Day 36 – A Triathlete’s Epiphany

138 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

I may have had an epiphany this morning and it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it might.

My training plan doesn’t kick in until the new year, which begins tomorrow, so today’s workout was pulled from my Athlete Stash of Scholarliness. If you think of a good acronym for that let me know.

Anyway, back to that monumental moment of epiphanousness from earlier in the day. Running just before sunrise has a magical quality that comes from a slight fear of what lies beyond the dark. Bear, wild hogs, deer, even possums can be hazards to a runner with a dim head lamp. And believe me, all of those live in the woods near my house.

The goal of this workout was to complete a very slow recovery run following a short and easy indoor trainer ride. Heart rate was scheduled for zones 1 and 2 with a couple of short pokes into zone 3.

Anyway… I was jogging along at about 13:30/mi when the podcast filling my ears came to an end and the horizon started changing colors. Without a voice in my ear, my mind wandered, as most endurance athletes probably let their minds wander during training and racing. It wandered to Hawaii where I will someday compete with the best of the best in the world, and I use the word, compete, loosely here.

It is so tempting to envision myself slogging it out along the lava fields and into the energy lab (whatever that really is). Cheering spectators along Ali’i Drive motivate me to run toward the red carpet with every last bit of energy left in my body. But I soak in the whole experience as I run to the finish line and high five every hand sticking into the finishing chute. Then the magic happens and Mike Reilly calls my name, but the crowd is so loud it’s impossible to hear his famous words,

“… YOU. ARE. AN IRONMAN ” .

It doesn’t matter, because I know what he said. I look down at my watch to stop the clock… and OMG! I’m still in the middle of the woods in North Carolina running an 11:00/mi pace and my heart rate has sky rocketed to a whopping 140bpm.

Focus, boy! Get with the workout.

And then it hit me (the opposum, I mean the epiphany). If I can’t get control of my mind, I don’t stand a chance of training properly which means I need to buckle down and learn how to focus.

That’s it. As simple as that. All my long windedness for that. Thanks for reading it.

Until tomorrow…