I remember reading these LA Tri Club dispatch emails last year where people would discuss meeting up in the afternoon to do their brick workouts. I'd think to myself, "Um, yeah. Helllooo?! Some of us work. That's crazy to just leave work early just for training. I'd never do that -- it's just excessive."
Today, for the second time in three weeks, I left work early to train in the middle of the afternoon. Because my workout schedule said I needed to do a brick lasting 2.5 hours.
Never say never.
Of course, I'm arriving into work early to make up the hours, which is nice on a Wednesday following a Tuesday morning workout. It likely will suck tomorrow around 5:30 a.m., when I wake up to visit the pool with the rest of my Fortius teammates. But at least tonight's workout was fun and rewarding. I felt fresh on the bike, scampering up Mt. Hollywood at Griffith Park towards Griffith Observatory without my heart-rate taking much of a beating. I felt vastly improved from just a couple weeks ago when I did the same ride more slowly. I was rewarded at the top with this magnificent view of the Los Angeles basin.
Following the hourlong bike journey, about 15 LA Tri Clubbers and Fortius teammates embarked on an hourlong sunset run through Griffith Park. We did a lot of climbing, but I handled it well since I was allowed to cross into heart-rate zone 4. This gave me plenty of room to explore my pacing and threshold. While I couldn't quite keep up with speedsters Mike and Richard, I felt faster than just a few months ago when I needed to walk a lot more of the course than I did tonight. Granted, I was limited to heart-rate zone 3 at that stage, but progress is progress.
I gotta be honest. Throughout the run, it felt like I was playing hooky from school (not that I ever did that, mom). I'm enjoying this beautiful LA weather with some good friends and pursuing my passion. I put in a full workday, but what better way to cap it off than to train in the afternoon when it's still light out (for the most part) and the rest of the world slaves away at their desks? A little guilty? Yeah, maybe. Do I care? Nah, not really!
Now, sometimes when I visit the kitchen in our Burbank offices, I gaze towards the Griffith Park hills off in the distance. I wonder if anyone is running on the trails at that moment. And instead of thinking they're crazy, I will smile. I know what it feels like to have that freedom and flexibility.
One day, I'm sure I'll miss not having it. For now, I'll soak in the moment and enjoy the opportunity.
224 days and counting.