Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter training begins

Three nights ago I dreamed I’d had a total knee replacement. As some of you may know (others may not), I’ve spent the last 7 weeks interning as a wanna-be physical therapist at Holy Family Hospital. I work with patients just coming out of anesthesia who have undergone total joint replacements every day. So I suppose it isn’t that remarkable that I dreamed about it. The only problem is that, despite waking up with a brand new knee, I also awoke incredibly upset. People with new knees and hips may be able to walk pain-free once the effects of the traumatic surgery wear off, but they will never be able to run. If you’re reading this, you know me well enough. That would be a death sentence.

Thankfully, I recovered from this dream like I have countless others. At least I hadn’t bolted out of bed to assist an imaginary patient who had lost consciousness. Yes, just imagine how ridiculous it would feel to wake up out of your dream and find yourself in the middle of your room, hands flying through the air trying to reach out to that imaginary person. Another time, I woke up to find myself standing, facing my bed, patting my covers in search of my patient’s arm so I could access his IV site and try to haphazardly stop the blood flow, that, only in your dream, would be gushing out like you just sliced through an artery. Believe me: you wake up thinking, “What the hell?!?!” (Among other things…)

Despite my weird sleep patterns, for the last two weeks I’ve anxiously been waiting for my body to heal so I can return to the roads and enjoy these cool days of early winter running. Week before last I reintroduced my butt to my bike saddle (the conversation only lasted about 30 minutes before they got tired of each other). Last week I slipped into the pool for my first swim in about 2 months. My arms could only handle about 20 minutes before they quit. It appears as though my mind might be ready, but the rest of me could stand to use a few more weeks.

Unfortunately, my weeks of rest are up. I realized that when I’m not training, I’m thinking about training. Or racing. In these last two weeks, I’ve sat down with my coach to discuss next year’s racing schedule and had the help of Bryan Rowe to establish my weekly training plan. I also found two registration confirmations in my email inbox. Apparently, if setting up next year’s training plan isn’t enough motivation, then signing up for two half Ironmans—St. George and Lake Stevens—will certainly take care of that. Bryan and Jayne Anderson deserve some of the credit. If I wasn’t excited about training for Ironman, I certainly am now knowing I won’t be going at it alone.

In these two weeks, I’ve set some pretty lofty goals. I may not reach them, but they will inevitably drive me to go harder than I otherwise would. I have a team of supporters not only pushing me from behind, but also training alongside me. We’ve tinkered around for the last two weeks. Tomorrow, however, begins our 32-week adventure to Ironman Coeur d’Alene. 

My bike has found a permanent home in Bryan and Jayne's
basement. Here's to a productive winter of training!