Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Being a junkie

I get excited for my big weekends. I know this sounds crazy, but I really miss Ironman training.

Yes, I know half iron training is still more training than 99.9% of the population does.

I've been doing my training. It's been going GREAT, but this weekend is my first real weekend of longer distances. Longer being relative. I still have a hard time referring to a 3000m swim as long, or a 45 mile bike or an 11 mile run as being long....even when they are done over a weekend.

It's that thing we like to call distance perspective. The longer we go, the shorter "long" feels.

I don't even know how it happened. I don't know HOW I became an endurance junkie.

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to do the Greenland 50k next May. My hesitation wasn't about whether or not I could do it. It was trying to figure out if I could fit training in with the 500 mile bike and the Ironman race that I want to do.

That shit's insane.

When I stop to think about some of the stuff I do now, I can't figure out when I switched. For a long time, I was happy doing up to half marathon distances.

I think the appeal for me is the meditative side. The concentration required for a short race is so intense, but it's different for endurance events.

It's the rhythm that I get into when running. It's my way of blocking out all distractions and focusing inward. When I'm swimming, it's the rocking of the water. It's different everytime, but it's always there. On the bike, sometimes it's the lines on the road. Sometimes it's my own breathing. Sometimes it's a line from a song playing over and over and over in my head.

Every little ting gonna be alright.

I think I'm a better person because of it. I'm much more relaxed during the day, more confident, more focused. Things don't bother me like they used to. I've had good races and bad races. Good training and bad training, but I keep coming back for more. I can tell's no fun getting your arse kicked.

But, the other side....the challenge, the success, the perserverance, the moments in which you feel few and as far between as they may be, make all the bad days worthwhile.