Monday, January 09, 2006

Now that's gutsy!

The Nancinator (thanks for the name Bolder) has just completed a half marathon, a 5K and a full marathon in two days. Stop by and whoop it up for her. As I commented on her site, other than the amazing physical challenge, I think the mental stamina this demonstrates is astounding.

I went for my final 10 mile run in training for Chang's, it was an even 30 degrees and the paths were mostly clear. The sunset was beautiful.

All things being clothed equally, I did have to wonder why my fanny was freezing-it was even facing the sun as it set. Then it occured to me that the fabric of choice at the Shopping-is-a-contact-sport-Victoria's Secret-Semi-annual-sale was cotton. Ah yes the comfort of cotton, unless it happens to be holding sweat, which albeit salt water, does seem to freeze at 32 degrees, and therefore transforms wonderful cotton into icy booty.

Little hint for the other Trimama's: if you want a night out with your girlfriends mention the VS semi annual sale. I believe the actual words out of Trihubby's mouth were "There is a God! Here's the credit card, have a great time!

He enjoyed the Trimama fashion show immensely.

As usual, on the run, there were the other enthusiast out and about, and we all saluted one another with a wave and smile and "it's great to be alive and running/walking" look.

While it might be a bit awkward for Trihubby, I want a beard. A full face beard. Well at least while I am out running in the cold. That just looks so comfortable to me. Is Chia face in my future? Oh, wait. Those are plants, they would die and then I'd spend my run with droopy dead plant on my face. I suppose I could always get a running scarf.

This is the first winter that I have run outside. Before triathlon, I worked out. I went to the Y three times a week and ran for 30-40 minutes. If I was feeling really crazy I might row for 5 minutes. Then 20 minutes of weight lifting and done. Every so often I'd throw in a 5K or maybe 10K challenge. There was no need to run outside, and I don't like ice. More succintly, my backside and knees don't like ice-they suffer if I go down. We live in the land of winter ice and tundra, so why would I risk my ability to work out just to run outside?

Why risk anything for that matter.

But to follow a dream, you have to risk.

I realized last spring that I was prone to distraction in my workouts. Radio wires in the way, stop and fix them. Sweat in eyes, stop and adjust. Every little thing could throw me off my game. I knew to complete a tri I'd have to apply some mental toughness. So, I started to train mentally. I pushed through those little annoyances, learned to fix them without stopping. Learned to go just a little farther than I "thought" I could each time.

Running outside is part of that training. It is a mental toughness playground. Because I had such a short workout schedule, I would go at it with great intensity. Training requires intensity, but it is more a mental intensity. You have to be thinking to get from point A to point B, and that takes training.

Which brings me to my final thought. With a mere 37 years under my belt, I see my life as an echo, a small shadow of what it is to become. There are years and eternity to contemplate with each decision I make. I try to weigh the big decisions thoughtfully, eg: should I do an Ironman? My current contemplation regards this mental training.

Phil just returned to the boxing ring for training-what an incredible workout. I know if I "got into the ring" so to speak, with kickboxing, I can stir up a level of testosterone laden competitive fervor. As a former basketball and soccer player, I know you can train at that level, and I could compete at a higher level.

The problem: that training tends to turn Trimama into a hard ass. I don't like hard ass Trimama-at all. HA Trimama is easy to create. I just have to summon all the anger and angst, bitterness and bite of life-release the Titans and prepare to lay siege. However, once the uprising commenses, it is difficult to contain. Trimama becomes a Tsunami of unrequited wrath. That Trimama lives life in survivor-think-of-no-one-else-mode, modified slightly for day to day, but awakened easily. Simply no good. No good at loving, no good at role modeling, no good at friendship, no good at life. And, there is no enjoyment there because everything is sampled through the bitter taste of hate. Hate is simple and hate is deadly. I don't think I was redeemed from the shadows of hell to live a life in the dark confines of hate.

So, the icy New Year's day plunge was a baptism of sorts. It was a mental challenge undertaken with no HA Trimama involved. How do I know? I was slightly terrified to take that pluge. HA Trimama fears nothing. It's a fearlessness that comes partnered with a deathwish mentality. I sort of knew that if I could stand at that dark hole slightly terrified, and jump anyhow, that a mentally tougher Trimama would climb out the other side.

And she did.

This year training is about growing mentally tougher step by step. No easy HA Trimama shortcuts. We're doing this one the hard way.

And what a great run it will be!


tarheeltri said...

I've never run inside, but I share your problem with distractions while I'm on my trainer. I'm thinking about moving it onto the deck or something.

Fe-lady said...

great post- I think you should have gotten the "best writer" award! but then i wasn't the one giving away the award !

Keryn said...

Awesome post! Thank you! :)

Mica said...

Wow, cool post. You've got me thinking, as usual.

Fe-lady said...

thanks for kind words-
and best of luck this next weekend! Weather is nice for running. But drink a lot as it is VERY DRY here!

nancytoby said...

Thank you so much!! You're too kind. Even when you're a hardass. :-)

Bolder said...

great post, thank you.

Phil said...

Oh to be a fly on that wall at that sale. Any hair pulling???

For me, the boxing is very therapeutic. A complete weekly purging of stress and pent up emotions. But, it also gives me a mix - I look forward to the distraction from S/B/R .

If you are thinking about something similar - go for it! Even though it uses totally different muscle groups, it's a phenomenal workout, and I find the boxing helps me mentally, by teaching me how to "dig-in" ... and believe it or not, I've used the mental boxing techniques at swim practice. (No, I didn't hit anyone!)

Ellie said...

We gotta run into each other somehow at the marathon! Email me....