespective, but yo, when he says its time - it’s time. That is why it’s important to do what you enjoy doing – and every minute of it. I usually don’t revel much in public on a deep personal level, but on Wednesday of this week, I came home to the news that my Uncle Tony – a person I loved and admired - died. The disturbing part for me was I haven’t been able to see him for over 3 years due to some family actions. We use to visit him and celebrate his birthday every year and he was going strong into his 80′s even after the loss of his wife (my Dad’s sister) of 50 years. Then “poof”, didn’t know where he was taken by some relatives. No contact. Not even my Pops could find out. Until Wednesday that is. Stuff like that makes me boil. Helps to train with that emotion which I will for the next month. Better damn believe it. That’s 2 people close to me (John’s Mom back in July) gone and I couldn’t say goodbye. I do though each time I head out the door or get on my bike.

I’ll see you on December 8th.



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