Saturday, September 21, 2013


It's cold, windy and raining today here in Lake Tahoe.  Fortunately the race is tomorrow.  The weather report this week has been pretty consistent, so I'm counting on there not being a repeat of St. George, where the weather changed drastically at the last minute.  That said, I'm pretty much ready for anything tomorrow anyway and that's what Ironman is really all about.  If I've experienced something in the last few years on a regular basis it's the fact that life throws curve balls at you on an almost daily basis.  Maybe I need to learn something from my ironman training and figure out how to better prepare myself to react to life's curveballs?  It's a problem I've seemed to have for a number of years.  It probably started due to my work-a-holic tendencies.  I'd be working day and night and not getting my brain prepared for the other issues in life.  Heck, my wife took care of all of them!  Maybe meditation is a good idea.  In some ways, that's what my training is.  It's my way of reaching a state of equanimity. 

Tomorrow will be all about equanimity.  The water will be quite cold for the first hundred yards, but then it warms up to a reasonable level.  So, wading into the cold water, I'll be reminding myself that it will warm up.  Once I start swimming I'll be dealing with other swimmers, there's always the possibility of getting hit or swum over...stay calm, relax and just keep swimming.  One of my strengths is that I do my best swimming when I'm relaxed and just maintaining good form, there's no point for me to try to swim hard.  Getting out of the water will find cold temperatures.  Fortunately, there's no rain in the forecast...but you know what, if it rains, I'll have to deal with it.  I am prepared to get dry and warm before starting the bike.  A hundred and twelve miles on a bike, for over six hours, is definitely a long slog to most.  To me, it's why I do Ironman.  I'm planning to enjoy the whole bike ride.  If anything happens like it did at St. George, I'll deal with it and move on.  Finally, the run will be my last chance for the day to deal with unexpected situations.  The only real unexpected things that happen during a run are physical.  The only way to deal with those issues is through one's mind.  Hey, in 2009, I rode my bike 48 miles and walked 3 miles with a broken collarbone and fractured hip socket.  What can't I do?

A year and a half ago, my coach told me to "stay in the moment" throughout the day.  For the rest of my life, I'll remember that moment in the water when I was surrounded by 5 foot swells, had swallowed water, and had a calf cramp.  I got into the moment, found that feeling of equanimity, and just started moving forward.  That's a moment I can always go back to during a race and during life.  I just need to remember to do so, tomorrow, and forever after.

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