Monday, July 4, 2011

Oh, Say, Can You See My Holiday Weekend?

Last night was pretty normal: finish ride, eat, rinse off, gym, grocery store.   It wasn't until I was in line with cereal, almonds, fruit, etc. and surrounded by people in bathing suits buying cases of beer, sides of beef, and every avocado in Texas that I realized everything was not normal.

Oh, right.  Weekend.  Holiday weekend.

When I was a lowly government worker, I lived for weekends.  Entire days not at a desk.  Time to train - sometimes special trips to train - and time to recover properly.  And if I was living luxuriously, time to sit, drink coffee, watch TV, read a newspaper, and do nothing like a normal person. 

Now I barely notice them.  Now work - training and recovery - is for every day that ends in "-day" and none of it occurs at a desk.  And "Saturday" and "Sunday" have little meaning for me aside from the artificial importance I assign the days labeled as such.

For example, Saturday is long run day because that is the day the group I run with runs long.  Because most members of the group work in offices.  They enjoy weekends; I enjoy supported long runs.

But Thursday could be long run day.  It might as well be, if it fits into a logical training schedule.  Tuesday could be recovery day and Wednesday could be long ride day...  Training happens like clock-work, come rain, shine, T.G.I.F., Hump Day, or a Case of the Mondays.

Unfortunately holidays suffer the same demotion, especially the ones that extend the weekend.  If Sunday doesn't mean more than the day that the local bike shop holds a group ride, then what does a Monday holiday mean except that the post office is closed?  It doesn't help that this Independence Day most communities in central Texas have canceled their fireworks displays in recognition of the real possibility of burning the state down.

Today, fireworks or no, is the 235th anniversary of the founding of our nation....and an early group swim and a hard afternoon bike ride.

What does Christmas mean?  The only day it is nearly impossible to schedule a swim workout for anyone in the Northern Hemisphere.  Not only are all open water sources frozen, but every pool is closed.

November 1?  The day where mini Snickers make up pre-swim breakfast, and mini strawberry Laffy Taffys prove to be tastier than any gel. 

Thanksgiving?  The only day it's literally impossible to not re-fuel completely (and then some) after a jam-packed morning of training.

The day after Thanksgiving?  The day you learn that pumpkin pie is rocket fuel, but also that it's hard to ride aero with a still-full stomach.

January 1?  Bring extra bottles to get through the most dehydrated workout(s) of the year.

Memorial Day?  Watch for road closures on parade routes.

July 4th and Labor Day?  The day to rebuild iron stores at the block-wide BBQ.

July 5th?  The day on which you wake up and hope that Texas isn't burned down. 

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