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February 27, 2007

Idiot Update

On the off-chance that you still have any shadow of a doubt regarding my idiot status, I have a brief update to report in regards to the previous post.

(Also, on a related note: I’ve examined that mistress analogy from about 100 different angles by now. This seems like a good time to finally put the thing to rest, doesn’t it? I’ll try to lay off it from now on, I promise.)

Anyway, no more than 48 hours after I described how – due to my presumed entry in the Big Sur Marathon - I was limiting myself to the Olympic distance triathlon the following weekend at Wildflower, a situation arose that a more sensible person would probably have avoided.

Here’s the short version: when some training partners backed out of their commitments to race at Wildflower, I had the opportunity to switch my entry from the Olympic distance to the long course. That would be almost double the distance, on one less rest day.

A smarter person would have politely declined. I, on the other hand, jumped at the chance. So now I'm on the hook for a hilly marathon and a killer half-Ironman within six days. And yes, I’m planning on racing both of them hard. It’s not exactly the intelligent decision, but it’s mine.

A short while ago, I left a comment for Stronger that said, “Wildflower doesn’t care if you’re sad.” It occurs to me now that Wildflower doesn’t care if I’m stupid, either. The course won’t have any mercy on me just because I’m fatigued from a recent marathon.

Yes, I made a scheduling decision that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone – but now there’s nothing to do but prepare for the tasks at hand. I will say this: it’s been a long time since I’ve taken on a challenge of this magnitude. While I’m not fearful, doubtful, or overly anxious about the situation, I will admit to being … I guess “concerned” is a good word. But “excited” is another. And all of a sudden, I’m very, very focused.

The morning after I switched races, I was on my bike at 5AM for a 40-mile ride when it was 34 degrees outside. It was - by far - the coldest weather I’ve ever ridden in (Colorado readers, feel free to laugh now), and there's no Earthly way I would have dragged myself out there if not for this predicament I've created. But suffering through the cold while climbing a 1400-ft hill in the dark just felt like the proper way to kick off the hardcore training period that lies ahead.

Afterwards, the ride certainly hadn’t made me any less stupid, but it did help me feel slightly more prepared. Between now and May, it’s a compromise I’ll gladly accept.

11 comments:

Faithful Soles 2/27/07, 4:33 PM  

If you are stupid, then I think all of us in the running community need to profess our stupidity as well. We are runners, we naturally know that we are not superhuman, but believe we are. What is amazing to me about the human body is that it will adapt itself, as will your mind, to what you set out to do. In my opinion, you are a genius (I'd type more, but it's time for my medication).

robtherunner 2/27/07, 4:57 PM  

If anyone can pull it off, Donald, it is you. Not sure of my comma usage there, but blog etiquette allows me to make these kind of mistakes.

Don't worry, we won't expect this kind of stupidity to become a habit in your racing schedule.

Backofpack 2/27/07, 5:32 PM  

Donald,
I guess you can join me in foolishness. My schedule has me running a 50K followed by a marathon six days later. I'm glad someone else shares my greed and excitement in trying to do it all!

stronger 2/27/07, 5:57 PM  

And now we don't get to race the oly together? Now I'm sad. At least you'll know a good massage therapist after the half!

jeff 2/27/07, 7:17 PM  

i hear you. i've got boston a couple weeks before wildflower. i, on the other hand, won't be racing boston hard and i'll just be looking to enjoy myself at wildflower. see ya on the shore!

Megan 2/27/07, 8:47 PM  

You are a brave, brave man. And kudos for riding outside - as you have proably read, that is not my strong suit this winter. Word to the wise - make sure you wear good gloves. Much luck int he training and very excited to read about the journey!

Thomas 2/28/07, 4:16 AM  

You know what they say, if it doesn't kill you it will make you stronger.

olga 2/28/07, 1:34 PM  

Welcome to the Stupid club! And unlike some of us, I am sure you will have awesome races, because while you might be stupid making decisions, you are far from it in training and exsecuting the plan. Woo-hoo!

Journey to a Centum 2/28/07, 7:46 PM  

It will certainly be a season to remember! Burn baby burn!

rick 3/1/07, 12:26 AM  

34 degrees on the bike, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...Welcome to the Long course. Good to have you, I'm sure you'll be fine. For myself the weekend after WF I plan on running the Quicksilver 50-miler. I'm an okay Triathlete, I'm an okay ultra-runner but how much you want to bet that I will be doing both hard. The official word I've been spreading around is hard WF, easy Q50. But I already know I'll be chasing friends all over those Quicksilver hills.

Annette 3/2/07, 6:12 PM  

Good luck! You wouldn't do it if you didn't think you could. So, train like a madman! :) (Oh, there are so many places I could take that last sentence I wrote, but I'll refrain.) ;)

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