Monday, April 23, 2007

This Sometime

Sometimes I feel like a Nike commercial, with a blood pushing soundtrack in the background and profiled in soft lights. Sometimes I feel like I stand at a precipice, ready for what comes and what is entailed. The icon, the ediface, the athletic form. Sometimes I feel like I am uniquely qualified, by some grace of past decisions and stubborn motivation. And sometimes I feel like I may have the power to inspire myself and make me so much more than I was before.

This, is that sometime.

I chose late last year to try something entirely out of my comfort zone, and entirely gratuitous. I don't need to do an Ironman distance. Being a triathlete and healthy alone would be fine. But there has always been that persistent voice inside my thoughts that wants me to push even further. I want to know whether or not I can do something exceptional. To push just a little more. Could it be self-defeating? Could I be setting myself up for a simple confirmation of mediocrity? Perhaps. When I was younger, I would certainly have seen that road as the least painful and followed it, laden with guilt. I would have craftily explained away my averageness and carried it as a stone in my shoe, a hidden hair shirt under a well-dressed facade.

That is not me anymore. And I know that with certainty. I know that with the same certainty that I know I love Mighty M. I know that with the certainty that I know I will never sabotage my life again with distrust and fatalism.

I just know it. Clearly and with inherent resolve. It's just there, as a reality.

So I signed up for the race, and then basked in the glow of "You're doing an Ironman?" "No way! How cool!" I did the planning and found the training schedule right for me. And when the time came, I started training. And I've had the bumps in the road and moments of checking my own motivations and behaviors. Falls and injuries and set-backs and successes.

And I have simply loved every second.

The snarky lady in the pool. The personal best runs and the personal vendettas against cycling drills. Those wonderful moments where new habits surprised me with power and control. And those truly excellent moments of clarity.

And now, I'm there again. Cue the Nike background music. Cue lights, camera, and ACTION.

It's 20 weeks out from Ironman Wisconsin.

20 weeks.

If you're an endurance athlete, you know the power of 20 weeks. In 20 weeks, you can prepare for a marathon. In 20 weeks, you can sculpt an ultra-distance out of a lump of base building runs. In 20 weeks, you can craft an Ironman. And that, of course, is exactly what I'm going to do.

Twenty weeks is a check point in training that may seem arbitrary, but it's not. It provides just the right amount of time to build a better you. Just enough time to take your skills and traits and strengths and craft something exceptional.

I've put in my base, I'm building as we speak, and I'm feeling quietly prepared for the volume and effort. And yes, sometimes I feel incredibly scared. Shaking in my boots scared. Of limitations and sheer distance and limiters.

But, this is a different sometime. Right now I just feel ready.


JohnnyTri said...

20 weeks ... Kick the Tires and Light the Fires.. It's Go TIME!!!


Donald said...

I think you've reached "the end of the beginning". Now you just stay on the course you've charted, and before you kn ow it Ironman will be here, and you'll be ready.

Donald said...

I think you've reached "the end of the beginning". Now you just stay on the course you've charted, and before you know it Ironman will be here, and you'll be ready.

Jeremy said...

"Just enough time to take your skills and traits and strengths and craft something exceptional."

Awesome. Really awesome. You are well on your way to crafting something exceptional!

TriShannon said...

Great post!!!

20 weeks... we will be ready!

Mallie said...

Well're on your way to greatness!

John said...

Thanks for the reply to my question on your previous post. IT does help as it gives me an idea of how long it will take to improve in the pool. Good last post as well.

Spokane Al said...

Amen sister.

Duane said...

Go girl! 20 weeks will fly by and you will be in IM heaven!

ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks for your advice on my post. You are definitely right that one can only control oneself.

I look forward to following your IMMoo journey and just wanted to let you know that right now, by simply having chosen to train an ironman, you are not mediocre. You are very special and one of very few who even make the attempt to toe the line.

Good luck!!!

Dave said...

Keep up the good work. Now the real fun begins. It sounds like you on right on track. Enjoy it, Ironman is as much about the journey to get there as the race itself. I look forward to racing with you and the rest of the Raceathlete team at IMMoo.

Comm's said...

I feel as if I wrote this myself. The words, the worry, the resolve.

The resolve. I also call it Iron Will.

Passion, vision, determination.

Anything is possible.

LoneStarCrank said...

Keep "building" and keep letting those nerves drive your further. Finish strong. You are already impressing us all!

momo said...

personally, i think you're already exceptional. i cannot wait to watch your journey the next 20 weeks, it will change your life, believe me. enjoy every minute!

Ellie said...

Awesome! The wish, the determination, the ambition, the writing.... you!