Well, the riding is on. In the last 7 days I have ridden Epic, Shadow, and Epic + Some. About 230 miles and lots and lots of climbing. Last year Steve and I rode Shadow many times in the early season. We did the rides as base training, low heart rate efforts. They were fun. We talked through them and generally had a fun little adventure with them. This year is different. I'm not going to "blame" it on the addition of PIC to our little group because something tells me that even without her Steve would be putting the hurt on. Do I blame the invention of the iPod? Well, maybe a little. This is how our rides go now: we warm up for the first 10 miles. Then the conversation stalls. Then one of us puts in our iPod. Then the other two follow suit. Then we proceed to demolish each other for the next 5 hours. Remember how I used to say these rides "cleaned out the pipes" "were refreshing". Yea, well, I'm not using those phrases any more. They are replaced with "I turned my iPod up so loud that I couldn't hear my panting", "will my quads ever be the same", oh and don't forget "I'm never riding with Steve again". Of course after we get done and PIC and I are laying on the front yard in pain, he asks if we can be there on Monday to ride again, and the idiot that I am says "Of course, wouldn't miss it for the world". PIC gives me the stink-eye.
I really love the addition of PIC to the group. When Steve is picking on her, he's leaving me alone. When he's pointing frantically to his rear wheel yelling at her to get on, I somehow just happen to be behind her. No problem of mine. Let him freak her out for a little bit. Yea, it's been nice.
So the rides haven't been the only thing this week. I seem to be getting punished in the pool as well. Remember in High School when your math teacher would give you a weeks worth of homework to get done in two days and then your history teacher would do the same. Remember how you wished that they talked to each other before unloading all this work? Yea, that's how I feel. I show up to Masters and 5,300 yards later I DRAG myself onto the pool deck. But does coach Paul at Masters KNOW that I rode Shaddow the day before and finished my ride a measly 14 hours prior to the sufferfest in the pool. He does not. Do I tell him...nope. Would it matter if I did...nope.
Thus is the life of the Ironman triathlete. But you know what the really sick part about it is. I absolutely love it (in-between wanting to cry and shoving my face full of copious amounts of protein). I live for this stuff. I am happiest when I am tired, when I know that I am simply in-between two gnarly workouts. Injuries suck, being rested is boring, this is what life is made of. When you find out a little more about yourself every day, that's when you know you are living it up.