June 22, 2006

Can I Borrow The Hubble Telescope Please.

Here's the thing about trying to fit the last months of Ironman training into a normal life: it's not normal. In fact, it's impossible. There's nothing normal about it. I'd even go as far to says as it's borderline cruel and unusual self-punishment. Sleep, for instance, is the dangling carrot that you can only see with a Hubble telescope. You can sense something dangling in front of you - and you know it's something you really really want - it's just so zip dang far away you can't quite make out what the heck it actually is, aside from the fact that if you squint your eyes you can tell it looks kinda orange. For all I know, it could be a prison jumpsuit. Either way, it doesn't really matter cause you'll never get it. There's just no catching up on sleep no matter how you slice the pizza. So you walk around consistently tired.

And then there are the legs. I come from a family of runners and athletes. We've got marathoners up the yin-yang in my clan. In fact, we're the type of annoying people that don't take escalators - we'd rather climb the steps, thank you very much. Truth be told, many of us would also opt-out of the elevator ride in exchange for a few calf-strengthening flights of stairs. You say the meeting is on the seventeenth floor? No problem... but I might be five minutes late. Oh, and if you can have a bottle of H2O and a towel waiting for me while you're up there, that'd be nifty.

But all that daily strengthening machismo gets thrown by the wayside around this stage of Ironman training. I remember earlier this year I'd walk up the 15 flights of stairs to my office every day without a thought. Now, however, my legs are so tired from the daily pounding that I take the wheelchair ramp just to get up on the curb. And that's a struggle. Hell, if I could get the padding correct, I'd go down stairs on my butt like I did as a wee laddie.

There's a part of me that wishes the Ironman race were this weekend. I just want to get it all over with and resume my (arguably) normal life. Please, somebody make the bad man stop.

But there's another part of me that is really a glutton for this punishment. There's that part of me that says, I missed two workouts this week, it's going to take me at least another three months before I'm really ready. Or maybe I didn't go quite far enough on my 6 hour ride - I'd feel a lot more confident if I had logged in another 30 miles.

But it never ends, the justification and self-questioning. So tomorrow I will run faster, stretch out my arms further…And one fine morning -
So I beat on, bike against the headwind, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

[I didn't quite know how to end this rambling, so I figured I'd just plagiarize F. Scott Fitzgerald instead.]


tri_newbie_nerd said...

I laughed so hard, I nearly cried!