Sunday, August 26, 2007


It is now officially taper time. Sitting here drinking an Avalanche Ale, brewed in Breckenridge, Colorado and sold in our fancy pants grocery store, I am reminded of summer, which has ebbed away.

I am also reminded that two weeks from this very moment, I hope to be two or so hours' run away from the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin.

Tell me that eight years ago before I ran (read jogged, hobbled and walked) my first road race, and I would never have believed it could be true.

Tell me that three years ago when triathlon was only a pipe dream (in large part because I couldn't swim more thant 25 meters), and I would never have believed it could be true.

After finishing my first 70.3 race last year, I started to wonder . . . maybe . . .

But then, less than one year ago, when I was witnessing the swim start where I knew that Trisaratops and Iron Wil were in the midst of the washing machine, and I would have told you that it would never happen.

But then . . . it started to change. As I saw people, real people like me, some faster and stronger and bigger, but some smaller, and slower, and less athletic, emerging from the water and finishing. . . I started to wonder . . . is it possible.

IMWI Finish

But why even wonder such a thing? Why, when neither your wife nor your child love you any less 30 pounds heavier and completely sedentary?
Greyhound and Superpounce
Why, when your 50+ hour per week job does nothing to encourage 15 to 20 hours of training? Why, when your parents continually ask you when you're going to quit doing all that "crazy stuff," and make a point of telling you every time some endurance athlete dies of a heart attack or drowns?

Why dream dreams and see visions? And why this one?

Do I even know?

Becuase I thought I might win a cool bike from BMC?

Confederacy of Dunces
Because I was there in Madison for sign up, and all the cool kids were doing it?

Because some of the best and most interesting people I've ever made will be there participating and spectating.

Seeing you seeing me


Trimama and Tac Boy

Iron Wil

Because I admire these people and want to be like them.

Because to me, training really is like recess, and I love to play.

Because at age 40, play is not a luxury, it is a lifesaver. It is a reason to be.

Because it is hard, and in it's difficulty I've found an ease in the rest of life that cannot be explained or duplicated.

Because I'm not ready to stop, I'm not ready to decay, I'm not satisfied with being a middle-aged, suburban statistic.

Because I hate average.

Because the friends who have coached and encouraged me, run with me and swum with me are watching.

Because you are watching.

Because I am alive, and I know those who are not.

Because I want every breath to count

Because thanksgiving in breathing is a hymn, a prayer, an act of worship.

Because wasting your health and your life on average is profane; Because the wasted time of television and junk food I wore around my middle was blasphemy.

Because I may not know until I struggle through it.

Because I may never know.



Bolder said...

because you can, and it's a priviledge, not a right.

a week Sunday, you will be forged in Iron, and i'm delighted that i will be there to witness it.

TriSaraTops said...

Oh, damn these hormones, now I'm a sobbing mess.


Can I PUH-LEASE violate my no-travel orders? Please? You won't tell, will you?


I am SO ready to watch you cross that line.

Andra Sue said...

Nice post! You are in such a good frame of mind right now--ready to kick some IM ass, I'd say. :)

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Ah, Greyhound. You're like one of my 5-year-olds: why, why, why? She learns so much with her questioning mind, it's wonderful.

My answer to the "why" lately is "why the hell not?"

How much I wish I could be there personally - alas, I'll have to watch you go Iron from here. You may not be iron yet, but you're already awesome!

Wendy said...

What Bold said! In spades. And with cowbell.

Brent Buckner said...

The answer that I articulate most often is: "Everybody needs goals. Even stupid goals."

See you at IMMoo, with cowbells on.

Kim said...

your post gave me that extra umpf to keep motivated.... despite all my complaining about fatigue and hunger...all the time i am putting into training WILL be worth it.

you are gonna kick that moo's ass.

mishele k said...

Remember that about mile 18 of the run.
Ain't (your) life grand? Yes it is.

See you in two weeks!

Veeg said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE THIS POST.

Nytro said...

great post, greyhound. you had me at "because i'm alive and others are not."

well done.

Allez said...

So true... Great post!

Phoenix said...

AMEN! Thank you for articulating so many of the best reasons why.

"Because the wasted time of television and junk food I wore around my middle was blasphemy." !!

LOVE THAT! Thanks again.

Laurie said...

Why is such an interesting question. It is not easy to explain but it just feels like something that needs to happen, a goal that needs to be achieved.

I am so ready to see you officially become Iron. You've done the work, it will happen.

Tea said...

Now I really can't wait for your race report.

You will be amazing in the race. I have no doubt.

Fe-lady said...

Because indeed...because it's ...there?
(And you want to be fit and 50...not just fit and 40!)
Because your parents think you are "crazy"? :-)
Can't wait for you to get on that starting line!

Pharmie said...

Great post! I'm so excited to be able to see you become iron in 13 days!

Rural Girl said...

That was wonderful. You're going to have an amazing race!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

That was a great post. :)

AGA said...

Because you are passing on the inspiration that you have received. Awesome post.

tri-mama said...

Wow- it will be a pleasure catching you at that finish line- what a cool pic if TST could be there with me. Can't wait to see you guys again

J-Wim said...

That gave me goosebumps!
Pirate is right - the question is really "why not?"
bigmike and I will be body marking at IMMoo at 0400 - hope to see you there! We'll be ringing our cowbells for all of y'all!
Have a great race!

Steve S. said...

I'll see you out there!!!!

IronJenny said...

... because of all of those things. See you soon, friend!!!!!