Friday, February 08, 2008

140.6 is so very far, and yet so close - finally: build phase over (training notes 02-08-08)

well, you can see my training schedule:


the build phase is over.

the training is over (or at least, the painful part).

the suffering, the agony, the torment, the insanity, the mind-numbing monotony, the hours and hours and hours upon hours followed by yet more hours, sucked up in water, wheels, shoes, sweat, dirt, wind, rain, ice, sun, clouds, cold, heat, grease, bars, gels, sunscreen, moisturizers, band-aids, heating pads, ice pads, icy-heat pads, Advil, glucosamine, vitamins, herbs, tea, oils, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, heart rate, intensity, duration, technique, aerobic, anaerobic, 2-a-days, 3-a-days, peak, trough, build, recovery, hard, easy, long, short, and motion motion motion through all the very ends of the earth and universe and even everything else beyond, all mixed in some horrific amalgamation that we all come to euphemistically know as the Ironman training schedule.

16 weeks.

that's all it was.

16 weeks from a level that most people would ordinarily consider the zenith of their fitness and the apogee of their health.

16 weeks to build--progressively, through regimented cycles escalating continuously in a inexorable ratcheting of 2 weeks build (and always more, and always harder)/1 week recovery (and never rest, just a little respite.

16 weeks to get to a state that many consider impossible, or at the minimum superhuman. but that you only consider as maybe, slightly, possibly, hopefully, entirely, completely, absolutely, indubitably do-able...or so you prefer to think.

16 weeks to get to a point that you can begin to think about 140.6 miles in one day (and in at most 16, or maybe 17, hours).

16 weeks.

and it still may not be enough.

but there's nothing more that you can do now.

race day is now only 3 weeks away. build phase is over. whatever you are now is whatever you will be on race day.

from this point on, it's the taper phase, where you get to play a very fine, very subtle, very complicated, very mysterious balancing act between letting your body heal and repair and recharge to the fullest reaches of its new-found capacity, while still avoiding any deterioration in any of the hard-fought, hard-won, and so painfully hard-earned conditioning you've spent so much time and energy and self and others to gain.

they tell you that the hard part's over.

they tell you that now you can--you have to--rest.

they tell you that you must trust the taper, and allow all the intricate, wondrous, mystical machinations of the cellular biochemical workings of your body to do their thing, and harden and cure the being that is your body so that it emerges in time and all ready for race day.

but right now, all you know is that you're tired. and beat up. and sore. and you can't think of much of anything else, other than the growing fear and anxiety and paranoia of the reality that is race day suddenly becoming very, very, very clear.

and it's very close.

and you don't know if you're ready.

all you can do is rest, and hope, and pray, and wait.

because 140.6 miles is a very, very, very long way to go.

and it's very close.


Trihardist said...

I would say that it's the journey that counts, not the destination. But Ironman in itself is such a lengthy and downright mystical event that I would consider it as much a journey as a destination.

At any rate, go out and kick ass, Jonathan!

M said...

I have been following you now for the last several weeks, mostly because you articulate the experience of IM training in a way I have never seen. With my own taper still about one month away, I hae identified with your words, your progress, your fatigue, your worries, your excitement. I wish the best of days for IM, and feel confident that, yes, it has been enough.

jonathan starlight said...

hey, thanks, i appreciate it...i'll let you know how things go...