Monday, August 24, 2009
A trip to The Magic Garden
My training has taken on this character that is akin to chaos being at war with zen and attempting to fight to the death. Zen always wins without any sort of struggle, complete confidence is all it takes. The interesting part is that I know in my heart Zen will win, and I do listen and absorb lessons like a sponge soaking up a flood, but not without bitching about it. When I found myself confused about my training plan on Saturday evening, I was prompted to review my goals, given 2 choices, both work, but one is far superior. I am also given the rational behind both then left to ponder them for a bit. When I have decided on the option of my choice, Zen comes back in and offers another nugget, that forces my hand in the most fitting direction in relation to my goals. On Saturday night there was a discussion about the limited training time I would have on Sunday, something hard will probably be better suited to my goals: interval sets, hill repeats or time trial. After discussing the rationale for each he left the conversation wonder and a banter ensue. Just as I was about to let him know my plans Zen then asked if I knew of an 18 mile route and offers me that carrot that is so essential to my personality, RIDE IT IN AN HOUR!
So I set out at 7AM to ride my 18 mile route with one objective, being back in 60 minutes or less. I pummeled out the first 6 miles in 18 minutes. I was psyched until I realized my route had one MAJOR flaw in it, TRAFFIC LIGHTS, and a great deal of them (8). In the next two miles I hit four RED lights, all major intersections, all demanding that I pay attention and be law abiding. This was slowing me down big time. I make a left down route 100 and hammer out another 5 miles in 17 minutes. I was motoring, that was until I hit another RED light, for this one however, I sat and sat and sat for what seemed like an eternity. There was a cop sitting at this corner poised to meet quotas and a truck behind me trying to give me a wide berth. The only problem is that this intersection has a weight sensor that trips the light. The truck was not anywhere near it. I decided to move over to the shoulder, as if I was going to check on something on my bike, the truck driver finally gets antsy enough to move closer to the light, and it finally changed. I now have sat long enough for my HR to fully recover and I have about 150 feet before I have to start hammering out a mile climb. The CLOCK IS STILL TICKING! 5 miles, three traffic lights, 2 major climbs and only 16.5 minutes left to go. Only one light was GREEN, both climbs sucked up a bunch of time and energy, and 16.5 minutes became 24.5. I missed my goal by 8 minutes. I was wiped out and all I managed despite the my furious pace on the flats was 18 miles @ 16 MPH. Zen was very matter of fact about the choice of route, I could have stopped the clock at the lights, but recovery at each light also compromises the intensity so therefore avoid them and that was ALL he said. The unspoken lesson: this was not an IDEAL route.
Friday I dropped Mikey off at school, I think it hasn't fully hit me yet. I am sure it hasn't, actually and while I listened to the endless thunder on Saturday I eventually planted myself in front of my potters wheel and just threw, slipping into oblivion. Yesterday the reasoning for my limited training time was that Anna too was headed back to school (Temple U, Philadelphia). Besides having to move her into her new apartment, which is a 3 floor walk up and visiting IKEA for a bed frame, which turns out to be a design explosion in my head, I have plans of my own for this visit to the "City of Brotherly Love". I needed to see some ART which, by the way, is easy in this city. Public displays of expression are all over the place. There was however, a stipulation to my desires. The works had to be something that needed no explanation just pure contemplation...CHAOS meets ZEN... there was only one place in Phili that would satisfy my cravings, the Magic Garden (Isaiah Zagar's place). We walked around, not speaking much, immersed in the changes of texture and detail, completely satiated. I am now so excited about the upcoming year.
We ended our day with dinner at the Standard Tap before heading back to help Anna with a few last tasks in her new place. We finally said our good-byes and headed north, battling traffic and arriving home just exhausted enough to fall asleep as soon as the lights were out. This morning, Zen is calling for a long effort on the bike...and aero bars...and I am chaotically trying to meet those goals and visit my studio goals too, as there is another battle raging in my head thanks to my dose of the expressive thoughts of others.