Sunday, March 08, 2009

Empty Hallways

I rode outside yesterday for the first time since our freak 70 degree day on December 27th. I was really, really excited to ride outside. The goal was 2 hours--hopefully beating the storm--and then maybe a little runoff.

But it was not to be.

Because, I sucked.

There's really no other way to put it except that I. SUCKED. Now, I know the wind was blowing and it was raining a bit and blah blah blah. But I just could barely push any watts and felt like I was on empty pretty much the whole time. I still made it about 1:40, but I came home and crumpled up in a ball on the kitchen floor to attempt to stretch while being accosted by a pug and tackled by a 1 year old.

It was very much a disappointment. Not in the ride, but in me. In fact, it really freaked the crap out of me. I have been having such good workouts lately that I guess I just expected to ride like the wind, and when I didn't, I was a little worried.

What if this is how I ride on April 5?

Now, the more pragmatic side of me has kicked in and reminded me of no taper, high volume, a busy week at school, and all that stuff. But what really reminded me was watching Bug last night at a benefit dinner.

My friend's husband was killed in an accident in October. It was awful. He was a wonderful person and left behind a son and a daughter as well as an amazing wife. He was a scout leader for his son's Boy Scout troop, and they had a benefit dinner last night in his memory, so we went with many of my work friends to show our support for her and to honor his memory.

There was this really long hallway when you got there, and to Bug it was the greatest thing ever. I wish I would have had a camera to capture the look on his face when he saw nothing but a long, empty hallway in front of him. To Bug that means, "RUN RUN RUNRUNRUUUUUUNNNNN!!!" and it was pretty exhausting chasing after him. And every once in a while he'd fall--I mean WIPE OUT fall--and each time he'd just get back up and run again, full speed ahead, not caring about the bump on his lip or scratch on his pants.

To him, a fall is just part of the run. It's just a little time away from the joy that is forward motion.

I was reminded of many things last night--one being how when you say goodbye to your loved ones in the morning with a quick kiss and maybe a hug, that that is sometimes it, and there's no good reason for it. And another being that all of us, at one time or another, were in rooms with big long hallways. And we smiled and ran ran ran as fast as we could. And usually fell. And got up and kept running.

I've got a few more weeks of my long empty hallway ahead of me. I hope I can capture even just a tiny bit of his joy when he is running down it.

And as our hallways go on for years and years, and some are cut short for inexplicable reasons, may we all be smiling, dusty-knees and all.


Carolina John said...

oh man that's not a good sign. i'm going on my first group ride of the year in a few hours. I hate that you didn't feel good getting out there again. It's 78 and sunny here in SC today, so at least it will be pretty here.

SC's Adventures said...

You've got plenty of time, just keep your spirit up!

Tamara said...

A. we all have "off" days. Look at your earlier entries from the last few weeks. You are fit, strong and fast. Don't let one less-than-ideal workout throw you.

B. You're right. Don't take things for granted. I ALWAYS kiss my husband goodbye and tell him I love him, even when I'm angry. Because I never every take for granted that I'll see him again. We've come close to losing each other twice. So yes, hug and kiss and love your boys whenever you leave them! And learn from the joy of a long hallway. :-)

xt4 said...


Steve Stenzel said...

Sorry it stunk. I think the same things during bad workouts: "what if this happens in NO?!?" I feel your pain!

Eric said...

HELLOOOOOO.....McFlyyyyy. Helloooooo.

If I remember correctly you were riding next to me Thursday night at a brutal 2 hour training session. Remember the 3 intervals of

4 minutes race pace
3 minutes climbing
2 minutes TT at 80%
1 minute hard standing sprint
5 minutes TT at 85%

yeah.....3 TIMES!!!!

Remember Jim wanted to see someone puke. I was sweating buckets that night.

Use the day as a way to become re-acquainted with the road. Finding you balance. Focusing on the road and traffic around you.

You are doing great babe.

JenC said...

I think there was something in the air on Saturday morning. Hallie and I both felt like crap on our run. Don't stress - better to have a crappy training day than race day!

Pharmie said...

I'm SOOO worried that the same thing will happen to me when I get outdoors :( Hopefully we get at least one clean road 40+ day up here before April 5!

DaisyDuc said...

Girl, with all the indoor classes and everything else you are going to be just fine out there! Don't sweat an off day and stress out yourself out over nothing! You are going to have some kick arse day on your friggin speedy ride!