Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farewell San Juan Island... I'll miss you.

Farewell San Juan Island.  Tomorrow I'll be leaving your friendly shores.  Thank you for sharing all that is yours and for allowing me to come out here and swim, bike and run along your rolling hills and crisp cool waters.  The two weeks I've spent out here have been some of the most focused and best training I've ever done.  I managed to block work out completely and really just focus on each day's training.  My final brick the other day I felt so strong.  Each day out here I worked harder and each day I reaped the rewards.  Waking up each morning and knowing that the only things I had to do were put in my workout and then enjoy the rest of the day with some of my closest friends was so amazing.  So good for my soul.  Before I left for here I felt like work and life and were reaching this giant crescendo of unpleasantness.  I was burning out...  not on training, but on everything else in life.  Two weeks here away from the world, from work, and from the chaos that is my life has completely restored me.  I feel like I'm ready to head home and continue my final month of training before heading into my first traithlon and to dig into the second half of my busy work season.

When I left San Juan Island last year I was 100% positive that I wanted to move out here.  And my plan coming out this time was to confirm that belief.  And I almost would have...   had it not been for that amazing day of training in Redmond, WA where I experienced what it was like to train in a place with so many other serious athletes around.  As much as I love the beauty of this island I know that I'm meant to be around other athletes.  I know that it will motivate me to train harder and become stronger and stronger.  In a way that group of athletes called to me in much the same way as this island did.  I don't think I'll move to Redmond but this training vacation has me thinking that perhaps I should do more vacations like this to other areas where athletes tend to train together like Asheville, NC or Boulder, CO.  Or perhaps the budding Tri-NE club in Rhode Island will provide the same thing.  The truth is I always think I'll move and I feel like its becoming time to think about it, but who knows if I ever will.  As long as I'm surrounded by good friends and good people to train and compete with I'll be just fine.  Who knew that I would feel so drawn to a large group of athletes?  just a few short years ago I was more drawn to a bag of chips and a sofa... and now listen to me!  Now I want to go somewhere where there are tons of other athletes of all levels to train with, lots of coaches, massage therapists, gyms, trainers, bike shops, and lots and lots of triathlons, running and bike races.  Lakes and ocean's to swim in year round and 50 meter pools everywhere.  Who knew that I'd be so drawn to Triathlons so quickly?  I guess in a way I'm not surprised at all.  I still haven't completed my first one and yet I know 100% that I'm on the path to completing a Full Ironman in the next two years or so. 

I'm getting a bit off the subject here...    oh and by the way the above photo was taken at our picnic dinner tonight at Lime Kiln Point park.  Some wine, cheese, a baguette, crackers, and the company of close friends and their two fantastic kids.  I couldn't help but raise a glass to the island.  This place is so endlessly beautifull that you almost have to pinch yourself to know its real.  This island brings joy to me in a way that no other place ever has.  Riding and running along its rolling roads has been amazing....  I feel so lucky to have been able to run away to this oasis for two weeks.  So fortunate to have been able to come out here with my bike and train away as if the rest of the world didn't exist.  Well tomorrow I have to reaquaint myself with the real world and its problems, tall buildings, and lack of greenery.  But just knowing this place is out here waiting for me somehow makes that all seem bearable.  I know Rhode Island also holds so much beauty though, and I think its time I reaquaint myself with it.  Its time to really put together some rides in the more scenic parts of the state and remember why I live there, and start getting in some open ocean swims instead of swimming circles around some ponds.

My mind is really all over the place tonight.  Really I should go to bed considering its now 11: 15 and I have to getup at 4:45 to get to the ferry on time to start the long slow journey home.  The thought of standing on the back of the ferry and watching the island grow smaller makes me sad indeed.  But as Willy says...   "Its better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all".  And I am deeply thankfull to have had the pleasure of falling in love with this island once again. 

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