Most Fortius workouts are filled with lots of teammates, all working together towards one common goal or race. They feature lots of banter, and a fair amount of friendly competition too. Today, Richard, Ann and I were the lone Fortius representatives. Just the three of us. And it was really cool. I trained differently than normal. Usually, I push myself to the limits of every workout, or at least (generally) to the letter of what Coach Gerardo tells me. Today, I followed Richard's lead. Which meant a more consistent pace on the bike and a little more walking on the run. At first, I felt guilty. Like I was cheating on my training. However, I ran faster than I have been lately despite taking more breaks, which I found interesting. Perhaps it was because I was fresher off the bike -- even with three aero bar re-adjustments due to loose screws. (Dad, you were right, it seems I do have a few screws loose after all.) Or, maybe it was simply because I had company for a change. I've been training alone lately, and in the heat of the day. We started just before 8 this morning so we could catch some of the USA-England World Cup match. Maybe a more relaxed pace is actually a good thing? I'll have a hard time digesting that one, but am trying to accept that as a possibility.
Having Richard and Ann to chat, share and laugh with certainly helped my performance. It also reminded me how lonely it can be training by myself with no music or companionship. And by companionship, I mean someone pushing me, challenging me to go faster or dig deeper. I thrive on that, and Richard's bike pacing (when we decided to speed up) and run pace gave me something to strive for.
Tonight is Stehpanie's and my engagement party. One added benefit of a more evenly paced brick is that I have plenty of energy for the festivities. Of course, I'm genuinely excited about them. In a way, I can't believe we're actually having an engagement party tonight. It's surreal almost. I know we're getting married, and Steph is essentially living with me now. But events like this help make it "official." The funny part though is that it feels so natural anyway that there's no real "official" needed. I know that probably doesn't make sense, but really all I mean is that ceremonies and events don't make our commitment any stronger than it already is. But it's nice to share a moment in time with our closest friends and family. That will be awesome.
158 days and counting.