Once upon a time, a long long time ago. I had a blogspot blog that followed my training for my first ironman. I had osme fun with that one and it was a great place for me and friends of mine to go and understand what it is/was to be an athlete all over again. Here are some of the things that I’ve come up with in the meantime.
Distance is relative.
With all kinds of experience things that push out our boundaries do just that, they push. All of the sudden the biggest cheese burger is eclipsed by the next one which was a just a little bit bigger than the one before it, and doesn’t make the one before seem quite so big anymore.
I’d say that the same is true for endurance sports. Everyone, be it a newbie on their first real pair of running shoes, or Lance, has that space where this is as far as you can go and as fast as you can go. Then tomorrow, pain not withstanding, you go out and you go a little bit farther. Most of it is convincing your brain that your body can do it.
A 5k turns in to a 10k, and before you know it you just go for a run one Sunday and before you know it you look up and there goes ten miles. Distance is relative, I tell my friends, distance is relative.
This has a flip side to it too. The definition of a “good workout” changes. Before you know it a half hour run isn’t a work out, in fact it’s barely a warm up. So what’s the point? An hour ride? Why bother? The shift in the mind just happens. Can’t explain it to say except that the body actually does want to do more and can. Once you’ve convinced yourself you can then the brain is more than happy to accept it.
So where does that leave me today?
I’ve done half a dozen half marathons, a couple half ironman races, and a pair of mdot ironman events. Then burnout set in. I didn’t want to do any of it anymore. I just wanted to sit on the couch, drink beer, and get to know my friends again. No more training, said my body. My brain hardily agreed.
Enter the 18 month break. I picked up 20 pounds or so. I didn’t have the physical endurance to do a mile without wanting to throw-up. This is not a good thing. Even more than that my blood pressure was getting to an unhealthy point.
About two months ago, I hit a point where all I wanted to do was run. Grab the shoes, grab the dog, and go. I couldn’t go very far, and it wasn’t fun. I mean it really really wasn’t fun. But my brain just said it’s time. The hardest part I realized was that my brain had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t run nearly as far as I could when I was in shape. This took some doing, and I’d even go as far as to say that I’m still not there.
Distance is relative. I’m officially back to square one. I’d like not to fall this far again. Perhaps this will be my opportunity to find some accountability.