So, what have I been doing the last two months? Hmmm. Where to start? The first two weeks after the race involved a bit of rehab. Turns out my hip didn't particularly like hitting the ground at 15 mph so for two weeks there was a lot of this:
So I signed up, which means most of the rest of the two months since my last post involved training. Of course there was working and sleeping and eating, but mostly, there was a lot of training. (Although at some point I believe I set some sort of PR in food consumption, but I still trained more hours than I ate. I think.)
My tactic for this race has been this:
Learn to run on tired legs.
Because, let's face it. There's no way in hell my legs are gonna be fresh after 12 hours of mountain biking. So I trained on tired legs nearly every time I ran, which, in case you're wondering, is an incredible blow to your ego if you were first a runner. It's also quite painful. But then, this race will be painful so I better get used to it. This race could also shatter my ego so I better get used to that too.
I've done a lot of thinking about that over the last two months. How does a person get used to a bruised ego? Of course, I can never be sure if it's the best tactic, but one that has worked for me so far has been to just learn to leave my ego at home. I started a ritual in my mind a few weeks ago, about the same time I relegated my run and bike shoes to the basement because they were too stinky to keep upstairs. When I went downstairs to put them on, I left my ego there, with the other stinky shoes. I figure I'd rather carry stinky-ass shoes around on my feet for five hours than a big-ass ego around on my shoulders that long. It's a good trade off. (At least for me. I'm not sure how this is for anyone who has to be near me when I'm wearing these stinky shoes.)
It's worked so far. I've learned to quit worrying so much about each workout and focus instead on where it's getting me. So I have a bad day. So what. Good athletes (and good people too) know that it's not always about who you are today. It's about who you're becoming. Sometimes those crappy training days get you better prepared for race day than any of the great days.
Today, Sebastian Kienle won the Ironman World Championship. When he was interviewed at the end, he talked about a bad training day he had and said, " Never, ever judge your life by one bad day. Judge it by the best day."
Yes. Yes. Yes.