Life is funny. Or at least if you're not laughing enough, you're not doing it right. So I've been doing this training thing for a few months now, along with working my first full time job, along with 2 part time jobs and, you know, occasionally trying to have a social life. It's crazy to think that 4 months have already gone by, and I've seen so much change.
For one, I dropped 10 pounds since training. This has been a bitter-sweet situation. When I was larger this would have been an amazing feeling, but part of me is disappointed because I know some of that weight loss is muscle. I have only had one person say to me that they "feel my pain, knowing how hard I had worked to put the muscle mass on" and now I can barely do two ten-lb weights on the end of the bar to do a chest press. Because I did that this week, and I was sore for 4 days. I feel like I'm that Toby Keith song: 'I ain't as good as I once was'. But after I get past the idea of muscle loss and think about the gain, I am proud of my endurance levels. Which for anyone who isn't familiar with it, endurance sports are a whole other animal, which is why you can't do heave weight training and do long distance running/biking/swimming...one of those situations where you can have the cake, but you can't eat it. Actually that's a bad example, there's no way someone could put cake in front of me and expect me not to eat it. That's rule number 1!
But aside from the fitness gains and losses I also noticed a change in my personal demeanor. I have learned more about myself, my boundaries, how to push them, and balance. Recently I was out on a bike ride and took a pretty bad spill. Enough so that my knee hurt for days and days! The week I got back from Madison I went out for a long run on the Wednesday. I was shooting for 14 miles but at 11 I had to stop completely and walk home because of how much it hurt. I'm not sure what was more annoying, having to walk for three miles and how slow it felt, or the fact that I knew I wouldn't be running for a little while. The coach lady pulled me back from runs and I may be Ironman crazy, but not crazy enough to disregard her directions. But it wasn't easy. My mind was telling me that I should be doing more, I would have to make up for the loss of running fitness. Uhg fitness loss, would I have to rebuild a running base? Really though Sam? You've been running for years now and you think that would all disappear in a week and a half?
Ok maybe that was a bit much but I was stressed and sad. The week was not kind to me and I couldn't "just go for a run" to work it out. I had a huge test coming up, one that would determine my ability to get the job I wanted, that I had been putting off for months and months. And as if that wasn't enough, I was moving the very next day. Talk about a rush to the finish. My triatha-life was not mixing well with my "real" life.
But I learned a few really good lessons last week. The first being that life happens and the second being that life goes on, but as you live it. Within the context of my situation, I found myself missing some workouts and forcing myself to sit for a few hours to do math problems. It was harder than a track workout (which if you haven't caught on I compare most difficult things to track workouts because I loath them!) But it was well worth it, because 152 minutes and 50 questions later and I had the passing results I needed. I had been trying to pass this test for a long while now, so the exhilaration and excitement that filled me up was just as great as finishing my first marathon.
But the excitement was quickly overcome when I started throwing my life into boxes and garbage bags. My friends came in to help me move all of it to my new place. I was looking forward to the new apartment, more space and a change. Because lord knows I needed a change. But I also needed to compromise my bike ride that day. That was a tough one to swallow but I had no choice. It only because easier when I just accepted it. And life went on.
The next day I started to unpack my life and my triatha-life. One of the first things I did was tape up my bib wall. That made it feel more like home :) But after 3 hours of unpacking and cleaning I needed a break. I didn't have all my bike stuff unpacked so I thought maybe it would be a good idea to try a run. It had been well over a week and I had been rehabilitating with ice, stretching, and strength training, why not? My legs were all too ready to run! I got out 5 miles and felt great. Better not chance it though, I would still need to go back the distance I came, so I turned around. By the time I finished I only had a little pain, nothing sharp or shooting but I was quick to ice it.
What a great weekend. Could I ask for more? Passing the test I put on my "Goals for the year" list, moving to a new apartment and being able to spin out 10 miles on my sore knee. Now granted all of these "life events" were not a part of the training plan, but they happened. And I rolled with the resistance. And life was good because of it :)