The mess and the masterpiece: The triathlon offseason


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

My legs ached and my breathing was labored. The sort of sensations normally felt at the end of a long run. I strained up hill at what felt like race pace, but in reality was much slower. My first run back from my training break was a revelation that at 39 years old, my training breaks will take longer to build from.

While the two runs I’ve been on this week weren’t my best, they were reminders that I do love being in motion.  And the ebb and flow of it all.

The fatigue and the exhilaration.

But for a short time each year I sit and I miss it all. I let it go past me as I pretend that I’m enjoying the rest and “normal” life. The difference between exercising and training made clear by pace and volume and activity.

I let my body heal and my mind be at ease.

I sit and I miss it though.

Being back out on the road again this week reminded me that both the grind and the painful rest,  blend together into a muddled mess on the palate, but can turn to a master piece with precision and a steady belief.

Like Bob Ross painting a happy little world.

I love the starting  anew each year that triathlon affords me. As difficult as it is for a 3 mile run to hurt as much as a 13 mile run did just a few months before, I do love it. The “almost” blank canvas.

It occured to me as I began to read Chrissie Wellington’s  “A Life Without Limits” (again), that each day is unlimited in where it can lead us.

Each season.

Every moment.

The mess and the masterpiece.

And recognizing them as the same thing is the beauty of it all.

Both ends of the spectrum are part of the grand plan.

In triathlon and in life.

This is the revelation of tending to my hurt knee this late summer and early fall.

I love you,

– Daddy

Mon: Swam 1000 / Ran 4 miles / Lifted weights
Tues: Biked 90 minutes
Wed: Lifted weights
Thurs: Ran 3 miles
Fri: Lifted weights
Sat: Biked 90 minutes