Sometimes in life, we need to seek shelter. Whether it’s from the stresses of work, relationships with others or just time alone with our thoughts. For me, the last few years have involved more time spent swimming, biking and running…because I love it and also having it serve as that kind of outlet for me.
Last week I had what I’d say was one of those rare days when you become lost in your thoughts and time flies. Not necessarily in an active way where you’re “working things out,” but a day in which you accept an unquiet mind and become detached from the swirl of problems, concerns, worries and ideas spinning in your head. My Saturday was a long ride, where I wanted to ride about 4.5 hours. I ended up going 5.5 hours and 101 miles, all at a pace that felt effortless and again, while I was cognizant of a lot being on my mind, I also felt myself being very present. It was this strange balance of having thoughts bouncing around but not being attentive to them, and instead focusing on the wind, the sun, the surroundings and the road ahead. I found myself home before I knew it and after a quick gear change, headed out for a 45 minute transition run. The run felt similar, and though it was the heart of the afternoon — 2pm was the hottest part of that day — I felt comfortable and covered just over 6 miles. The run was over before I knew it and I finished wishing I had more miles ahead.
Maybe I can replicate the feeling during my primary goal race this year, Ironman Louisville. I can only hope that happens and do my best to prepare (training, nutrition and otherwise) to be able to replicate it. But regardless of race day, that day is what really motivates me and is why I love to train. It’s why I love riding my bike, running by myself on the lakefront or on a trail, and why I enjoy a long swim spent staring at the black line of a pool lane. The experience itself is relaxing and in a way, therapeutic, helping me not really shut out everyday life, but to feel more ready to handle it the right way.
All that said, I can’t wait to get onto my bike tomorrow for some more free therapy.