Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just A Quick Update

Now that I have a minute....

I opened this blog account to set up a way to let all the people in my life know how the training is going, and to finally put to bed the question of why I'm doing this. Seriously, if I get asked that again I may slap someone. Now I can just tell them to come here and dip into my head for a few minutes.

So here we are in week seven of training for Pac Grove and I actually feel pretty good. Surprisingly for me, I've managed to keep up and even improve in all the sections. Well, maybe not the bike, since I've only had one successful ride, but that was the Torrey Pines hill repeats, so I'm not gonna bitch too much. If I survived that, I can get through the rest, provided I can keep air in the #$@$! tire...

So what have I learned so far? Lots of cool stuff. For example:

1. When running shoes die, it feels a lot like a tire going flat, except for the next day, when your achilles tendon won't flex.
2. In the open ocean, I swim about as straight as a one-flippered, drunken walrus.
3. Tubes get expensive.
4. Never stiff coach on a bar tab. He isn't running the race with you. (If you have to ask, don't worry about it.)
5. You can overcome the gag reflex when eating Gu.
6. After a while you totally forget you're wearing spandex.
7. No matter what you think, running on a treadmill is way harder than running on the road or a trail.
8. 10K doesn't feel very long until the next day.
9. Creaky knees are no excuse.
10. Even with a properly fitted bike and well-padded cycle shorts, the seat still hurts your ass.

I'm sure that every one of those is useful to all of us in everyday life, so you're welcome.

As for why I'm doing this: Because I can. There. That's the reason I put my name on the contract and bought my first ever bike helmet.

The thing is, there's more to it than that. I didn't know it at the time, but this really is a good cause. Every Saturday morning, we get to hear from someone who has had to stare down cancer, or is doing it now. They always tell us we're the examples, the heroes and all that. The thing is, it's the speaker's name we all write on our hands before we take off to ride.

Are we heroes? I wouldn't go that far. We're having fun. We may not say it out loud (at least not so coach and the mentors can hear) but we are. This is something we do because we want to. This isn't survival, not on our end.

We're just lucky that in indulging our impulses to train, be part of this team and compete, we can also be a part of something so much bigger, and so much more powerful. We get to be a part of someone else's fight to live. It's a very un-me thing to say, but that doesn't make it any less true.

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