When life gets in the way

I was at the peak of my training for the year - and I was going to ride the wave of "good mojo" into one or two more triathlons and then focus on the Steamtown Marathon as I target a Boston qualifying run.  My running has been great this year if I do say so myself  (many thanks go out to Matt P, Rodney C, Tom O, and Mark M for pushing me harder than I've been pushed in years past.)  My cycling has been great as well (many thanks to the Westchester Triathlon Club and my good friend Rich)  The timing and training was lining up to perfection.

That was up until last Thursday.

Without going into the details that would make most men squirm, I had to pay a visit to my doctor last week.  (Read: I visited a specialist, one whom most men really don't want to visit if they can avoid it.)  Long story short, and one in-office procedure later, I was granted a one week vacation from training whether I wanted it or not.

And I really didn't.

It was five long days before I could get on a bike again.  And even then I was forced to ride easy.  After seven days I was able to jog.  And by jog, I mean "JOG".  Not even close to my normal training pace. 

What does all this mean?  It means that once in a while life gets in the way.  What is one to do?  Nothing.  All you can do is suck it up and deal with it.

One could say that the timing was perfect.  My lovely wife and I were set to go on holiday up into CT for a week.  What better location (on a lake, in the foothills of the Berkshires) to take a week and enjoy some R&R. 

On the flip side, one could say what a terrible week to be off of training.  On a lake, in the foothills of the Berkshires, a perfect training ground for long rides, hill work, and premium training runs. 

Perspective is a fickle beast.

So, a couple easy rides and a jog later (or a "yog….with a soft 'J' " as Ron Burgundy would say) I'm on track to be back on the roads soon.  Again, what does this all mean?

We all have to play the hand that life deals you.  I've had an achilles tweak shortly before the New York Marathon that forced me to withdraw.  We've all had some freak injury that has forced us to change our plans and race schedule.  Heck, my wife had a knee issue that derailed almost her entire triathlon season last year. 

Training is hard.  Triathlons are hard.  Running is hard.  Life is hard.  But our health is precious.  I've had a number of introspective conversations with my good friend Tom O on some of our early morning runs.  The human body is a fragile thing - and you just can't take it / things / our health for granted.  When a challenge comes along, you have to deal with it and, at the same time, realize how fortunate you are.  There are many, many, people who aren't fortunate enough to be able to swim, ride, and run as most of us do.  I don't mean that in a condescending way.  I mean that there are many people with ailments and physical limitations that prohibit them from doing what most of us love to do day in and day out. 

Life and racing require a delicate balance.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it.  But don't take it for granted.