With my half iron distance triathlon only three and a half weeks away, I look to my workouts now as indications as to how I may do race day. Based on today, I like what I see. My swim workout this morning was a total of 3,000 meters. After a 1,000 meter warm up we did a 1,900 main set of 19 x 100 meters. For the race I want to average a 2:04 per 100 meter pace or better. This morning I was consistently coming in between 2:02 and 2:04. Hopefully with a wet suit on and if the waters are calm, race day will not disappoint.
This evening I road just over 25 miles from home. I mention frequently that I live in a very hilly area. My subdivision is right at the base of two hills, so regardless of going east or west, there will be a hill to climb. My ride was rolling hills but I was thrilled with my time. Two of my miles were over 20 miles per hour and in all I averaged 16.1 miles per hour. Several of the climbs are big, nothing like race day, so I think it is a good preparation and strengthening workout. I felt good when I finished and my legs felt fresh. Another indication that I am ready for the race. While having to climb a hill leaving my neighborhood, it is a wonderful rush coming home because it is a big down hill ride. A great way to end a great ride.
Something I have noticed over the past week while working out – indications that autumn is starting to show its colors and effects. My first awareness was on my long run through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturday. Along the path there were many leaves, some of which were already red – the autumn flame of a maple leaf. This morning I drove to the pool leaving home at 5:55 AM – in the pitch dark. And thick fog. Not only is the sun rising much later, but the mornings are cooler and the heat from lakes and fields creates quite a fog. My training partner and I were a little concerned it would be too dark to swim in the outside pool, but the sun was up by 6:30 when we jumped in. Just a few more weeks and we will have no choice but to swim in the indoor pool. Labor day will be here and the “unofficial” start of autumn. Then today on my ride, I left at 5:30 and by 7:00 as I came home the sun was hiding behind the trees on the horizon, it will be setting before 8:30. Just a month ago I could ride well past 8:00 and not worry about darkness approaching.
I don’t know what it is about autumn that stirs more emotion in me than any other approaching season. Spring in Ohio is hit or miss, we tend to go from winter to summer with a few spring like days. Summer approaches with excitement – vacations, warm weather, being outside. But autumn, which is my favorite season, brings a bit of sadness. It is the first indication of an ending year, all that bloomed and flourished through summer is turning bright autumn colors and then will be gone as the colder and starker winter takes over. I love the colors of autumn, the coolness is actually my favorite climate for training and for being outside in general, and as vanity rears its head I can not deny fall clothes are the most fun to wear. I think the changing of season is just one more reminder of how fleeting time is. I do not want to have any regrets – of things unsaid, undone or opportunities missed. I also do not want to waste time on the unnecessary. Seize the day – make the most of the days we know we have been given (which really is just the one in the present) – because time passes so quickly like the changing of the seasons.