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This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Friday, February 13, 2009

Triathlete's Euphoria

Sunset Over Lady Bird Lake
Originally uploaded by RogueSun Media.

I met two people from the 10K group that I coach on Tuesday night, after a busy day at work. They were going to be out of town for our official meeting on Thursday, and so they asked me if I could meet up with them on Tuesday so they could get their miles in with my help. They are new runners and so they ask a lot of questions and listen to everything I say with open ears. It's fun and I really enjoy helping them. We did the 5 mile loop on Lady Bird Lake. The sun was setting on the water of the lake and the light had that unmistakable golden glow of late winter at sunset. As we puttered along, we came upon a blond streak in the night. It was Desiree Ficker, my idol. She was running with some tall guy around the lake in the opposite direction. I told the two newbie runners all about her and about how amazed, awed and humbled I am by her athletic ability. I bragged for her and told them she got second place at Kona in 2006. I'm still proud of her for that. Anyway, as we were running by her she made direct eye contact with me, and I think she recognized me. That made me feel really special. As we rounded the lake near Mopac we saw a few of my friends from the Nike training group, and that made me feel even more special and loved. We waved to each other briefly and then ran on. As we got to the opposite side of the lake we saw Desiree Ficker again, the sun was setting on the city behind her. It was a beautiful moment. Even more beautiful though were the hugs I got from my two newbie runner friends when we had finished. I love getting people into running and coaching is the best for that. I can experience their joy first hand and it is constantly inspiring to me.

After doing a bit of stretching post-run, it was time to head to spin class. I decided I wanted to do an upside down brick workout. I jogged over to my car and started driving over to my gym. Sweet indie music was blaring on my car radio as I basked in the winter humidity of Austin with my windows down. I got to my gym and ran in, still wearing my running shorts and singlet. I knew I only had 5 minutes until the class started. I had never done a spin class in my running shorts before, and actually it was less of an issue than I was expecting. The class was great and challenging with a few hills, lots of drills, and lots of energetic sprints. My legs felt great. I got off my spin class in a haze and floated over to do some yoga over in the stretching area of the gym.

It was late on a Tuesday night and there was hardly anyone around. As I went deep into some forward bends and hip openers to loosen my IT band, I began to feel the same euphoria that I feel after a race. Joy filled me, and I felt as I was walking on air as I left the gym that night. I got into my car and every song that was on the radio made me sing, laugh and smile. I haven't had that same after-workout walking on air feeling in a long time. The last time I remember it happening consistently was while training for the Austin Marathon in 2008. After every long weekend training run, I would leave my running group walking on air. The feeling really only happens when I'm by myself. It's neat. I wait for the time when I can have that walking on air feeling again. Maybe it's just my endorphins, maybe it's just my quads and hamstrings flaking out, but it is a great, floating on air euphoric feeling nonetheless.


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I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.