Small Sacrifices

I have a secret addiction; powder skiing. Floating effortlessly through the clumps of the white, fluffy stuff, there are not too many sensations like that in the world. But wait isn’t this a blog about my running, cycling, duathlon/triathlon training? It is, but one of my other passions is skiing and ski coaching.

Last Sunday we had one of those rare days in Ontario, we woke up to fresh tracks. Super excited I headed out to Craigleith Ski Club, where I work with under 10 athletes in a competitive racing program. For over 3 hours I hammered fresh lines and played in the ‘puffs’ as it was skied out. Smiling from ear to ear as I headed in for lunch I knew that I would pay for efforts on hill at the track on Monday.

Determined I headed out to the University of Toronto indoor track facility after work Monday. I felt pretty good, a little fatigued physically and mentally, but thought I might be able to string together a reasonable workout. The good news was that my training partners that evening were also feeling a little fatigued. Together we worked hard and had a really good workout … until the last interval.

My teammates had a stellar final 400, I on the other hand hit the wall. I went through my first 200 really quickly and felt pretty good considering the volume of workout that evening. Between 200 and 300 I started to feel the fatigue setting into my legs and at 300 the wheels came off! Big smile on my face I had to giggle as I crossed the finish line.

Sure my workout on Monday would have been better if I had not skied so hard on Sunday. But I wouldn’t trade anything for the fresh lines. Small sacrifices, that 3 hours of skiing may have thrown off one workout. Long term will it really make any difference to my training? Probably not.

When you do not have a critical race or workout ahead it’s OK to pick ‘fun’. It does not make you less dedicated. It does mean you are not trying hard enough. It makes you human. We all need to do things in life that make us smile. To be adventurous. To take risks. It can make those really tough, grueling workouts more enjoyable.