“The thoughts written on the walls of madhouses by their inmates might be worth publicizing.”
~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Pedaling upon the Burke-Gilman trail towards school. Legs burning. The whirring sound of my tires and the creaking of my old aluminum frame compete with my thoughts for the virtual stage. The microphone picks up nothing but static.
In the distance the sun rises, for the trillionth time I wonder?? Seeing the same rising sun as the first humans, I stop and wonder for a moment if this is something I should be taking more seriously. I wonder if I take everything too seriously.
Over the last four weeks I have ridden 4 centuries, run over 100 miles, swam over 20 miles, and eaten more than my body weight.
I rode the Urban Assault race as hard as I could, but we only came up with a 6th place finish. I really wanted that one.
The next weekend we went to Bellingham for the Ski to Sea race, which was on Sunday. I was doing the mountain bike leg--my first time. Its a 14.5 mile leg as hard as you can possibly ride. I rode it on Saturday this way, then ran a few miles around lake padden. The next morning I woke up and spent most of the day waiting for my turn. When I got the baton, I rode into a division win and 32nd overall out of 416. The next day, Monday, I set a PR for 110 miles on my tri bike and then ran 8 miles.
My body has, as my friend and triathlete mentor Jeremy Gerking put it best "...found the razor's edge, and stayed there..." for a month.
I have done workouts in consecutive weeks that have simulated the Ironman wipe-out experience so well, I almost felt as though I needed a month off after one of these monsters. But the next week I would show up, ready to roll. In the process I found new depths of strength and endurance, courage and tolerance for pain. All good things in the Ironman Triathletes weapon cache.
I have made it through another ridiculously hard training season. Ironman is now 15 days away and I am in full-on taper mode. It almost feels weird not to be sitting here already worried about my 112 mile ride with 3500 vertical feet of climbing followed by a 12 mile run... I almost feel like I am cheating. Until I think back to last weekend, when I did just that, and then I can't help but be a little sad that once again, its almost all over.
Except for one last thing. Ironman itself.
For all the training and fatigue and emotions--the race is still where it all is headed, it is still the focus. Don't lose that focus, not ever. The instant you do, you get swallowed up and spit out by Ironman.
I made my plan.
I am training my plan.
I can't wait to race it.
Until next time...