Biking, Balance, and that Poppins Woman!

Today was a day I remembered why I normally bike commute. I strive to maintain a healthy balance between training, music, social activities, work, and most importantly…sleep(!). I love scheduling and can’t live without my calendar. It’s an old-school calendar too…no fancy phone calendar for me. I need to write things down. I am pretty sure that’s half of the reason I enjoy triathlon. (The scheduling of the season and the workouts/filling in my calendar!) I like knowing what’s next on the plan. I like knowing that I am working towards an end goal. Etc., etc. Unfortunately, today was one of those days when I was forced to take the little blue gumdrop Aveo to work. 76 degrees and I am car commuting…  Every other Thursday I have clarinet rehearsal and need to leave right from work (hence…car). It usually works out quite nice as there is a BEAUTIFUL pool at the rec center near where I rehearse. It is one of my favorite non-outside places to swim. I always have plenty of time to get there, get in a great workout, and still make it to rehearsal. Today…I-66 was a parking lot. Is it every day? Is this common knowledge? Probably. I don’t care to find out. I usually don’t go that way. Lesson LEARNED. This is why I do not drive. Instant blood pressure increase. Because I am originally from a rural area (grew up at the end of a dead-end street), being stuck in traffic is not a fun thing and certainly not how I want to spend my mornings and afternoons.

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Ok…so maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but that’s how it seemed. 76 degrees and stuck in the car watching my calendar-allotted pool time dwindle. As the frustration mounted, I remembered that I had my trusty Mary Poppins CD in the car. I might be the only grown woman driving on the highway with all 4 windows down belting “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” all by my lonesome. It works like a charm every time. Mary Poppins has not only gotten me through some tough life situations, she gets me through long runs too! Showtunes in general. It isn’t unusual for me to just start singing Broadway-style mid-run. It works on the lung power. Does anyone else have weird little quirks that they think about or do during long endurance workouts? 🙂 By the time I finally got to the pool I only had about 30 minutes total to change, swim, shower and get back on the road. I made the best of it and blasted through my fastest swim time ever! Luckily I was set to work on sprints today anyway. I had to shorten the workout, but still left feeling strong and satisfied. I also reminded myself that I had been feeling quite strong for my first few road bike rides over the past couple of weeks and that brightened the spirits. Especially having been sidelined with that back injury and completely off the bike for 2 solid months.

Of course, following the rehearsal, it decided to DOWNpour for my commute home.

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Again – not that bad…but it was stressful and unpleasant. So I went back to the Broadway tunes. First song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Does it get any better than that? Bert was and will always be my first true love. 🙂 Broadway Bert is even better (feel free to disagree)!

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In short, on these frustrating days when I am unable to accomplish my “daily goals” regarding IM training, I still feel it’s better to maintain balance. I could have skipped my clarinet rehearsal to get in a good long swim. I seriously thought about it. My musician friends are used to me showing up with chlorine perfume and they would have understood. But then not only do I let myself down, but everyone else in the group. So I opted to maintain the balance and get my tail over to rehearsal. What’s a few 100 meters as long as it doesn’t happen on a continuous basis? I hop right back in the saddle (literally) tomorrow! I will not be using that car tomorrow. I’ve had enough for one week thank you very much. I do recommend the next time anyone is having a bad day with regards to training, life balance, injury, anything – to try a little of that Poppins woman! We may not be “practically perfect in every way” but we sure can get some great life lessons from her! Plus, it’s impossible not to smile when you hear it. In the end, it’s about the smiles and remembering why you started.

I’m even planning to take a breather and fly a kite this weekend! Cherry Blossom Kite Festival!

“You can dance on the breeze over houses and trees, with your fist holding tight, to the string of your kite!”

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“It’s a jolly holiday with you, Bert – gentlemen like you are few.”

Remember why you started.

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