So, with one more week of build, one week of recovery and a 6 week taper left I’m addicted to Iron fitness. Alex and I did a triple brick yesterday – 30k ride/10 k run times three. It was incredible. The feeling of flying along country roads then running steadily down the rail trail through farmers’ fields was about as serene as I can get these days. At one point I had a goose flying at my speed beside me along a stretch of road that is lovely and smooth and virtually car free. I could almost feel the sensation of flight.
It’s funny, having just written that I now remember how Alex and I are finding the workouts actually kinda boring. The short ones don’t challenge and the long ones are just so repetitive. Yet, I’m left with that image of the bird.
I think that maybe, like flight, fitness is freeing. There is nothing right now that I can’t do physically. Having just seen Zombieland, for instance, I’m pretty sure I can outrun the living dead.
Back to boring. Right. The truth is that races can get boring and the ability to transcend that will really help me through Ironman. Right now 99 bottles of beer on the wall is my friend. Alex tells me that he doesn’t think about anything on the run, that he just zones out chalking it up to evolution of hunting men. I remember reading that Peter Reid would count to 20 over and over again during the marathon. There is no doubt that arithmetic makes the brain happy. For me it’s those endless bottles of beer.
I’m getting excited about the race. There seems to be a big crew of family coming down with our co-racers. One of the women racing with us is the mother of our Pilates instructor/friend and she and her sister are coming, more family with the other athlete and there is a rumour that the friend who started all this will be flying in from California where he lives now. As well, I hope to get to meet my new Facebook pen-pals.
A couple of years ago I had the year of the blog. I was throwing myself into racing and dealing with the anxiety that I was suffering through. I knew that fitness and triathlon was the way to a better life but with panic attacks in races during the swim, on the bike when training and horrible claustrophobic heart pounding episodes in the middle of the night, I wasn’t sure that I had the strength of character to overcome what, for me, was a terrible barrier to joy. I came across countless personal accounts of the journey to sub 12 hour Ironmen while mourning the death of a beloved wife,, to escaping a past of childhood abuse, and also to a man who summoned up the courage to stand up and declare himself an tri-athlete when most would have laughed him off a course. I hope to shake that man’s hand in Arizona. We all carry a cross and it’s only when we lift up someone else’s that we realize how light our own is. Triathlon introduced me to so many people with heavier crosses to bear.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’m so very thankful for fitness, for a calm mind, and for my wonderful husband. What I don’t have really doesn’t matter. Family is what you define for yourself and my connections to others deepen every year that I’m involved in this wonderful community.
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