Thursday, 10 March 2011

One Day More

If I could bottle and sell the excitement and apprehension-flavoured energy felt the day before leaving home for a big race, I know I'd make a small fortune. I still feel this energy after three trips to the show...well, not the big show in Kona, but the other show in Penticton, that is close to Kelowna, which rhymes with Kona, ironically.

In previous seasons, as I would pack my race kit and plan for the trip either cross town or cross country, I would sing to myself: "One Day More!"

That musical, the only musical that I really liked and that was introduced to me by my First Wife, begins with the protagonist's stealing of bread and his struggles long after that single event...If you think about it, Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo's work is just trying to get some quality carbs. Is that so different from what the triathlete seeks?

One day more! Everything changes for that one day...before it changes back, as if it never happend.

This year, I haven't really felt this energy. It could be because I resigned myself to some shorter efforts and a few running races. I did have my first multisport race of the season last week -- an aquathlon, but before the race, I just didn't feel "it".

Don't get me wrong. I had a great time. I was surrounded by friends, especially a distinguished athlete from out of town and her husband. I was also happy my first wife was also in my corner counting laps and threatening that I'd better go faster - especially during the transition.  Nice.

Still struggling with Plantar fascists, as I call it, my running mileage has been way down. I entered into the race without any preconceived goals. I set a very conservative swim time, which I beat by 10 seconds, despite being headbutted within 20 strokes of the start by an errant idiot swimming the wrong way in the wrong lane.

I never pushed during the swim, I drafted for the most part and passed on the bulkheads whenever the opportunity afforded me, must have passed about eight people this way.  No stress. I was at peace for the whole 745 metres (5 metres were used up trying to figure out if I had a concussion).
Photo by First Wife
Photo by Paul Cutting
The run,  too,  started conservatively. As I proceeded through the 25 laps, I got stronger and more comfortable. JM caught me in the last kilometre. He and I used to run together. Those were some of the happiest training days I ever had. He too is coming off an extended injury-recovery period. But we had a fantastic sprint-like last kilometre. He really pushed me, like he used to and it was the best part of the race. I can't remember much other than him passing me, me passing back and everything on the periphary of the indoor track being a bit of a blurr - except lapcounting First Wife urging that I'd better move my ass!

But, still. One Day More.

Tomorrow I leave for Utah. I'm going on a road cycling trip on the St. George Ironman course. I'm traveling with friends who run a start-up adventure company called It will be a 23-hour drive through the winter and into the spring as we travel to a different country, a different climate and ecosystem, and a different world. I'm just a little giddy.

This is the break that I think I need to re-energize me. I will drink deep from this experience as I bike OUTDOORS!!! and run and swim and hike through  Zion National Park.

Of course, when I return to work, to my family, to my life, nothing will really be different. But just as after my sojourns to the (other) big shows, I will be just a little changed and my perspective will have an entirely new landscape to consider. 

One more day before the day more! Let's see how much life is left in this old soul.


  1. When the beating of your heart
    Echoes the beating of the drums
    There is a life about to start
    When tomorrow comes!

    Have a great trip!

  2. What fun! I know what you mean about pre-race excitement. It gets me a little sick (unfortunately : ) Have fun in Utah -- I love Saint George, been through there many times. And enjoy the beauty of Zion! I'm jealous.


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