At camp visiting day last Saturday I played tennis with my family. I was never a tennis player and can't remember the last time I played. My wife has played since before I met her and now my kids play. In order to play doubles they asked me to join them. They were scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I was horrible but less horrible than I remember being. Perhaps it is some variant of senility kicking in or perhaps my expectations were properly set (at none). I mentioned to my kids how I had "flashes of brilliance" while fighting off the rust. This of course made them roll their eyes and lovingly comment, "not so much."
I did find that tennis uses different muscles that running, biking, and even swimming. Logical but I only thought of that once my muscles (not the rest of the tennis players) started complaining. I was wondering how those "different" aches would impact my training.
I've had a good, for me, week of training except Saturday's planned run that I replaced with a 7 hour car ride to and from camp coupled with the previously mentioned tennis experiment. I also had what might have been my first track interval workout since back when I knew how to run (30+ years ago). During this workout, it seemed like the memory of Coach Bob Pratt, one of my high school track coaches at Smithtown HS East, was even on the back stretch calling out times as I gasped for breath near the end. I missed, though, how we seemed to start almost every hard workout:
TEAM: "What are we doing today coach?"
Coach Pratt: "Quahters." (with his faint not "New Yawk" accent)
TEAM: "How many?"
Coach Pratt: "I'll let you know when you've done enough. Ready?"
Coach Pratt: "Go."
My intervals last week were one mile intervals. I told BikeMike the only thing missing in addition to Coach Pratt was my regular ritual of barfing after the second or third interval (I didn't miss it that much though). My running also seemed in slow motion even as compared to my memories (probably because it was in slow motion). His response was to put more intervals on the schedule, this time halfs.
One day I hope to get "a flash of brilliance" doing something in the triathlon arena. It might be a simple workout. It might be a race. I still remember one track workout years ago when it seemed like I was able to fly around the track doing intervals. We were doing "quahters" (it wound up being 10 of them) and it was easy to do 60 second quarters (much faster than my normal workout pace and closing in on my race pace). That flash of brilliance lasted one day and the next day it was back to my normal (where quarters were slow, difficult, and included barfs).
I may never be able to run a 60 second quarter again (let alone 10 of them) but I'll still be searching for another flash of brilliance in the tri world. Maybe it will be today. Maybe next week. Maybe Timberman in August. I just don't want to waste it in tennis.
Golf is a different story though.