It’s amazing how just being out in the warm sun for a few days can change everything.
After a long, dark, depressing winter I was staring at the weather for the upcoming weekend. Temperatures in the 60s with no chance of rain should have excited me, but I had to leave Friday for the 7 hour drive down to Oklahoma to see my ailing mother. As my depression depened even more at the thought of yet another lost day/weekend of training I started searching for SOMEthing to do. Not wanting to take the chance of carrying my bazillion dollar bike around with me, I decided to just take my running shoes. It was better than nothing.
When I got down to OKC, I stopped in to see my mom for a bit and then headed over to my Sister In Law’s for the night. But since they were going to be out until around 7pm, I had time to go over to an old haunt and get a quick few miles in. I’m still recovering from a head cold so I mostly coughed for just short of 3 miles, but the strangest thing happened.
The sun was out. An unusual occurence for me lately. I have become accustomed to running either in the total darkness of the 5:30am runs or under the seemingly constant cloud cover that has frustrated and depressed me for the last 3 months. And as I was running, in shorts for the first time in 3 months (the temp was about 70) I could FEEL the sun on me. It felt soooo good… and it made me smile. I was sweating. Not from effort while running wearing half my closet… but just from the warmth, humidity (it IS Oklahoma, after all) and effort of the exercise. Although the run was short, I immediately felt BETTER.
And as much as I love my mom, the whole time I was with her the next day all I could think about was MORE SUN!!! She finally drifted off to sleep about 3:30pm and I checked out to go for another run. I was so excited that morning that I had actually dressed in my running clothes and then put on sweats over them. I felt a little bad for thinking of myself when I should have been thinking about mom, but I consoled myself by telling myself that the movement would do me some good and it would let her rest.
So I went out to the site of the Redman Triathlon I had run back in the fall and hopped on the trail around Lake Hefner. More sun, more sweat, more effort and I could feel the batteries recharging more. Instead of thoughts of quitting and selling everything, I found myself thinking about my race schedule, training plans and specific workouts. I couldn’t wait until it warmed up enough to go swimming out at Finger Lakes. I was excited about the prospect of my first half Ironman.
In short, everything changed with the simple addition of a little Vitamin D. Whodathunk…
The whole trip back I was thinking about riding to work today and getting back into a training routine. And I don’t see this as euphoric. I legitimately FEEL better. More positive. And even though I’m tired from the weekend of driving and my first commuter ride of the year, I have energy. More than I’ve had in 3 months.
Note to self: Next winter, sleep under the grow lights we use for starting our garden plants… It’ll keep me from being so pissy… 😉
Oh… and the ride to work this morning felt AWESOME. Yes, it was 36 degrees. But that really didn’t bother me. I have pretty good gear for that now so I was fine. My paniers worked great and my old ‘cross bike is perfect for the task. I could definitely get used to commuting by bike! And it’s still a decent ride (11 miles) for a commute. Easy way to get an extra 20+ miles a day in. That seems to be a key to training for triathlons while having a life. Make your workouts happen when/how you can. Let the hard work begin! …I think I’m finally ready for it…