Not Alone in a Great Day

A good training day for me is when both workouts in a day go well. A great training day is when it happens for both me and my training partner. Today was a great day. The day started as so many Mondays do, we met at 6:15 to swim. (well maybe 6:23, I was a little late…) The workout was 2,500 meters with a warm up of 6 x 75 meters. My first 75 meters I completed in 1:26 – usually I am 1:30 to 1:33. I did all within 1:26 to 1:28. The main set was made up of intervals of 2 x 200, 100, 2 x 200, 100, 2 x 300. Every time I was staying between 2:02 to 2:04 per 100 meter pace. Wow. My friend is a faster swimmer than I. She is fairly consistent with 1:50 per 100 meters. While I still take longer than her to finish, the gap is narrowing and she doesn’t have to hang in the hot tub waiting for me as long as she used to. We both had good swims this morning. It is very encouraging for me to get closer to her pace and I can see the happiness she has for me to see me progressing.

After work we met to ride along the river like last week. We have a race this weekend, so we only road 20 miles. All season this year she has been frustrated with her cycling pace. She is a good swimmer as well as runner but her bike pace just doesn’t match her ability in the other two sports. I have been frustrated for her as well. We do the same weight workouts included the same weight levels, she has a better aerobic capacity than I do, yet I have been able to significantly out ride her. From training so much with her, I really believe she is able to get more out of the bike. After our ride on Saturday she had mentioned she is having trouble unclipping from her pedals at stops. I suggested she have the pedals adjusted. She also thought she should have a fitting done too. She has been a little uncomfortable on the ride. After her long run Sunday she had the bike fitted. Today we headed out and within the first three miles I looked over my shoulder to see where she was. Last week at the same spot I couldn’t see her. Today she actually startled me, she was right on my wheel. And she stayed there for the 20 mile ride. I loved it. We both couldn’t believe a little adjusting to her bike and she was using the power I knew she had. It made me ride faster too. I wanted to get her to keep up and she did. It was such a great ride to stay together and both be very happy with our pace.

The encouragement of a friend is one of the most meaningful things in life. Yes we have to believe in ourselves to realize our potential, but sometimes the belief starts with a friend pointing it out. Never did my friend tell me she didn’t think I could get faster in the pool. She always has encouraged me when I made advancements and reminded me that life is not linear when I had bad days. To see her joy today when she saw what she was capable of made me feel just as joyful for her. Being able to share our achievements together made today all the more special. This journey through life was not meant to be traveled alone. Friends and loved ones, family by birth or by choice, make each moment special. As Pearl Jam phrased it in Breathe, I am lucky – blessed – to be able to count on both hands the ones that I love. Let’s get counting.

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