Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's It Mean To Be In Training?

Well, it means something different for everyone, of course. But I'll tell you what it means for me. 

Being "In Training" means...

... I can't make plans for Saturdays from here until mid-June, because that's when I ride with my team. Every Saturday. We always ride out in the suburbs, which can sometimes be more than an hour's drive for me - and rides start at 9 and 8am. Those of you who are familiar with my love of sleep may now admire me EVEN MORE for how hard this is for me.

... a lot of random bruises and schmutz on my person. This comes from hauling the bike in/out of my basement, through the alleyway, in/out of my car, and riding outside. (Dirt lives outside.) Sometimes I find myself scrubbing a spot on my leg and wondering what kind of grease I managed to smear myself with this time - only to realize that it's a bruise, not dirt.

... being constantly sore and achey and tuckered out from one workout or another. Weight training and core exercises and bike commuting 8.5 miles each way and spin classes and training rides and lions and tigers and bears oh my.

 ... doing freaking side planks  as though I'm an aspiring Navy SEAL or something. It's simultaneously awesome and absurd. 

 ... that I am always and forever sweating, or waiting for my sweaty hair/clothes/self to dry, and that my hair only looks nice until my next workout. Sigh.

Being "In Training" means that this post resonates very, very deeply with me, and I want to send the author a fruit basket to say THANK YOU. And you shouldn't click that if you're male. Or squeamish. (Really, one in the same thing, in this case.)

Being "In Training" means… 

 ... after the team ride on Saturday, I'm allowed to eat whatever I want in whatever quantities I like. So far, it also means that this is about the only time I don't feel like eating. My stomach is really not okay with the combination of major physical exertion and more than 2 bites of food. It's depressing. 

 ... that on days that are NOT Saturday, I have to control portions and am allowed no junk food. This is my rule for myself. Partly it's added motivation for the long Saturday rides - it is a fact that the only thing that got me through my last couple of miles this weekend was the certain knowledge that a cold beer was waiting for me afterwards. But the other reason for this rule is… 

... actively trying to lose some weight. Not just because I need to lose some weight in general, but specifically because my bike needs to not have so much weight on it. No one's said so, but logic tells me that it's easier to haul a load up a mountain if the load is a little lighter, you know? 

 ... that I kind of want to cry whenever I see candy on a Wednesday. Because I am only allowed to have dessert/sweets on weekends and special occasions. Again with the motivation and weight loss tactics, but really I just think we all need to remember that a treat is no longer a treat if you eat it all the damn time. 

Being "In Training" means I am often cranky and/or giddy, because of the constant need for sleep and the exertion and pain and the longing for sugar, as described above. 

Being "In Training" means...

... I can't remember the last time I changed the sheets on my bed. And my floors need a good sweep-n-mop. But I can't seem to find the time or energy for it.

 ... that I come home from the grocery store with granola bars and oatmeal and milk and various odds and ends which, come meal time, are of little use. My fridge is nearly bare, and any time I manage to go shopping to replenish it, I can't seem to focus on what to get. It's like I never grocery shopped before, I swear. I need to cook, but hell if I can remember to pick up the ingredients or to use them before they go bad.

 ... reminding myself consistently every day to call or email certain friends, because friendships (like all close relationships) require some effort, and yet weeks go by and I am still only reminding myself instead of actually finding time to DO it. It means my social life is suffering in some ways. 

Being "In Training" means I almost have a part-time job in addition to my full-time job. It takes a lot of my non-work time. What I'm saying is, the home fort is sort of a pile of rubble at the moment and I don't think that's going to change until say mid-June or so. Please consider this a blanket apology for my life being a bit of a mess. In exchange for the messiness, I will raise lots of money for cancer research, and (hopefully) develop super-strong quads.

Being "In Training" means that if I do all this and go to Tahoe and succeed, I GET TO HAVE ICE CREAM AGAIN. Ice cream is my Achilles heel, you see - I cannot resist it, and I can never stop eating it til it's gone. So to add incentive to this whole endeavor, I am not allowed to have ice cream until I bike 100 miles. NONE. AT ALL. NO ICE CREAM OH MY GOD. The moment I get back from Tahoe, I plan to walk straight into George's Sweet Shop and order their mindblowingly awesome Salty Pretzel Caramel Chocolate sundae. In fact, I may even ask them to make it a triple-scoop. Oh my lord almighty, do I love that thing. It will be mine before the sweat has even dried, I tell you!  

So please - don't offer me ice cream while I'm "In Training". It's hard enough, I hope you can see, without that frozen dairy taunt.

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