There is a feeling you get after a tough workout. No, not the “I’m gonna puke” feeling… The one where it can be 10 degrees or 100 outside and you feel good. The one where you sit down, close your eyes, and just breathe. It is part satisfaction, part relief, but all positive. You can call it an “exercise high” if you want, and maybe this is part of it, but the feeling I get is different. I remember way back in the day when I played baseball. I always wanted to be the last one out of the locker room. I told everyone I was superstitious, but I wasn’t. I just wanted to be able to relax in the quiet and enjoy the feeling. I didn’t reflect on home runs or missed grounders. I just relaxed and breathed. It felt good.
I get that feeling all the time when I work out. It’s my favorite part, really. Just a minute or two spent sitting on a bench or in my truck where I sift through the equal parts of fatigue and exhiliration that comes with a good workout. And the harder I work, the better it feels. Again, I don’t reflect or even think. I just relax. Sometimes I get caught staring blankly at a wall and people will ask if I’m OK… Couldn’t be better (now hush… you’re ruining my groove).
I got the opportunity to do this last night after a good hill repeat ride. I sat on the tailgate of the truck and vegged. The sun was warm and the breeze was cool. I almost fell asleep.
There is no denying the thrill of competition involved in endurance sports. Pushing yourself to do better or go farther is harder here than in any other sport simply because the only one you answer to is yourself. You KNOW if you gave your best effort and you live with the results. But the satisfaction and peace I get (not that my life is stressful because it absolutely isn’t) from my workouts means far more to me than any other result.
I’m tired right now. Several back to back workouts are wearing me down, especially since I have to get up at 4:45 to do some of them. But it’s the best tired I’ve ever been. It’s not a hungover tired or a sick tired or a stressed tired. It’s just leftover good tired from my workouts and I’ll take it any day.
I ran 6.6 miles at a 7:56 pace this morning. I am consistently running between 7:30-8:00 miles for my longer training runs and a minute faster per mile on the shorter ones. I really want to run a 5K soon because I really think I can blow my PR for the 5K completely out of the water. It’s a 22:20 and I’m pretty sure I can beat it by at least a minute. I’m chomping at the bit to try!
If it’s not raining I may ride tonight with the group. This ride is a drop frst since it is relatively flat, full of fast, “A” level riders, not much of a “B” group (which is about my speed), and then some “C” level riders. I will swim tomorrow and then probably take the rest of that day and Saturday off because I am volunteering at a big 5/10K with my son.
I’m a bit lost right now on training so I need to take the weekend to make my plan for the next triathlon, The Fresh Ideas Quartermax Triathlon at the Innsbrook resort west of St. Louis. Training on my own will be a bit of a challenge until I get fast enough to hang with the group. All a part of it though.