Sunday, August 9, 2009

About REST

So I spent the day yesterday in a catatonic state. I had trouble with everything that involved any kind of thought. My body was so stressed that I was a basket case. I couldn't figure out why I was that bad off, yeah, I did have a hard week of training, but not anything different from previous weeks. Then as I was perusing my log I realized that I had paid attention to nutrition so well this week that I actually ended up way behind the curve, to the tune of about 8,000 calories (3 days worth of food). My carbohydrate intake was too low prior to and during workouts and my protein intake was too low all together. No wonder I was so tired.

I woke up this morning still pretty beat up. I decided to spend the day with Kenny in the city. Walking felt good. It was hard to take a second day off, but I think that I have to also understand that being over 40 also has its special needs, recovery time is a bigger consideration. I knew from all my studies of exercise physiology that rest is as important as working. As hard as it is to rest, I know its a necessary component of my program (thanks Mike for recommending the Dara Torres book).

I think about the entry from yesterday about my ride in Boston. As I reflect upon it, despite the pain, it really was a fun ride and I did see some cool things, we were just moving so fast that I couldn't stop to take my signature shot. I did have a few great conversations on this ride. I talked about climbing and weight with Jeff and I always seemed to catch the most breathtaking views with John, who by the way was happy to ride with me at my pace and of course Steve has been hounding me to do the PMC next year.

I think I beat myself up about my performance at times because I want to be further along than I am. I want to be capable of a 18-19 mph effort without it being a stretch. I want to be strong enough to DUST people off on climbs. I think that when I work so hard at improving and feel like I am still not even on the approach to base camp I get emotional. Steve has been one of the most supportive people, pushing me to get back on the bike, pushing me to see the pleasure in riding again. I am so grateful that he would even entertain me riding with him.

I was prompted to write tonight as I received a note from my former swim coach. Tom told me that his has been sharing my quest to cross the country by bike with his current swim team as a motivation for them to keep reaching for athletic challenges after college. I was tickled and I started to think about how there is no turning back now, its going to be like shaving my head all over again, which I did this spring to support the St. Baldricks event at my school, only this one involves a bit more than going bald. I think that I really needed to hear that I was a role model for some young athletes I don't know. It helps to put this whole idea into perspective, especially since this effort will be a grass roots fundraiser for a charity (I am leaning towards the Jimmy Fund). Knowing that others are rooting for me increases that drive to succeed.

Tomorrow, just in time for the first heat wave of the summer, I am planning to hop on my bike at 6:30 AM, braving the morning rush hour. I will try to put in 5 hours before it gets too hot. My thoughts so far are to head to Danbury and then down to the sound shore (wish I could hop in), then head back through New Canaan and Bedford. I am hoping that my efforts are met by a willing body and soul.

With that said, thanks to all of you who have encouraged to keep reaching!

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