Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Workouts that rock

I love those days when I am working out and I feel like I could go forever. But alas it has to end sometime and when it does I am sad but satisfied, tired but full of energy. Today was one of those days. It all started at 5:00 AM when I headed to the gym for an hour of weights. Then I ate a small breakfast and headed out the door for a 2 hour bike ride. After the ride I was feeling good so I decided to finish up with a 30 minute recovery run. That is a day that I could do more often!

I am finally reading Lance Armstrong's book "Its not about the bike". I know that I am really late reading it but better late than never. Anyway, I cannot put it down. I am typically a slow reader but this book reads easily and is a fascinating story. There is a part of his book that is very insightful and it seems very fitting to today's post. He talks about riding and how suffering on a bike for 6+ hours is painful but cleansing. It puts one at peace. This struck a chord with me. I have actually talked to other athletes about this subject and found something similar in all aspects of endurance sports. A friend of mine who is an avid marathoner says when she runs long her brain actually goes into a trance. There are periods where she cannot remember thinking. The running instinct takes over and when she is done all the stress is gone. I get this feeling when I ride or when I swim. I can shut my brain off (not literally of course, that would be dangerous). I can forget everything that is going on in the world and just workout. There is something very primal about the feeling. It is as if a survival instinct kicks in and all else goes away except the end goal. Even pain seems to become secondary.

So how does that all fit in with today's workout. Today was one of those days when I needed to shut down the stress receptors and get into that primal mode. The stress of trying to buy and sell my house has been really getting to me and it has also messed with my normally steady schedule. Have I mentioned yet that I am moving? Anyway, I needed today's workout so that I could clear my mind and be at peace. I did not think about any outside world issues the entire time and when I was done I felt ready to take on anything that had been standing in my way.

No comments: