Many who have read these journals know that I like to plan my training season around the R.C. Church calendar. For me, it adds to the spiritual element of why I train, race, and in its deepest meaning – who I am. The past 2 months I have spent in a base building phase which has allowed me to really break things down, view them with more focus, and address them. I have been doing much hill work and recently began doing tempo workouts to spark the engines a bit. It has worked nicely in conjunction with Lent – a time of fasting, sacrifice, penance, and alms-giving in preparation for Easter. You may have heard others speak of what the are “giving up” for Lent. Have you ever heard anyone say how much they intend to “give back”?  I don’t give anything up – never had. Instead I pour myself into giving back. Burn the candle at every end kind of way, but so well worth it. I had to be very diligent – with Gina’s insistence too – of making sure I have one day to recharge. Sundays have been it. I usually take a nice good ride on the trainer/UBE, then its just R&R&R. I reflect, read, and regroup.

This all has carried over well into my training. I put in the bulk of my workouts in the morning, hop on the bike to work, put in a full day, the ride home. With a flat mid-week, I have been running back and it is within these ride/runs home when I really release and feel my best – ironically no (especially after a shower)? As in my morning sessions where I charge up for the day ahead, the evening time coming back by myself allows me to question/answer how much I had been able to accomplish in the confines of Lent (and in no more than 35 minutes).The focus internally and externally has helped big time in my Ironman prep, but more importantly, have been able to decide to race in the half-marathon come Racefest. 

The run group has been phenomenal in what they have been able to do. Regardless of weather, they pull  together and we all have a great time. I really enjoy running and coaching them. The energy is contagious and we talk, share stories, and answer any questions they have the whole time. Fun, meaningful way to give back. And in a way – they have given back to me in more friendships, fun, and inspiration to bring to my personal workouts (and plenty of BioFreeze).  

Same with work, but the long hours can be draining come week’s end. Scott has plenty planned in refurnishing the store, so more may be in the work, but the teamwork makes it doable. As long as I get the time to regroup, it’s all good (that and a few Monsters and DP Max’s). I do sleep like a rock.

Then there’s G. She agreed to let me start coming back solo by riding and running home, but she’s there to make sure I GET home. Nothing warmer than a hug and kiss then. We knock off chores on the weekend and chill out and read the paper on Sundays. Only time we really get to be in control of our day, and you can’t match our breakfasts!

The Racefest will be my first 2008 race, then maybe another in mid May. I got invited by our good friends the Wilson’s to compete in the Buffalo Springs Half-Ironman in late June, so that’s an option. But all focus is on November’s Ironman.   

40 days – in essence, it’s what I’ve indeed “given up”.




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