A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

07/11/07: Is it the love of the sport?

My dad said something intersesting: he said the training sounds gruesome, but I understand that you love the sport, which got me thinking. Is it really triathlon I love? What is it that gets so many of us hooked on this crazy sport? Why do we spend thousands and thousands of dollars on bikes, race fees, travel, nutrition, etc. Why do commit so much of something even more valuable, our time?

Is it for the fame and fortune? HAH - most people know virtually nothing about the sport and care even less; hell, even our family and friends think we're nuts. Is it so we can wake up at 5:30 in the morning to spend an hour or two suffering on the bike on a trainer, and then complaining about it afterwards? Certainly not - sleeping in sounds (and feels) SO much better. Is it so we can endure 5 hour rides and three hour runs in Florida's heat and humidity in the middle of summer? You've got to be kidding me.....Is it so we can wake up earlier on the weekends than we do during the week to avoid said humidity? Maybe it's the oh so attrective spandex tri shorts? Hang on a minute - I just made myself nauteous.....

Ok, I'm back....

So why is it we put ourselves, and those close to us, through this madness?

For me at least, it's more about the challenge than it is the sport. It's about turning something seemingly impossible into reality. It's about a massive change in perspective of what's possible. It's about taking a long term view of something in this short-term culture that we live in. And it's about doing something where commitment, consistency, determination and overcoming obstacles is the only way to the finish line.

No amount of money can get you across the finish line (although you may get there faster - nothing like a $2000 set of race wheels on a $4000 bike, which I don't have by the way). No help from family, friends, coaches, or anyone else gets you there, although you certainly don't have a chance in hell of getting there without their total support. Excuses? Try? Can't? Those words get left at the door. There is no try - you either do or don't do.

The only way you go 140.6 miles in under 17 hours on race day is with 100% commitment, focus and action, which brings me back to my question? Is it really the love of the sport?

No. It's about doing something that transcends the I want it now, fix it with a pill, distract ourselves with tv, food, drugs, I don't have the time, money, health, fill in the blank world in which we live. The fact is ironman has nothing to do with physical or athletic ability (come watch me swim sometime if you need proof) - anyone can do this sport, just ask Team Hoyt or Sister Madonna (the 76 year old nun).

It's about learning that what happens today doesn't really matter; instead, good or bad, you take it in stride, realizing that it's the cumulative effect of days stacked on days, weeks on weeks, month after month and year after year that makes the differece and gets you there.

It's not about any single race day, and it's not even about the swimming, biking and running. Lance Armstrong couldn't have been more accurate when he said it's not about the bike.

Instead, it's about who you become in the process, because that long-term perspective and the total commitment and focus needed for that perspective spills over into all the other areas of life: work, relationships, friends, finances, you name it.

Oh yeah, on top of all of this wonderful philosophical thinking, I actually got in some training.

The week kicked off yesterday with an easy 30 minute zone 2 run. My shorter zone 2 runs are now consistently sub-9 minute miles, which is a HUGE jump from where I was a year ago.

Last night I felt fortunate to be able to swim. A REALLY strong thunderstorm blew through about the time we were getting in the pool. Good news: it's Florida. 15 minutes later the sun was shining again and it was perfect weather to enjoy swimming some laps....scratch that....I almost never enjoy swimming laps......

Even after the delay, we managed to get in 2100 meters:

600 warmup (200 swim kick pull)

6x50 1/2 kick 1/2 swim

4 x 100 pull, 100 swim

200: 25 hard, 25 easy; 25 easy 25 hard; 50 easy; 50 hard

200 cd

Woke up this morning for an hour on the bike trainer:

21 min gearing pyramid (19-13), 2 x cadence drill (3 min 100, 2 min 110, 1 min 120), 21 min reverse gearing pyramid (13-19)

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure



Tea said...

here here, good friend, here here!

Karen said...

You said it! Am contemplating a 70.3 next year - it's people like you that provide the inspiration.

Good luck and happy training!

todd said...

I think you nailed it Andrew. Dead on.

Carrie said...

Wow...thank you. thank you...It totally validates what I wrote in my blog today. I know we're all on the same page with regard to this sport. It changes EVERYTHING in your life for the better (except for maybe the amount of hours you get to sleep at night!)

TriTurtL said...

You've had some time on your hands to think of all that! Oh, maybe some time on the bike, on the feet, in the pool...? It was beautifully said. And always nice to see that when our friends and family don't really get it, there are a rare few that do.

Tri Mom said...

Wow! Your post is right on. I enjoyed reading it on the Race Athlete site. Keep up the awesome training, and that finish line is right within your reach!

21stCenturyMom said...

Thank you so much for clearing that up! Next time I hear myself saying "what the h-e-double hockey sticks am I doing out here at 6AM on a Sunday" I'll have my answer. And what a great answer it is. Spot on.

Spokane Al said...

I agree with you completely - it is the journey and not the destination.

'the mom' said...

Talk about INSPIRIING!!! beautifully said...brought a little tear to my eyeball... and now i've DOUBLED my own 'training'...dont you dare laught: averaging 6000 steps per day on my pedometer... love, 'the mom'
{PS: Do i get ANY credit?? i did make you walk across that red wobbly bridge when you were 2!!)