Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sonetimes It's Not Fun (Warning - Picture May Offend!)

Listening to some people talking about training and you would think that it's non-stop nirvana. But truth be told, sometimes it's not fun. Either the weather, how you feel or other factors conspire to make it miserable! On the whole, I can't wait to get out there on the bike for my next ride. After one ride ends, I am always thinking about that next ride . . . when is it going to be?

The picture above is of Jenni Keil the wife of one of Nineteen's sponsored athletes - top age-group Ironman triathlete Jeff Keil. Jeff took the picture, but clearly Jenni is not amused! A reading of Jenni's Blog, revealed that this indeed was a ride from, or perhaps to Hell - pouring cold rain and multiple flats. However, the weird irony is it's exactly these sorts of rides, training sessions and races that we remember, years later. They take on this epic quality about them and we pass them along in stories( often with the usual minor embellishments!) to friends, family or whoever will listen.

Two time Ironman World Champion Scott Tinley, told me as much when he came up to do the Canadian Short Course Championships one year in Calgary, Alberta, when we all got up on race morning to see snow-flakes coming down! "It's the days like this that we remember forever and pass the stories onto our grand-kids. Not the sunny and 70[F] days", Tinley told me shivering at the finish-line.

In 25 years of running, riding and even swimming in foul weather, I would concur with Tinley, it's the epic weather days that we do remember and develop into stories and pass along. Living in Canada my whole life, and in the places that I have lived in this fair country, we get our fair share of wild weather, so you get used to it, and you just get out there and do it! However, I recall going down to California to train one year to briefly escape the frigid Canadian winter, and hooking up with a local running club to get in some good runs. On one of our first runs, I went on with the club, I said to a guy - "How's the running been?" He said to me that they had not run in a week - "it's been raining". So I guess it's all relative. For me it would have to be a blizzard and -30C to stop a run in Toronto, but in So Cal a bit of rain will do the same thing - Not trying to read too much into that! :)

I will note that these days, I am much less hard-core about the training - perhaps I have even become a bit of a fair-weather-type, as they say. My wonderful wife, Paolina, is the crazy, nut out there riding, and running in just about anything these days - after all, she's Scottish and we know what the weather is like over there! So now, it might actually be me who would be giving the finger, to Paolina, having dragged me out at some crazy hour of the morning, in the pouring rain for a wet and cold ride. Jenni, I feel for you!

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