Today Black Beauty was delivered to Fast Splits. Tomorrow she will be shipped off to Florida. I had a hard time saying goodbye to her. Of the three disciplines I like biking the least, but I still am attached to my bike. I don't know if you feel this way, but she is almost human to me; a partner in my racing. She's with me during the majority of my training, and she, I don't know, feels the pain too? Tries to get through it with me?
I may be sounding a bit looney, here, I admit.
When I got to Fast Splits I asked Brian, the mechanic/owner of the store, to remove the pedals for me. He said okay, but then left, thinking I meant remove them before she is shipped. I actually meant remove them NOW, because I don't have any other pedals, and I need them this week while the Black is away. I brought Little Red, my road bike, out of retirement because I have several more rides to do before I leave next Thursday.
I digress. Before Brian returned I began talking with this very pretty athletic woman about Clearwater. She asked me why I had ribbon on my water bottle holder (I have one of Jordan's hair bows tied on it). I felt stupid explaining that it helps me find my bike in transition. You see, there are actually quite a few black, Felt B12s on the women's 35-39 rack. Also, it makes me feel like a piece of Jordan is with me. Dumb, I know. I didn't try to explain that. Anyway, we continued to talk, and I asked her to explain to me the way the transitions work at an Ironman event like Clearwater. This was helpful. I get it now.
Later she introduced herself as DeDe.
As in DeDe Greisbauer.
Then I had to get all gaga like "I watched you the whole time online as you competed in Kona", and "you were awesome!" etc. etc. She is very tall and strong. Her bike was right there and it has DeDe Greisbauer written on the frame in script. It also has Team Psycho written in script on the fork. I didn't realize she competed for them. It shouldn't surprise me, of course. Team Psycho is an elite team.
Sooo.... anyway. I ramble on.
I have had some tough workouts this week, and I am feeling really strong and really ready and really, really like I need November 8th to be here already. Everyone keeps talking about the off season on their blogs and I am still trying to stay focused. Elizabeth F wrote the best post on the off season that I have read. She is a great thinker and writer. If you don't read her, you should.
Anyway, she points out that one's body needs totally recovery in order to heal. This rings true to me. I got stronger after each one of the births of my children. Now, this may be because after each birth I was even more determined than before to get my body, fitness, and self back. However, I think there's more to it than that. I really believe my body and mind were so focused on something else, namely making a baby, that all of my minor athletic injuries, both mental and physical, were allowed genuine rest. After those long rests, my body and mind came back stronger. (Athletically, that is. My mind did NOT come back as strong intellectually. That's another post, though.)
I have friends who race year round. There is no fluctuation in their workouts, mindset or their racing. I am beginning to understand that breakthroughs are made only when one learns to fluctuate. When you go hard, you must go really hard. When you rest, you must really rest. There are workouts that are in the middle, and there should be. But they shouldn't all be sort of hard or sort of easy. Likewise, one shouldn't have a sort of on season and a sort of off season.
I am psyched for Clearwater. I am psyched I have this one, last big race in 2008 to really give everything I have.
Then I'm psyched to park my ass on the couch and take a huge nap for a month straight. Praise God.