But stink-loving technical fabrics aside, I think it is more about the routine, than the cleanliness. Sure, I put the "wet" in sweat, but starting the day with a quick lather, just seems right. finishing a workout, or a swim or a ride or a run with a quick, not too-aggressive scrub is just second nature now.
So the other day, I was greeted on a workday by she-who-shares-my-genes not with breakfast in bed, but with the request for a very early lift to school. Well, of course. A challenge is a challenge and I rose to the occasion, as it were. A few minutes of cursory hygiene and wardrobe selection later, I was in the car driving to work, via school.
But I got to thinking. And while I'm still in the grips of T3, I seem to do more thinking than anything else! I thought about race readiness. According to the experts, race readiness is supposed to be how ready one is, physiologically and mentally to participate in a race or competition. Yeah, I suppose it has something with that. But what I really think it is about is how ready are you to go out and play?
Do you remember? When the little snot-nosed kid from next door came by and would ask if you wanted to go out and play -- what was the go/no-go parental decision usually based on?
- Was homework done?
- Was it cold/were you appropriately dressed?
- Were you fit enough - not sick and capable of playing without getting hurt?
- What was the playing "history" with this snot-nosed kid? Any trouble with local authorities?
- Were you adequately fed and/or could you get back in a reasonable time for a meal?
- Would you benefit from the activity in any way?
So, I was driving back from the early-morning drop-off, unshowered, but completely confident that I had been ready to perform the unexpected task that was asked of me. But how ready was I to go out and play? How ready was I to go and run or swim or bike at any pace faster than a leisurely amble that I have mastered of late?
Well, judging from a near-PB on my first 10k race in years the week before, some solid off-road bike riding and a surprise 1300m swim earlier in the week, I could probably hang out and keep up with the snot-nosed kid.
This whole experience reminded me that throughout the race season, but more so during the off-season, being prepared for anything is essential. Whether that anything is a pick-up game of football, a muddy trail ride, or even an early morning drive.
Most of all, and most importantly, play is what will give you a reason to look forward to having a shower...sometimes even having one with a close friend!