Friday, June 20, 2008

Bliss...

I have been very grumpy for the past few weeks, which is irrational (since really everything is very much fine!) but true...

(It is possible that I am always fairly irritable in June, where I'm trying to make the transition from a tiring school year to productive summer writing time, am not yet restored enough to get any 'real' work done but have had enough down time post-school to fill up with self-reproach! Academic types will be reading this and wincing at the familiar and pointless truth of this description! And this year was particularly stressful, so it's not surprising that it should take me a while to get going again afterwards. Not surprising, but still very annoying to me...)

I haven't been that happy with the way I've been training, either; partly it's just the demands of life, I do try and stay flexible and it is an indulgence to have a huge amount of exercise when work and family need serious attention, but I feel I've been neglecting my running (and let us not even think about the wretchedness of the bicycle situation!).

(I guess a more positive way to describe it is to say that the structured nature of the summer swimming program has suited my needs and temperament very well, and that becoming a better swimmer is as much or perhaps more important to me as becoming a solid triathlete; the two goals are frequently at odds with one another, just because the swim takes up by far the smallest proportion of the race.)

I didn't have time for a run on Wednesday evening, and yesterday was a travel day--because I am now in tropical island paradise! I'll be here for almost two weeks, and though it's properly speaking a working trip--I had the most unbelievably heavy carry-on luggage full of books and papers!--rather than a vacation, it should be that I can read and write (I fear I'm still at least a week away from proper writing as opposed to reading note-taking and pondering) for a good long stretch every day and still have plenty of time and leisure to get myself back into a less savage and irritable frame of mind!

I don't have my bike, so I'm off the hook!

(I gather that one of Brent's triathlon club teammates made the extraordinarily kind offer of the loan of a bike while I'm here, but fortunately he knows me well enough that he declined on the grounds that his descriptions of the dangers of Caymanian traffic have filled me with terror and a most determined intention not to die on a bicycle?!? Reprieved! But it was a very nice offer...)

We'll do a couple of sea swims, and a couple of masters swim sessions, and all that should remain in reasonably good train. (I can practice my sighting, that is crucial!)

I have gym access at the resort next door to the condo complex, so I can do some indoor cycling and strength training there...

And I had a notion about running that I have just tested, and it is going to be utter bliss. It's hot here at this time of year, and it's not that easy to find a nice safe non-trafficky stretch of sidewalk to run on, but I was thinking about what would be good and decided that I should really and truly just go for a short run on the beach every morning first thing before it gets too insanely hot!

(But I was not sure it would really be practical--thus the need for the test to see if it would suit!)

It is not the training that is going to make me really strong and fast for the run segment of my triathlon in July. For parts of the time, you can run along the hard packed sand by the sea, but for other bits you need to head onto the soft stuff, so it's really more like a shuffling jog than a run proper. (Cross-training!) In any case it will all be pretty slow and easy, just because that's kind of what I am mentally up for right now anyway. But it's a very good way of increasing run frequency in a non-injury-producing way, and of building some more base before I switch gears into marathon training mode in late July.

I didn't bring water or put on sunscreen this morning because I knew I was just going out to assess the situation, but if I do both of those things and start a bit earlier there's no reason I shouldn't go longer than I did today...

So: 30 minutes sandy jogging, that is a lovely start to the day! And now I will shower, breakfast and caffeinate and then have blissful, blissful work, which (ridiculously) is one of the very few things in life more likely than arduous triathlon training or delightful animal pictures to make me feel extremely cheerful...

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Sandy running and sea swimming, outdoors masters practices ... tropical island paradise indeed!

(Not dying on bike = very good thing!)

Anonymous said...

Just a thought--in my department people used to comment about "tenure rage/depression" quite a bit: that feeling that comes over one when the race has been successfully finished, and (in the words of Peggy Lee) you think, "is that all there is?" Plus you realize that you've been at the mercy of a group of colleagues who had the power to keep or fire you, and it's only natural to have a reaction afterward to being in that vulnerable kind of position. Vacation and exercise and intellectual work sound like the best possible medicines!

Jenny Davidson said...

This is all true!

Leah said...

Enjoy your time away!