Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Do I belong here?" Demons ~ Page 3

The "Demon of Doubt".........  Do I belong here??

Descartes The Demon of Doubt

This third Demon entry in my blog that I have met or rekindled a relationship during my preparation  for this weeks upcoming Iron Man I have named Descartes. Cartesian doubt is a form of methodological skepticism associated with the writings and methodology of Rene Descartes. Cartesian doubt is also known as Cartesian skepticismmethodic doubtmethodological skepticism, or hyperbolic doubt.  Cartesian doubt is a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's beliefs.

There have been many times during the course of my training that I wondered what I was doing.  I mean I know why I was doing it.  For the experience.  For the pleasure. For the discipline, For the challange.  To test myself and my strength and my fortitude.  To do something that less then .05% of the human population has ever even attempted to do.  It was the next logical thing to do after my stint of running marathons.  

But what was I doing??  Do I belong here??  I'm not built like a typical good triathlete.  When I swim, I feel like I am a battleship plowing through and making waves.  Certainly not a smooth streamline swimmer piercing through the water.  I have a hitch in my kick that creates a ton of drag, I breathe to one side, I can't seem to bend at the elbow and push the water behind me, I constantly need to remind myself to follow through with my stroke, tighten my core and don't allow the legs to drop.  Instead of long and lovely, that I hear every day in the pool, I am short and squat.  I suffered from panic attacks in  the mass start of my first three attempts at an open water swim.  I have to say Nokk 3 times so the Demon of Drowning doesn't get me.

Yadda yadda yadda yadda.....Let's not get into the  bike or run as I may slit my wrists.  Ok a bit over dramatic but you get the picture.  I know I have put in the work.  I know my spirit and my soul will carry me to the finish line but I still have that little teeny tiny voice back there that compares myself to others and wonders if I am strong enough to finish this race.  My coach talks about Goblins and not if they catch you during the race but when.  Will my knees hold up?  Will I propery take care of my nutrition needs on the course?  In my head I say this body was not meant for speed. So, will I make the swim cut off?  Will I make the bike cutoff?   I went for a very easy run today.  I sweat more in those few miles then I have over the last month of so of training.  So then I question.... am I ready to perform on this stage? at this level? am I good enough? do I belong here?  

I look at the father son duo of the Hoyts.  A constant source of inspiration.  I think about all those people I've watched after I have crossed the finish line in all my races and how humble I have felt knowing that we all have different stories and it has taken each one of of some sacrifice to get to the starting line.  I see people of all shapes and sizes and athletic abilities and ages and it is so aweinspiring to me.  I think about the fellow racer from the Steamboat Olympic Tri that was a wheelchair bound.  Truly there is no I CAN'T from any of us.  We all CAN.  We just allow this Demon Descartes to sneak into our lives and take ahold of us.  We allow it to plant the seeds of doubt and then we allow those doubts to become reality.  It is what we make of it.  It is our lives and we can do as we please.  But sometimes allowing those doubts to take control is actually the easy way out.  Those doubts become the excuses so we don't have to work hard for what we say we want.  Do I have doubts??  The answer is most certainly yes.  I wrote a letter today to Jonathan, a great guy that help start me on my Iron Man path. The same guy who told me never to wear board shorts to swimming class again as I tell the story in one of my first bogs.  Here is a piece of that letter.....

I feel like I am in a good place mentally to be here.  I always wonder if I could be in better shape, be faster, be stronger, have better technique and the answer is simply yes to all of them.  But I am here today with what I got and I hope to enjoy myself the best that I can.  I know it'll be tough and I know I wont be the smiling idiot the entire race.  I know I can't look around at the other athletes and compare and contrast me to them.  I'm not in the same ballbark as most that I have seen thus far but I am not racing against them but rather racing for myself.

Its an interesting feeling being down here, I want to get it done with right now and right away and I'm also hesitant to step up to the starting line.  Two polar opposite thoughts.  And in the same breathe I feel so chill and relaxed

The Question.......Do I belong here?
My Answer.........There is no place in the world that I am supposed to be right now but here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1463....It's real now.

Holy Sh*t!   just 23 days from now I will be jumping into the caribbean sea waiting for the cannon to go off with 3000 other people competing in IronMan Cozumel 2013.

Every day this thought of mine that I had 5 months ago of "Hmmmm what's next?"  becomes closer and closer to a reality.  This past week things really are starting to hit home.  In the last month, I've gone from totally confidant to scared shitless in a mere moment and visa versa depending on the time of the day.  Today I feel prepared.  I feel ready and I am ever growing in the faith that this will be completely incredible.  I feel good about where I am and my race execution.  Will I break any land speed records??  Never.....but then again that is not me.  Will I finish???  I betta.  I don't doubt my ability, my physical, mental or spiritual health.  I just don't know what I don't know.  Will I crash on the bike?  Will I not fuel properly and bonk?  Will my creaky knees hold up?  Will I suffer from the Mexican Flu??  These are the things that I have almost no control over.  And for that reason, I can't and wont worry about them.  All I can do is my best and carry on and enjoy every last minute of it.

Swim ~   I am currently swimming between 3500 and 4000 yards each training session in the pool. 2.4 miles or 3520 is the distance of the Ironman swim.  But it is in open water, with waves and fists and kicks and jellyfish.  This past week my coach had a training session in the pool where he put 4 people in my lane and then hopped in the pool himself.  He was grabbing my feet.  Ripped my goggles off of my face.  Pushing and pulling on me all wile I was trying to swim laps.  I laugh now when I type these words but I so truly appreciate him trying to recreate for me what I may expereince and to mentally prepare me for whatever may come my way.

Bike ~ Two weeks ago I rode a Century (100miles).  Last week my long ride was 4 hours (70 miles) This Saturday I will hit a Century again (actually I plan to hit 115 miles)  112 miles is what is needed to do in an IronMan.  So again another part of the race that I have tackled and feel pretty good with.  I like and believe that I have a decent game plan for riding.  Although I know I could and should be a much better (stronger) rider, I also understand that my missed training sessions due to the flood/storm and work have mostly taken its toll on my riding.

Running ~ This is the only component that I have had some experience before I started my journey of an IronMan 5+ months ago.  I have a few marathons under my belt in the last few years.  But I also know the pain I have felt in my knees on miles 20+.  Now I have to do the 26.2 miles after approx. 8 hours of swimming and biking.  This is probably the part I feel least confident in.  Not just because of my knees but if I don't fuel or hydrate correctly it will be on the run that it hits me.  Though I have been feeling pretty strong in my runs lately I have also only done a max of 2 hours.  I have signed up for the Las Vegas 1/2 marathong next weekend.  I am still debating if I should go to that or if it is not in my best of interests.

So those are my current thoughts of each component....but how are things starting to hit home?  Well obviously I signed up for the race months ago.  I booked my flights and hotel months ago but this week.... I scheduled a company to transport my bike, I have rented a set of race wheels and tonight I went on the website to tool around and see what's up.  And there I see it......

1463   Rosenthal, Marty   United States    45-49 Male

For all the world to see.  There is no backing out.  There is no hiding.  That's me......1463 and  I like it.

Will I finish in the day?  Will I finish at night?  Under 14 hours? Under 12 Hours?  I don't know.  I don't care.  I just know 1463 will finish.  I have to.  It's real now.