Monday, 26 April 2010

Attitude (and a backpack) makes all the difference

Run: 12km @ 1h15 (Half-bus, half-run commute to work)
-- If you're interested, here's the kml file for Google Earth

I'm completely blaming last week's support call for my being completely wiped over the weekend. And while I let that "block" my training, I didn't let it stop any family fun. "Date Night" with my wife was lovely (as always), and a BBQ with friends was exceptional. Sunday saw my daughter having a fun birthday party at the Museum of Science and Technology, so my wife and I got a couple hours of relaxing time together again.

Last night and this morning I was feeling guilty for not getting the training in, and it was starting to come out. I had a rough evening with my daughter which I feel absolutely terrible about, and I think my wife picked up on my crankiness too. ☹ After (all too late) realizing that this was all due to my decisions, I swallowed my self-pity and made a few decisions:
  • I decided to quit wallowing in self pity for my choices that I wasn't happy with.
  • I decided to let my daughter know that this was my fault, and apologize to her when I see her.
  • I decided to remember that my wife and daughter deserve better from me, so stop acting like a baby.
  • I decided to get the training done that I feel I need to do.
And with that, I decided to run to work today. Not the whole way! But a significant way. I hopped onto the bus in my running attire (god, you'd think people had never seen lycra before…) and rode it to the start of the Ottawa River Parkway. I got off the bus, started my foot pod, strapped up the backpack and headed up the pathway to downtown. The pathways there are absolutely gorgeous, and I greatly admired that I could run there and experience a fantastic morning in this way. The only sad thing was that I kept thinking "Renee and Claire would love this" and I wished that they were there with me.

I was feeling tired early on, and thought this was due to my complete lack of running last week. I redirected my focus to fighting the mental battle and just keep going. My HR was high, my legs were really tired, and it all felt significantly harder than I expected it should have. Then I remembered the backpack – a full lunch, a change of clothes, miscellaneous electronics devices (I was still on-call until I got into the office) – it was adding up with every stride. And upon making that realization, I felt different. I felt like a BAMF.

Okay, I'm really not. And even if I was, there's some far superior BAMFs out there (like this guy, and this guy, and this woman – need I continue?). But in that moment, I felt like I was doing something unique, and something that was really going to help me reach my goals. I straightened up, checked my form, adjusted my pace, and just kept going. But I still missed my wife and daughter. (For as much as a lonely sport triathlon is, it's still a team sport in my mind.)

My legs were really starting to feel worn down when I got to the War Museum, and when I got to the bottom of Parliament Hill I knew I was going to have to work to get to the top. I went street-side and climbed up the hill over 4 or 5 blocks, being fortunate to catch the odd red light along the way to break it up. I was also fortunate in that the people stepping off busses the entire length of Wellington Street had their heads down and I had to dodge the lemmings, which kept my mind off the task at hand. Need to learn how to say "Hey! Heads up!" in French….

I crested the hill directly opposite the Center Block of the Parliament Buildings and turned south (and downhill) on Elgin Street, enjoying the free feeling of going downhill, again dodging more lemmings, this time with hot coffee from the 3 Starbucks that I passed…in four blocks. (I could have counted the other shops too, like Second Cup, Tim Hortons and a few others, but I would have had to stop). :D

So there you have it – a good start to (hopefully) a great day. I think I'll need to do more early-morning sessions like this to take the pressure off while work is insane. At least it's slightly easier now, with the sun rising earlier in the morning.

But I think new bikes are on the order for my wife and daughter. I'd absolutely love to run with them as they bike down the trailways.

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