Tuesday, September 22, 2009

supernatural running

July 15, 2009

Thanks to Rich Strauss and Buddha Shakyamuni.

You guys got my head right.

The guys at Endurance Nation provided great guidance on ironman execution. Coach Roach told a story about writing "patience" and "discipline" on his forearms, to remind himself not to blow up chasing cyclists too early in the day. Their mantra "
Race Day is about EXECUTION, not FITNESS.” is hammered home in their race kits at triathlonexecution.com, with both general strategy and detailed course guidance.

This morning I was reading Mahamudra Tantra by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Mahamudra is a very specific set of meditation instructions intened to aid in the realization of the "very subtle mind", a supremly peaceful and powerful state of conciousness. Geshela makes reference to Jetsun Milarepa, a Tibetan Yogi, who attained Mahamudra Tantra without the instructions, but instead "through patience and determination".

(Parenthetically, Milarepa boasted of having “crossed in a few days, a distance which, before his training had taken him more than a month." He ascribed his gift to the clever control of ‘internal air’.)

This really is speaking to me. At this point I can do nothign further to improve my skills and abilities and fitness. Only through patiently applying my available abilities, knowing and then keeping concious of my purpose for racing, can i acheive a satisfactory result.

Kerrie asked me last week if i was ready, and why exactly I was doing this. I didnt have an answer then, but i think i have one now. As she suggested, the first reason I am doign this is because i can. And the reason that will get me through the day and the last, dark 6 miles of the marathon: becuase i can do this with a smile on my face, finishign happy and strong.

I need to start to think about packing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Normally before an execution they offer you a blindfold or cigarette.

July 4, 2009

I see some tweets about final workouts and taper beginning from prospective Lake Placid Ironman participants. This is disturbing, as I have really not been training enough to call what I do next a taper. In fact, i have barely trained for the swim or run since February. I have a certain comfort level for the bike leg, having done numerous 100 + mile rides, and good familiarity with the race course from last year and a camp in June. It's really sunk in that i am facing the jaws of this beast with no prep, and no time to do anything about it.

Last year I finished Tupper Lake Tinman 70.3 in just under 7:00, so am assuming something around 14:00 for Lake Placid. That assumption was made at the end of last season. Now with my nonexistent training, I am looking at the cut off times, and figuring max time for the swim and biking until the bike cutoff at 530pm, i would have 6:30 to finish the marathon. That would bring me to 17:00, the midnight cutoff.

I reached out to Coach Adam for some advice on how to attack the race. His advice is to focus on 'keep moving forward' and don't burn out in the first 10 miles of the run. Thanks Adam, very helpful indeed.

I also called on Pat and Rich of Endurance Nation for their advice. Beyond the excellent training plans they provide, they have also produced an amazing array of online resources and assistance. "Race day is about execution, not fitness". Seems right up my alley.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A lesson learned about lessons learned.

Now, 6 weeks after my first Ironman at Lake Placid, NY, I find I have still not begun my race report. It's particularly remarkable considering the achievement. I mean, if i could do Ironman, why cant i write a little race report? The fact that i finished in over 16 hours simply indicates I have a certain degree of determination and stamina, an ability to finish what I start.

And there's the lesson, which I learned so well On July 26, and which I apparently forgot already. The key to finishing is - beginning. And here's the other lesson. Use what you learn.

I will begin this race report and it will be in serial format. It will be in present tense, from the best of my recollection. I hope you enjoy my story as much as i enjoyed living it.