The Good, The Bad & The Uncertain
I did 11 races this year. I enjoyed each one — even the running races! There were two Fun-Runs with Esme and two Tough Mudders with Dana. There were two half Ironman races including Savageman where I earned a brick for the Westernport Wall.
At the first HIM, I dropped 50 minutes from my best time at the distance and at Savageman I was able to shave 57 minutes off of my 2010 time.
Three Olympic races were on the schedule. One year ago my best time was 2:27:44 and in 2011 I was able to post a 2:26:41 in April and a 2:23:16 in July. [The September race was switched to a duathlon due to dangerous river conditions.]
In addition, for the first time ever, I ran a half marathon and last weekend ran a five mile race where 5:26 came off of my previous best.
Certainly not a breakout year. I won’t be turning pro. There weren’t any sponsorship letters in the mail tonight. I can leave races right after finishing and finding my gear; no need to wait for awards announcements. But, all in all a very good year for me and for my fitness. Plus, as lame as it sounds to say, it is true that the races are much more fun when you’re going faster.
I’ve only worked out once this week. The bike workout scheduled for yesterday didn’t get done because we had a chance to visit the White House. It was very fun and I’ll remember it for a long time. By the time we got home and everyone was settled, there was no motivation to go ride. Somehow, the ability of a full day to suck all motivation away has to be addressed. Tonight, I skipped the workout but did spend a good deal of time in the garage assembling bulky Christmas gifts for the kids. I know, Christmas is only once a year. It won’t come again before Ironman Lake Placid. My training program doesn’t actually start until next Monday. Blah blah blah.
The point is that there is always something that I could do for the kids, or the house, or family, or work, or to invest in the future for our family and sometimes these things must be pushed aside. Pushing family things aside is harder than a hour on that damn trainer. Perhaps I can come up with some ideas about how to create parameters around life to accommodate training while I ride and run tomorrow. Because I must ride and run tomorrow.
Where will we stay in July? How will I deal with the cumulative fatigue? Already, there are at least two nights per week when I simply collapse into sleep regardless of what is happening. What effect will the fitness class have on me (I start in ten days)? Can I keep improving my running or am I due for a plateau? How will I get enough trips to the pool worked into the schedule? And on and on and on…
There is a cliche about Ironman training that is something like, “The biggest hurdle to success is getting to the starting line healthy.” I’m beginning to wonder if the biggest hurdle for me won’t be to shut my mind down and to simply go do what needs to be done.