Sunday, September 15, 2013

How Does Time Fly?

Today I drove eight hours from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe.  The time flew by in no time.  In a way, I expect the same thing to happen in one week.  Twelve hours, or less I hope, can go by quickly if one's mind is in the right place.  It's a remarkable sensation that I have recently been reminded of during my trail runs.  A three hour trail run barely felt like one hour.  Today's drive was not very different.  I occupied my time by doing a few things.  One of those things was visualizing the race.  I visualized the swim, getting into the water and not working hard...visualized the transition from the swim to the bike ride (I hate wasting/losing time in transitions)...visualized portions of the bike ride...visualized the transition from the bike to the run...and finally, visualized the run.  I also listened to some football games (the Bronco's had a good game today), some golf (yes, I actually listened to golf on the radio), and finally, listened to my favorite music (60's and 70's).  I also spoke to my dad, my wife and a friend (Bluetooth, of course).  The time flew by. 

They say that doing an ironman is 50% physical and 90% mental.  The reality is that one must be physically prepared to complete an ironman, but that is just the starting point, the baseline.  Once you're physically prepared, you've only just begun.  The real work is the mental part.  After three ironman's, and many hours of training over the last 3 1/2 years, I hope that I've trained my mind for next week.  I have encountered all levels of adversity during my previous three ironman's, and have realized that ironman is about patience.  One cannot overextend during the swim and bike, not to mention the transitions, as well as during the first 16 miles of the run.  The "race" truly begins around 16-18 miles.  That's my goal, to get to that point while maintaining the physical ability to utilize all of the mental training I've done.  Once again, ironman imitates life.  We learn the things that are important to us.  We gain the tools to do the work we have to do.  Every day is an experience.  Sometimes we think we know something, but later learn that there is still more to learn.  Life requires patience.  Life requires mental fortitude.

When we're young, it seems like time goes by ever so slowly.  There is so much to much we don't know.  As we get older, time starts going by faster.  I'm not sure why, perhaps it is because we've learned a lot, and what we now learn is supported by all of the information we have in our heads.  I don't know.  Training for an ironman is similar, though, as we build upon our training.  I remember during my first ironman, wondering how I could ever complete a marathon, knowing that I was going to have to walk half of the time.  But I did.  When I reached the run of my second ironman, I knew that I would finish, it wasn't a question.  The experience helped me.

We encounter challenges in our lives every day, every week, every month.  We wonder why?  We wonder what we can still learn.  We wonder what we've done to deserve the challenges we face.  In fact, it's not about deserving the challenges, it's about accepting them as such.  Life is a challenge, ironman is a challenge.  We persevere, we learn, we move forward.  Sometimes we don't want time to fly by.  We savor the moment, but now I'm back to the issue of the moment.  While it's about being "in the moment", life is really about a series of moments.  No single moment defines us, nor do we judge the quality or "success" of our life by any one moment. 

I will continue to visualize throughout the week, and hope that visualization becomes reality in one week.

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