Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"There is no better run than the one you are currently on.  
Do not aspire to do better on the next run, until this one is completed."
Keith Pippin- The Rules of Ultrarunning

I am literally suffocating in the water.  This damn wet suit is too tight around my neck, so I tread water and unzip it in the back, leaving the pull cord to twist into my right arm with each stroke.
The pack leaves me.  I roll over on my back and start to backstroke.
"Just relax." I tell myself....but it doesn't happen.  I'm hyperventilating.
The men in the next wave start passing me, and there's the guy in the canoe.  I want to quit so badly, and tell myself that maybe today is the day that I just cheer on my friends.
But I'm signed up for Ironman Texas in May!
If I can't get through this, how will I ever get through the full iron man?
All I can think about is the full iron man.
"What the hell was I thinking signing up for that?" I ask myself as I breaststroke to the next buoy.
 "Jeesh Jennifer- you have to get through THIS swim first!"  I tell myself, and I start a freestyle stroke to the next buoy.   And the next.  And the next.  And I settle in and swim the last 800 meters with ease.  I could keep going now if I had to.

I'll make it up on the bike.
I do pass a lot of people.  It's hilly and I'm hanging, but by mile 40 my ass starts to hurt and my right hamstring is screaming. I'm ready to be off of this machine.
 "How will I ever ride 2X this distance?"  I ask myself.
 It's getting hot and I'm starting to sweat, dreading the run that is to come.  "There's no better ride than the one you are currently on, " I tell myself, and I head into T2.
Getting off of the bike, I know I could have kept going.

I think the clock says I'm over 4 hours in.  The last half iron man I did was in 5:30.  How the hell did I do that?
"There's no better run than the one you're currently on," I tell myself, and I hobble into the run.
Just before mile 2 I see Jorge on his way in from the first loop, and he's walking.  "It's going to be a long day." he says as the temps crawl to 85 degrees.  I'm overcome with a huge wave of relief.  He's having a rough day too.  As a matter of fact, it seems almost everyone is having a rough day.  I turn on "ultra mode," walking all aid stations and the uphills.
"How will I ever do twice this distance?" I ask myself once again.
There is no better run than the one you are currently on.
I shove ice down my bra at each aid station, and eat from it as I go along.
 3 loops, 13.1 miles done.
I'm so glad to finish, but secretly I know, I could have kept going.

The big picture is scary isn't it?  We worry so much about what the future holds for us, that we often forget that there is no better run than the one we are currently on.  This morning I woke up next to my love.  Today I was blessed to work with inspiring clients.  Tonight, I ate until my belly was full and my kids made me laugh so hard that wine spewed out of my nose.
There is no better run than the one I was on today, helping a client go her longest distance ever. And  I have faith that tomorrow will bring a relaxing swim, and this weekend holds an exhilarating bike ride.
And you know what?
One day, you will call me Ironman, because in this race of life I have learned one thing....
Just keep going.

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