Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wherein I Completely Lose My Mind

The other day the IT guy here, who just so happens to be one of my more consistent racing buddies, stopped by. He told me about a second Ironman Arizona race. It's a 'second' race because the 'first' race is usually held in April and the second race is being held in November. From now on, the race will be held in November, but for this year only there will be two races. It satisfied the criteria I had been looking for in an Ironman race better than the Florida races had. It's late in the year, so I'll have plenty of time to kill myself at work in the first part of the year so that I can slow up and have a little more time to train. It's close to a major airport that is easily accessible from Salt Lake, so air fare won't be ridiculous. It's geographically close, so the travel time will be low. There was only one thing left - who was I going to race with. The IT flat told me no. I called Mahana and he said he and Kalei would talk about. They called me back to tell me that they - three of the four members of Racer's Cycle Service Tri Team (Karl Jarvis being the other) had already signed up. So, without really thinking of the ramifications, I signed up. I figured I've already done three 1/2 Iron distances and a number of shorter races. Put another way, I've done enough races that I don't consider myself a newbie anymore. Then it started to hit me. The panic that is the open water swim. I always panic, it's just a question of 1) how severely and 2) how long it takes before I can get it to a manageable level. I always freak out because I can't see where I'm going. Add to that any number of people kicking and hitting you. With all that going on, I often forget to breathe correctly, my form goes to crap, and I start feeling like I'm suffocating. Then I think about quitting. Then I think about labelling myself a quitter. Then I put my head back in the soup, find a sustainable pace, and start playing fractional mind games with myself with a diaglogue. E.g. - That second buoy looks like it's about 2/3 of the way around the course. I'm 1/2 way to it, so 1/3 of the way around the course. It's a two-lapper, so 1/6 of the way done. Crap. 1/6 of 1900 is about 325. I've only been 325 meters? Crap. I'd better site again. It doesn't look like I'm any closer. Crap. Is this ever going to end? Roll. Site. . . . ." A recurring theme I have while I'm repeating the above process includes wondering why I signed up for that stupid race anyway. I can only imagine what 1:20 of that is going to be like, and that's if I'm lucky. That could easily drag itself into 1:30 or even 1:40. Then there's the bike. That doesn't really concern me. In fact, this would be a great reason to start a collection of bib and non-bib style Assos shorts. I'll let you know how those work out for me. No number of new shoes or training equipment can get me excited about running a marathon. And let's face it, I don't actually plan on running a marathon, I plan on running until I hit the proverbial wall and then walking. Hopefully, I don't end up doing that leg of the triathlon Andy Bernard style. All of these things were distant enough, until I thought of something realistic. I love to eat. I need to lose weight. That has to start now, which means I need to up my motivation to lose weight now. Once I start training for Hawai'i, weight loss will slow to a crawl. I've got three months to lose weight. Which means I need to start now. I really felt like steak tonight, may with a pepper-cream sauce. I guess it'll be grilled chicken and veggies instead. What have I gotten myself into? Another concern has popped up. Can I still say that I do triathlons, I'm not a triathlete if I've taken on the whole meal deal? I sure hope so.


Kerry said...

hey Fish, you have been truely missed out at Wheeler. But, hey good luck with the new hobby

Mr. Flynn said...

Thanks for bring back my dread of the open water swim. 6 months until my first half.

I think it is best to sign up for stuff like this without thinking about too much. Nope I, like you, have a chronic short term memory.

Contrast this to our mutual friend out my way. That dude overthinks things and has a hard time making decisions. Unless his wife makes it for him of course.

If I thought I was ready for the full deal, I would be there with you. I could do Arizona.