I've been writing for the past several months that I had zero intention to do a 70.3 this year. 2012 was going to be all about run focus and body alignment. But a little over a week ago I received a note in my inbox from my friend who did Honu with me last year: "Hey, I signed up again for Honu. You in?"
Ummm... yes. I waited a few days so I could think about it... and then remembered that this race is on Lance's schedule, which means an early sell-out. So I registered and not even hours later I heard that it was, in fact, sold out! So I barely made it in.
I also registered for Wildflower oly, renewed my USAT card... and hired a new coach!! I wanted to mix things up and get some new perspectives, so I decided to sign on with Elizabeth Waterstraat. After listening to Molly rave about her coach -- plus seeing Molly's training improvements, seeing how ELF came back from new mommyhood to totally ROCK Eagleman and Kona, and I've always loved her training blog posts -- it was a pretty easy choice.
I am a bit nervous though -- last year was a sufferfest thanks to muscle imbalances (which have mostly been corrected except for my hip flexors) and this year I have less time to train before the race. But the words of the day, kiddos, are consistency and durability. I don't care about going fast, I care about finishing strong (which will enable me to finish faster than last year.) I have less biz travel on my plate this year, which will help a lot.
So I just finished week one of training. It's funny, I didn't know I missed training until I started up again. This is what I've needed: a big goal and a coach. Someday perhaps I'll be one of "you people"... those who are compulsively addicted to getting in the training hours every day no matter what's happening in their lives. This former bookworm isn't there yet, but I'm working on it!
I get asked "why?", of course, by my more sedentary loved ones. Why another 70.3? Wasn't one enough? My response: the older I get (I'm about to hit 43 in a couple weeks!) the bigger the sense of urgency about fitness. I'd printed out the image from the aging prevention study and taped it above my computer; it's the most compelling reason I've ever found for lifelong fitness efforts.
As my new boss said to me on Friday, "I'm training for 80." It puts IM training in a different perspective, yeah? You train for 9 months for Ironman, but we will train the next several decades for a quality of life in retirement only enjoyed by a rare few. It just occurred to me: I'm only 22 years from retirement age. Holy crap. This aging thing sure does sneak up on you.
At the gym yesterday while I was trying to do single-leg squats with a crunchy knee, I became aware of some self-sabatoging thoughts: "Well, I'm in my 40s, I can't really be expected to knock these out like a 20 year old." There's a tiny kernel of truth in that, BUT... there are also plenty of 60+ master's athletes who could kick my ass.
It's time to raise my own bar on what's possible. Time to stop assuming where my limits lie. Time to HTFU and start training like my life depended on it. Which, of course, it does. It just depends on how I want to define life and living, both now and when I'm 80.