Monday, April 9, 2012

Having a life, too.

Some triathletes seem to let training rule their lives, and I can fall into the trap of that myself from time to time. Fortunately, my wonderful husband is always there to remind me that there's more to life than just swimming, cycling and running, and that even those things can be fun instead of just something that has to be done.

View from the old bridge along the Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail.

With racing shorter distances this year, I have the luxury of being able to reduce my training hours versus 2011. I'm usually bad at that, since I've got myself into a groove of a certain amount of weekly training, and always have some goal I'm trying to hit (whether it's useful or just one of those perverse things I "must" do). This weekend being Easter, though, I consciously decided to cut loose a bit!

Tanker on the Rail Trail - we ditched our warmers here as the sunshine was
enough to make the 10c day seem much nicer!

Friday we took all afternoon to do a 66km trail ride down to Paris and back together, stopping to take photos along the way, have coffee at the Brown Dog and a little sweet from Chocolate Sensations, then popping into Tiny Cakes once we got back to town for a bit more "ride fuel". Cycling for the sheer joy of being on a bike in wonderful company, I couldn't keep a smile off my face as we rolled down the trail!

Chocolate Sensations makes creme eggs in-house - Tanker's favourite!

After returning home we went out for a lovely sunset stroll through Riverside Park, checking out the newly-rebuilt boardwalk through the marsh and discovering a bit of woodchip trail we'd never seen before.

Ducks in Riverside Park at the boardwalk lookout pond.

We had a nice little campfire in the backyard, but the wind was a bit ugly so we put it out and threw a few darts in the house instead. I've lost pretty much all of my skill from the days when we played in a league, but I still enjoy chucking spears!

They've been rather neglected these past few years.

Saturday brought our weekly pilgrimage to the Farmers' Market for our groceries, another stop in at Tiny Cakes (just because we could), and whacking a large bucket of golf balls at our local driving range, Wedges & Woods. I did train a bit: Tanker chased me on a run, I rode my bike to the pool and back, and of course I got a swim in. We treated ourselves to a glorious bowl of soup at Pho Shizzle, had another campfire and played another game of darts.

Beaverdale Golf Club in 50+kph winds.

Since Friday is usually my day off (date night!) and we'd done a 3hr ride, I decided to take Sunday as an off day instead. I did get up early and hit the YMCA pool for a swim (since the Johnson Centre was closed for Easter Sunday), but the rest of the day was for Tanker and I to enjoy together. We walked 9 holes at a local golf course, loving the sun but ruing the heavy, gusty wind (yeah, that's the problem; it's not that I'm a crappy golfer!), popped into Williams for a cappucino to warm up, then went out for a sunset hike of the Mill Pond Trail.

Someone built this near the trailhead.
We'd been to the grand opening of the Mill Pond Trail in July 2011, but an apocalyptic storm had cut short our exploration. We were on foot this time, and while the wind did its best to deter us, we actually managed to see most of it.

Tank found the spot where he bailed on his bike at the opening.

There are gorgeous views along the trail, and even more for us to go back and see another time as we ran out of light before we ran out of trail! We headed home afterward, had dinner, and shot one last game of darts for the weekend. 

Sunset vista on the trail.

While it's still important to me to train thoroughly for the races I have coming (including Paris to Ancaster this coming Sunday - eek!), it is absolutely essential to my happiness that I take the time to step away from the triathlon life periodically and do things that allow me to connect with my family, friends, and (most importantly) my husband. 

Sharing the sunshine with the love of my life and best friend.

It's also good for the body to step outside the tri box from time to time - between the driving range (plus swim) on Saturday and a round of golf on Sunday (plus another swim), my shoulders don't know what hit them! Definitely used some muscles that haven't seen much action lately.

The biggest benefit is a happy husband and a mental refresh, though - we spend so many days and evenings with barely a chance to say hello to each other between work and training that I will happily sacrifice a few seconds on the course to gain a few hours of joy with my sweetheart! I sincerely doubt I will ever look back on this weekend and say "I sure wish I'd trained more instead".

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