Monday, April 20, 2009
The Turning Point
For the past five years I have been lucky enough to gain entry into Western States. In 2004 I got in through the lottery and since then I've "earned" my way in through top-10 finishes. What all this has meant, aside from total obsession with the race, is that much of my life has been designed around training for the event. Even last year, when it was canceled, my spring was totally dominated by the Race.
In the past few years I have noticed a pattern in all this. Come around Patriot's Day my body, mind, and even, dare I say, my spirit, undergoes a Turning Point. It's a bit like that point when your body goes anaerobic on a speed session or that moment you switch over to fat burning in the glycogen depletion phase of the training cycle, you can't really explain why it's happening but you know it when it does. It's a full life experience and one which I love. There are also several tell-tale signs that the Turning Point has been reached. In no particular order here are the top-6:
1. No matter how hard I try I cannot stay awake past 10:00PM, ever...
2. Every time I walk up stairs I feel an eerily pleasant aching in my legs that makes me want to go back down the stairs to feel it again
3. I drive my family crazy because even though winter is over I still keep the heat on in my car while it's 80 degrees outside.
4. I dream about the descent into El Dorado Canyon and the climb up to Green Gate.
5. I check the long, long, long range forecast for Auburn, CA attempting to gain any insight into the weather patterns hoping that by race day it will be 110 at Placer High School
6. In planning my daily runs I try to see how much downhill I can get to trash my quads while still working hard
There may be more but if this post is any indication, I've reached my Turning Point for this year. Have you reached yours?