Whirlwind Week

A week of trade shows, bricks in unfamiliar territory and a wedding has finally drawn to a merciful close. I'm simply in awe of the parents who find time to train for an Ironman after a week like this one.  On the go from dawn to well into the night, seven nights in a row.  Usually, I have some measure of a balanced life -- balanced by my standards.  This week wasn't one of those times.  But I'm hopeful to begin a true taper phase this week.

I've neglected to mention one part of my week, which is how it ended. I just returned from my Fortius team Ironman Coeur d'Alene send-off party at Christina's home.  She wasn't kidding when she said she had enough food for an army and drinks for an army and a half!  The entire team joked around light heartedly, celebrating several podiums from weekend races and what seemed to be the true onset of summer.

One thing one didn't feel at the party was a sense of nervousness.  I was pleasantly surprised.  My fellow IMCDA teammates all were frolicking in the pool and totally relaxed.  Last November, I remember being a ball of nervous energy -- of course, I was surprised to have such a shocking send-off (thanks Steph!).  As I explained to my buddy Bob, whom raced IMAZ with me, this time just feels different.  I know the race is in two weeks, but right now it feels like it's two months away.

Finally, my quick weekend wrap wouldn't be complete without mentioning the hospitality of some new friends I met while cycling in Riverside this past Saturday.  I showed up in a parking lot at 7:30 a.m. hoping for a shop ride, but nobody was out.  Maybe I had missed them?  Instead, I found a man preparing to clip in on his own, so I asked him if I could tag along.  He welcomed me in, having just moved here from Kansas City himself.  We met up with some of his new friends, and our own shop ride was born.  We burned around town for a sometimes meandering, sometimes challenging 40-mile ride.  Honestly, I think the first 20 minutes they tried to drop me just to see if I could hang.  Once, I demonstrated I wasn't going anywhere, the mood changed, the riders became more talkative and we bonded.

Here's a look at the bike route, along with a five-mile run I tacked on at the end:

There's something special to me about being able to take a bike anywhere and knowing you can hang onto the group ride (for the most part). It's a sense of community blending with personal confidence.  While it may not have been the best thing for my taper training, it still was a confidence boost nonetheless.

Now, after a week of activities and stress, I'm going to pack it in and enjoy some well-deserved quiet time.  Lights out.

14 days and counting!