Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Training Treasures

There's a lot about this IronMan training that makes me never want to do it again, just like there was a lot about pregnancy that steered me toward adoption and organ donation instead of waddling around nauseous in search of a bathroom for nine months a second time.

But, as happy I will be---come August 25---to wake up and not have to think,
"When will I do my 18-mile run this week?  How can I find a riding buddy to help me get to 70 miles on the bike this weekend?", 
and as delighted I will be not to have to constantly tell my achy legs,
"it's the workout you get when you're already tired that makes you stronger,"
there are some really joyful things about all this training, and these, I'll miss when I go back to being a mere mortal mathematician. (There are also things about being pregnant that I look back upon fondly, but not enough to ever want to do that again, either).

Here are some of my training treasures.

Truck winds.
When I'm running along a mostly empty road and a semi-truck passes me, it comes with three different rounds of wind:
  1. First, there's a wall of air that passes along with the truck.  It's such an enveloping wind that it's almost like diving underwater.
  2. Second, right after the truck passes, there's a huge gust of wind so powerful I have to hold onto my hat (literally -- otherwise it blows off and I have to run back and pick it up).  This one is exciting, like being on a roller coaster.
  3. Third and finally,  I wait one, maybe one-and-half, seconds, and the third wind comes.  It's a gentle little puff, like someone opening a door.  I always wait for that last little puff after a truck blows by.  Ahh.
Farm views.
The rolling farmland in our area makes for a hilly workout, but it also makes for some fantastic views.  There's something deeply awe inspiring about cresting a hill to see acres of corn and kale, farm houses and fallow fields, knowing that the food that will someday be on my table is right now growing up out of the ground under my very own feet.

And this, disgusting but true: I love getting totally sweaty.
Not a little sweaty, not like walking out of a cool building on a sweltering day and worrying about stains in the arm pits before going into the next cool building.  No, really, really sweaty:  the kind of total body sweat that makes my neighbor look at me and say, "Good lord! You have sure been exercising, haven't you?!"  The kind of sweaty where my clothes are dripping and clinging to my body,  the kind of sweaty where every inch of my visible skin is shining and when I finally wash off in the shower, the water running off my head is salty.  Total happiness, there.

Eating.  Food.  More food, even.
Dang, now that I'm training, I eat like a teenage boy; I'm a bottomless pit; I'm a munching machine.  And I love it.   My buddies tell me that I look slimmer than ever, but in fact I weigh the most I have ever weighed in my life (pregnancy excepted).  And that's all muscle.   What's more, it is hungry muscle.  Feed me.

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