Friday, September 25, 2009

8 days to go.

Until the Milwaukee Marathon, that is. I feel like it should be here, like NOW. I want to get running it, and get through it, get it done and have time to sit back and reflect on all the training, and miles, and to think about how I stayed motivated this long. I must say, long distance endurance training is tough, both physically and mentally. My buddy and I talked about this some time back, when we were talking Tri's and racing over beers. We were wondering how the pros do it, day after day, week after week, and how they handle the off season, and then start all over for the next year. Yeah, I know money is part of it. But money only pays the bills. Life is so much more...

I say this as I sit here sipping on a cup of tea, listening to some John Ondrasik after a 14+ hour day at work. I'm sitting here, tired myself, with everyone else asleep, thinking and typing in the blog while flipping back to watch the UCI men's elite time trial world championships-which, I must say, I know how it ends-Fabian Cancellara wins his 3rd Worlds TT title, awesome! And he says he going for the road title this year too, incredible. I'd like to be able to see inside his head, or to sit down over a beer and talk about motivation and the mental aspect of training. I think this might not be a shocker, some of the athletes are probably positive by nature, and have some super genome to make them fast, maybe. But what about the mental aspect for these athletes? I wonder how they get motivated, and how it affects their personal lives. I bet there are plenty who's lives are a train wreck, they are crappy people, and yeah, they might be a super athlete, but a piece of crap as a human being. This is probably the case more often than not, I'd bet.

But, I guess that's the beauty of the human nature, every one of us is different in our likes, dislikes, what motivates, and what depresses. I was listening to a U2 album in the car today, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, and was just digging a few of the songs. In particular, I love, "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own", the love/hate (or maybe, more aptly, lust/scorn) comparisons and being hard enough to tough it out-it is inspirational to me. And "Miracle Drug", I dig this tune. I love the lyrics about looking inside someone's head, someone close to you, to see what they are thinking, what they are feeling-the ever present tug of war inside ourselves between love and logic.

There is no failure here sweetheart
Just when you quit
I am you and you are mine
Love makes no sense of space and time
We'll disappear
Love and logic keep us clear

Ahhh, sweet music, the complex, sharp lyrics and the synergy it gives me. This is one thing, I must admit, which reminds me of being a young teen, listening to music and the lyrics and the guitars, almost like the guitar itself could speak, and feeling, well, sort of "plugged in". Like sometimes listening to music made you understand what was happening around you better, made you feel more, even when you felt mad, or depressed, or joyous, or when a relationship was ending-even if it took months and months to figure it out. Like the feeling I used to get, looking forward to going out on the weekend with friends-the music I played in the car made it, well, real and more enjoyable, more like life should be like. This one thing is still the same after all these years. I think this is why I enjoy my 7 year old playing piano, and doing as well as she is doing. I remember playing around on the acoustic guitar, wishing I understood the sheet music better, wished I knew more cords. But I can live vicariously through her now, because she does understand it. Awesome, I say. Ahh, yes, the beauty of being a little sleep deprived + having worked too much this week + plugging in the iTunes for some jams while trying to remember what you felt like 20 years ago=serendipity! Yeah, I'm really hoping I will be plugged into the music (musak towards the end!) for the MM-my playlist is almost done, I need to shuffle it up and make some last minute adds, but I might just post the whole thing later this week. I love the power of music!

So much more to talk about, but it is getting late and I have one more day to work yet. I will need to type every night this last week leading up to the MM, just to keep my sanity, to get the thoughts out about all that is rattling around in my squash lately. Some good, some not so sure about, much about the MM, and how it should get here already!!

One "first" for the week, here are a couple pics:

Riding to Maddie's school together-for the 1st time!

Yeah-it was a blast! Maddie really got a kick out of this, she said we need to do this every week when I'm off weekdays and the weather cooperates. Monday might be ride to school day #2!

Training is good, taper time is here. I will run tomorrow, maybe a 10k at a easy pace. I did a 13.1 early in the week, faster than MM pace, and felt good. I did a 10k at 8:13 pace, and felt good. I have about 100 miles in this month. I feel that I have prepared fairly well physically, and I'm going through the mental preparation now, telling myself, " I am ready!". No injuries, no surprises, no doubts! I just want Oct 4th to get here!

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