This Labor Day Weekend was packed full of activities including a race, new experience, training and spending time with friends. Here I will share a bit about each and how being active adds so much joy and health to my life.
Saturday morning was my second tune-up race in preparation for the USA Duathlon National Championships in October. Amazingly the championships are still on…fingers crossed that remains. This race was in Crystal River and my second time doing the event with the first coming last year. My first tune-up was in the beginning of August. With where my fitness was on that day coming back from an injury I was pretty happy. My head was in the game and my body gave what I had on that day. Not Nationals ready but I was where I needed to be at that point.
Well this race was quite the opposite. My head and body were not ready for game day. Quite honestly my performance sucked and if that effort repeats itself in October I am in serious trouble. That of course is not my plan. There were many factors that led to the poor performance and they will be cleaned up. Sometimes you need a good kick in the ass and reminder about the attention to details. Besides the big time kick in the ass I was happy with how I dealt with things mentally during the race. I had set myself up for failure and did a pretty good job of that. That’s about it on the positive side.
On the flip side my preparation for the race was terrible including the week leading up to the race and morning of…both mentally and physically. It can certainly happen and did. The great thing about doing these is the opportunity to reflect, learn, and improve. I got that big time here and in the big picture of things, it’s fantastic timing with six weeks remaining before Nationals…to get better.
Fast forward two days to Labor Day morning and I had one of my best workouts in some time. That kick in the ass got me rolling. First up on the morning was my first fast, sustained run since spring. If there is one aspect in my game right now that is lagging, it’s my run. This morning was a significant confidence booster to propel me forward in the final six weeks of preparation. Following the run was a ride with very strong cyclists including Bob Brown, Dave Morrow, and Celia Dubey. It was brutally fantastic. This had to be one of my strongest cycling training efforts in a bit as well…thank you guys!
Back pedaling a bit to the race. As perturbed as I was about my own performance I was with my team and friends all morning. All super positive people to hang with and go through these great experiences together. We all had our unique race stories and like most racers, not fully satisfied with our performance but in the end we all are appreciative of racing, exercising, being healthy, and sharing life together. There was so much joy shared through cheering each other on through the finish line and post race. Several of us met up for breakfast at a local restaurant before heading back. The stories continued…a beautiful thing.
Before I went home though I joined Celia and her husband Joel on a stand-up paddle boarding experience in Weeki Wachee via Pam and Jerry Napp, owners of SUP Weeki. Pam and Jerry were gracious hosts and patient with me…my first time. Jerry led us through the Weeki Wachee River. I’m amazed I didn’t fall once! We were on the river for a couple hours. It was an incredible experience and I want more. I loved everything about it…being out in nature, learning something new, working on my core and hanging with some of my favorite people.
I highly recommend trying this and if you are near Weeki Wachee or want to make a trip out of it, you have to try Pam and Jerry. Afterwards Jerry brought out a plate of broccoli and black bean hummus. I’m a bit embarrassed as I almost ate the entire plate. There was watermelon as well…just the kind of plant power to fuel me up after a great day of exercise.
Sunday morning brought me to Fred Howard Park for our team triathlon practice. For me it was all about being there for the team and getting my body recovered from the race so my swim, bike and run were at a nice recovery pace. I got to help our new triathlete, Gail Hurn, with a few tips on the bike…love seeing her progression. Another win for the weekend spending time and coaching with the team…
Preparing myself for the big Labor Day morning training session mentioned earlier, I had an acai bowl with my great friend Elia Luti for the 2nd time in three nights. He may be more addicted to acai bowls than me!
The Labor Day training session was just the medicine I needed. Not only did these three make me better, we got to ride in San Antonio filled with beautiful landscape and animals. I got to “moo” several times passing the cows on the bike and chatted with a few after the runs. There were a few small calves hanging with their mom…super cute.
Post workout I made a bowl full of spinach, arugula, rice, black beans and a local salsa. The protein, fiber, antioxidant power house lunch promotes recovery. Remember, every time you consume an animal product you are causing inflammation to your body. I caused enough with exercise so having my body fully concentrated on recovering from the exercise induced inflammation helps me recover faster. I’ll continue the recovery to set me up for another great workout around the corner. Who wants to join this madness of fun and healthiness?
I think a couple things stand out from this weekend. In the end, don’t let your own personal mishaps impact the time you have with friends and family. I didn’t and had a blast with the team. They are mishaps…reflect, learn, and get better. Enjoy life with the ones you love.
– Add Health to Your Life