I remember with great fondness watching Lakers games as a kid. And as much as I'd like to say that's because of Magic, Worthy, Byron, Kareem and Cooper, my real favorite was listening to Chick Hearn announce every game with his unmistakable style and flair. Nothing could beat his signature sign-off when the Lakers were about to put another opponent away in the waning moments. "The refrigerator is closed, the butter's hard, the eggs are cooling and the jello's jiggling!"
As I flop on the couch after a rather challenging few days of training, I realized my body feels like the contents of Chick's kitchen. My legs are hard, like lead. My muscles are aching, twitching, moving all over the place like jello.
The door is closed! It's over. I'm done.
Day off tomorrow...thank goodness!
Today's workouts, combined with not enough sleep from the night before, have left me drained. I completed a 1,000 yard time-trial at the end of my Fortius swim this morning at 6. The good news is that I shaved at least 25 seconds off my last time trial of the same distance, good for a new T-pace of 1:57 (compared to 2:00-2:05 when I first started). I'm convinced I can swim a faster 1,000, but just prior to the time trial I had finished 9 x 100s at easy, medium and fast intervals with only :30 rest at end of each fast set. When I returned home to eat breakfast, I fell asleep for 45 minutes before rallying to get to work on time.
Tonight, my run consisted of cruise intervals featuring 3 x 8-minute build-ups to heart-rate zone 4 and 5a. The beginning of the run felt like the end of most of my workouts -- it took a solid 15-20 minutes to get relatively loose. But, I rallied and did the work. Sometimes, that's what I think this is all about. Simply acknowledging the pain and moving past it. Overcoming. Outlasting myself and creating a new threshold.
That's victory enough.
I can't help but comment on the Lance Armstrong-Floyd Landis controversy. A few of my friends and family have asked me what I think, since I'm their resident "crazy cycling expert." Here's my take:
Cycling is an allegedly dirty sport. While it seems to have been cleaned up a fair amount, doping is a constant problem. And it was probably worse over the past several years. That said, I really want to believe Lance. He's essentially the last of the sports heroes out there that people can look up to as an inspiration. He has given thousands upon thousands hope, and that means a lot. That said, if cycling was filled with dopers and dirty experiments, and you had one man absolutely dominate that sport during that period...how can you not at least wonder how he did that completely clean? Now I totally get that his VO2 threshold is much higher than anyone else's. I get he's a cancer survivor and can deal with pain on a level that most everyone else on the planet cannot. Still, is that alone enough to dominate the way that Lance has during his career? I honestly don't know. Part of me doesn't want to know. I want to be entertained. I want to be amazed. And as sad as it is to say, sometimes I just don't want the curtain pulled back too far to show what's really going on. My entire childhood of sports heroes has been mowed down because they all did drugs of various types.
Can't I just have one guy left to look up to?
Please, Lance, please be telling the truth.
189 days and counting