29 Days To Go: Workouts, Gratitude and A Shortened Bike Course

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.

John G. Whittier

Thank you, Hurricane Isaac for that last part of today’s post title. Isaac messed up a lot of things for a lot of people, most unfortunately being the people in the Caribbean and Louisiana who did not survive. I’d also say that Isaac messed up the Republican National Convention pretty good and my parents now need a new roof on their house. I also just received an e-mail regarding the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon and the race director’s decision to shorten the bike course to 12 miles due to major hurricane-related road damage.

The bike course for this triathlon runs through the Gulf Islands National Seashore area of Pensacola Beach, where I have spent a lot of time. It’s a beautiful place and I’m sad to hear that, once again, the residents of PB have clean-up and repair to deal with. On a very selfish note, and please don’t judge me for it, but I hope Flounders beach bar and restaurant made it through the storm, because my plan to eat 2 dozen of their hush puppies after the race is, on some days, what gets me through. Ultimately, it’s a “better safe than sorry” moment and I’m happy to be participating in a race where safety is the number one concern. Again, thank you, Isaac. Or, how about not.

The second part of this post is about the fartlek training yesterday on the bike. It was both grueling and awesome. There is something about going full tilt on the bike for the 20-30 second pick-ups that makes me feel like I’m becoming a more powerful and skilled cyclist and I think the fartlek training is helping me become just that.

(Side note: I just laughed out loud as I typed the words “powerful and skilled cyclist” in reference to myself.)

On the other hand, I was wiped OUT when we got home from the ride. Parts of Nashville are very hilly and my current part of town is one of those areas. It was hard to time the pick-ups and have them not coincide with going downhill. That would be cheating, right? A few of the pick-ups were actually while biking uphill. That, in my humble opinion, was not easy. I may hit the gym to do the next bike training session that involves pick-ups.

As for today’s workout, I got in my 1500m swim this morning at the YMCA. I was a bit tired and slower than usual, but it was a solid effort and a check on my training to-do list. One more strength-training workout today and I’m done!

My last topic for today, as advertised in the title of this post, is gratitude. I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the people who follow my blog and leave encouraging words for me in their comments. It means a hell of a lot to me and helps me keep in mind why I set this challenge for myself. Yesterday, Naa from over at madebynaa left a comment for me that said, “You’ve inspired me to try one!” I can say without batting an eyelash that reading her comment makes me as happy as I know I will be when I’m done with the race in October.

I’m also grateful for my legs. Although they hurt, they allow me to run. I’m grateful for my back and spine. Although they get sore sometimes, too, they hold me up so that I can bike, run and walk my way through life. I’m grateful for my lungs. They work perfectly in the water, allowing me to hold my breath, and then breathe when I need to fill my lungs back up. I try to make seeking and maintaining gratitude a way of life, and today, my sense of gratitude for these things and many others is enormous. Why am I so grateful today, simply for being alive? Next post.

(Photo Source: A running path that I love to use when I visit my grandmother.)


5 Comments on “29 Days To Go: Workouts, Gratitude and A Shortened Bike Course

  1. The triathlon I did two weeks ago had a shortened bike course, too. If possible, try to ride the new route, or at the very least plug the ride into MapMyRun/MapMyRun so you can see the elevation profiles and whatnot. Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • Thanks, Carrie! The course in Pensacola is about as flat as flat can be. I’ve been there many times, but haven’t biked there in years. I’ll have to check out the MapMyRun thing!

  2. Love your gratitude! That part made me tear up. To push through all the training, soreness and at times pain, is something many are not able to experience. Your gratitude speaks volumes that you understand this.

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