Today’s event was a nice, leisurely 30 minute jog about the farm. This is one of my favorite places to run – it has to do with the familiarity, the ownership, the terrain, having the dogs with me, and the spontanaety of being able to just walk out the door and run. On the trail today I saw an enormous owl swoop across the TVA easement right over the top of my head – what a thrill.
I want to spend a paragraph in review so that as we do this journey together you will know the background of my training:
Several years ago with a posse of girlfriends I made a drunken vow that I would celebrate my 50th birthday by completing an Ironman triathlon (at the time I had never done any distance triathlon). These women have been relentless in holding me to this, so over the past few years I have progressively trained and completed a Sprint distance triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, a Long distance triathlon (also known as a Half-Iron), and intend, in the spring of this year, 2010, to compete in an Ironman. I won’t bore you with the distances of all those races; the full Iron is 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run, and each shorter distance is about half of the one before it. My 50th birthday is November of 2010, but I don’t like to train in the summer, so I look to choose a race in March, April, or May; that gives me little wiggle room if I hit a glitch and have to compete through the end of the year.
My grown kids are all over the world, quite literally, so my choice of race locations is wide open, as are the shorter distance races I’ll schedule in leading up to Iron. Tennessee has no Ironman event, so that’s not an option. You may have read in yesterday’s blog I’d prefer a non-ocean swim, but that’s not written in Sharpie, it’s simply a preference.
My running companions here at the farm are: Boo, the golden retriever; Nala, her daughter who lives with the college boys who rent a house on the farm; and Uga, the English Bulldog who thinks she’s a golden retriever. The three of them ran with me today, the golden girls bounding over weeds and through thickets, and Uga, snorting and huffing her way to 3 miles. It’s not that she’s fat; quite the contrary, she’s very muscular and thick, it’s just that her build leaves a little to be desired for a running physique. The 4 of us jog merrily over rocks and sticks and roots, up and down hills, through a little mud from this morning’s rain, til 3 of us splash through the pond just before the finish line. Today I was iPod-free because it was sprinkling when I started out, but I like those runs just as well.
My nutrition is high-protein/low carbohydrate except for long-duration events when I add in a little simple carbohydrate mid-effort. Over the course of the blogging, I’ll post more about that. My weight this morning was 152, which is a little high for racing, but I’ll get it down to about 138 to compete. My training usually consists of: 2 days per week strength training, one day per week each for a run, a swim, and a ride, and one day per week of a two-event effort, which is called a Brick. (always swimming/riding or riding/running since that’s the sequence of triathlons).
I’ll close today’s entry with my first attempt to answer the question: Why would I do this? I’ll spend many hours thinking about that in the days and weeks to come, but here’s the quick response:
I love the training. I love the planning and scheduling, I love the competing on the way to the goal, I love watching my times improve, or not depending on the day. I love the companionship of other athletes, and the camaraderie of recounting races and training experiences. I love pushing my body to its limits and seeing and feeling it respond. I love the challenge and the distraction when the personal and professional components of my life are awry, unsettled, or frustrating. I love that my kids and friends are so proud of me. I love setting an example for other women, of all ages, to set lofty goals and go about accomplishing them.
Ok, that was easier than I thought, but I reserve the right to amend that list as time goes on.
Thank you for following my progress. It does me good to hear about your goals, projects, dreams, hopes, desires, ambitions; drop me a comment, and most certainly direct me to your blog if you are doing that.
Don’t just seize that carpe; grasp, wrestle, choke, manhandle, and strangle that bad boy until he lies gasping for breath, crying “Uncle, uncle!”