Summer is here

The sun is blazing hot, the hot air has me sucking more wind than usual, and every workout has me desperately seeking ways to cool off. I have run with ice cubes down my shorts and sports bra, run through sprinklers on people’s lawns, guzzled litres of water, drenched my skin in sunscreen and otherwise wanted to die. For all those freezing training days where we wished for sun and warmth, well now we have it, and in brief moments of desperation we long for one little rain shower, just to cool our overheated bodies. It seems as though summer has finally arrived and as we enter the second week of July, I can’t believe that, for some, triathlon season is winding down. My training partners will race at Ironman Canada in less than two weeks, and they have already begun to taper. Last weekend was their last big push as we traveled to Whistler to train on the course for four days. There was no particularly good training reason for me to endure more than 500 kilometres of swimming, biking and running, especially considering my race is half the distance, yet I couldn’t resist the challenge.
The scenery at Whistler was absolutely stunning. I’ve only been there  in the winter and without the thick blanketing of snow, the landscape seemed to come alive. For four days, we trained, ate and slept. We rode up and down from Whistler to Pemberton so many times I could ride it blind. One morning, we did a time trail back up it, and my legs burned in a pain that could only be felt from riding your bicycle as hard as possible up a mountain. But I relished in the downhill moments and felt as free as a kid riding my bike without training wheels for the first time. Then we swam and it felt rejuvenating and
refreshing even though my open water skills had me looking like a drunk seal. On two of the afternoons we ran and it felt incredible to zig zag through the lush trails around the village, while the second run had me thinking I would hurl with almost every step. But that’s just how the past six months of this journey have been; pleasurably painful.
By the end of the four days, we had endured some tough training, but every now and again when I wasn’t exasperated I also enjoyed some pretty wicked scenery, even a close encounter with a bear. It was just another incredible adventure in my journey, and while my training partners may be almost done, I still have six weeks to go. There is still so much work ahead of me, including more hot summer days where I will run with ice in my shorts and long for one quick cool summery shower. Here’s to the final six weeks and to many more adventures.

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