Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It Ain't Me Babe

I have been thinking a lot about last Saturday. This, in the attempt to cherry pick the low hanging fruit of wisdom. Put some more tangy Rainiers in my experience basket. Keep the flesh, spit the pit. In this excellent article by my pal and longtime mentor Simon Ward, aka The Triathlon Coach, he goes through the same process with much greater insight and eloquence than I could muster in a summer of harvests. 

There were many positives, one of which was simple survival. It was hot out there for 75 miles. I was coming off two intense high performance efforts and not fully recovered. I did a Richard Kimble* swim. My big toe bled. REMs over two days were virtually non existent. Did I mention the heat? To get through all of that and lose 'only' 12 minutes over last year I consider to be a success. A positive even.

I had the opportunity to compete. I showed up and toed the line. I gave it all I had. Regardless of the result, what I had to give was donated to the cause. I enjoyed the process. Every step of the way, despite the sun, wind, distance, competition, frustrations, aggravations, challenges and irritants. That is the whole idea of an endurance event. The weak crumble. The strong prevail. One must manage inside and out. Overcome the minds relentless desire for the easy way, that path offering least resistance, some shade from the sun. Basic relief.

But that is not what we do on race day. We get answers. To big questions. We explore our souls. We push the time, speed or distance to failure. How long can I go at this intensity, how far, how fast? All eventual winners will have built their race around delaying fatigue longer than previous. Maybe by five minutes, maybe by five seconds. Yes, the course was the same distance as last year. But there were other variables at play contributing to a completely different challenge. The elements. External conditions that all must endure. It is the same for everyone. Rain, sleet, sun, snow - you still have to go. 

I took away a bin of lessons and positives from last Saturday. It was  great time, camping, racing, supporting, eating pizza and sipping barley pops. It is part of the overall experience that keeps me coming back, looking for more, searching for the speed, playing in the splendor of our national treasure of a backyard. I consider this to have a very high QOL rating. Off the charts even. What a blast. 

There is only one person in the world that cares that I finished second in (my former) age group. 

And it ain't me.

*Reference is to the 'one-armed man' seen fleeing from the Kimble home on the night of Dr. Kimble's wife's murder in the TV series The Fugative. 

Pic is from campsite looking across Chelan River at a single track trail that seems to be calling me. Maybe there is a Cherry Tree atop.

Off to Reno and Tahoe. Enjoy the ride. 


ej said...

Ancient Chinese proverb: take mind out of it.

KML5 said...

Yes, but modern Italian proverb say: While doing, not reviewing.

ej said...

can only guess and perform quick computer research. disassociation strategies while doing? http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/03/16/im-not-really-running-flow-dissociation-and-expertise/

KML5 said...

I think we are on the same side. I agree. That is what we aim to do. Perhaps I should have been more precise in the report on my report reporting on the mindfulness of the race. I am saying run for flow - but measure and manage afterwords in the hope of isolating weakness and hence, learn from mistakes. Could also be the trap of the fist person narrative.