Today started incredibly early and is just now winding down. Half of me could pass out. The other half is on an incredible high. It’s wonderful all around, assuming I can keep moving. Here’s what’s going on:
- I did my last 100 mile bike ride today. Normally, I would have done it this coming Saturday – two weeks out from my race – but I’m heading out of town tomorrow for the weekend and made the decision to take today to get my last big planned ride done. And it was awesome. I repeated the Johnson City ride that I did with my team a week and a half ago, but I felt stronger this time. I loved that I was able to get it done on a random Wednesday, and I loved feeling strong on my last big ride of the race season.
- Big rides don’t happen solo. Today, my friend Fred came out super early to do the first 40 or so miles with me. Fred has been supporting my training for a long, long time. Then Dave rode with me for a while. Then they hung out together and drove around supporting the remainder of my ride. I am so grateful for their support on this effort. I couldn’t have done it without them.
- After the ride and a solid meal and some work calls and emails, I jumped right to getting ready for this trip. I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t even begun to pack. But last night, I made a packing list, and that helped me tremendously today. I think I have what I need, and I’m excited to sit for a little while before formally closing out the day.
- Tomorrow, I get to travel to Portland to meet up with Fred and other dear friends for Hood to Coast. I did this relay four years ago and loved every minute of it. When the opportunity came up to do it again this year, I initially and regretfully said no. It didn’t make any sense for me to exhaust myself two weeks before my biggest race of the year. But then some people backed out, and I was given another chance to join the team I ran with last time. And I did. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but a couple of months ago, I decided to say yes to a weekend with people I love doing something I love. That’s what my next four days will be about.
- After I joined the team, another person backed out, and then Dave had the opportunity to join the team too. He said yes too, so we get to do this adventure together! I’m not sure which of us is more excited. I’m curious if joining Team Ranch Road 1 officially makes this boy a Texan. Perhaps?
- Then a couple more people backed out, and my friends Jeanie and Kristen got to join the team too. Jeanie was on my original team and also initially and regretfully had said no to this year, but her plans got derailed by a bike crash, so she’s decided to make the most of her situation and join in the fun. And Kristen? Well, she’s just an awesome energy, and we’re excited to have her on the team for the first time.
- More and more, I’m appreciating my health. My training started a little late this year because of all that I had going on through the early part of May. But in about four months, I’ve been able to train well, I think. (Did I mention how strong I felt today?) And I love that I’m able to put in a big effort today and then hop on a plane tomorrow for another big effort. I’m grateful that my older-than-I-would-like body is still managing somehow to keep up, says the woman on the verge of falling asleep mid keystroke. Let’s hope I can still say this come Saturday night when I’m running my last leg of the relay on next to no sleep!
- September is looking like a hard month. Between this trip, my big race, work deadlines, and my other commitments, a lot is coming to a head all at once. The really cool part is that I’m excited about all of it. None of it is easy, but every bit of it feels worthwhile. I love that reality in my life right now. I haven’t always had that.
As I head out to my next adventure, I hope that you find yourself in the midst of a life you love. And let me be clear – life is not all champagne and roses. I have my share of struggles right now too, but my head doesn’t dwell in that space for too long. Instead, it dwells in the many privileges I’m experiencing right now and in all the love and support I feel around me. I get to do life with some amazing people, like the guys who sacrificed the better part of their day today to make sure I had what I needed out in the heat.
For them and for all of this, I’m grateful.