Some people may wonder what a person thinks about while running on a treadmill for over three hours. I know I have. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I thought about every step, every breath, every arm swing, and simply enjoyed that I was able to do it. That was it. Remaining present was the goal. Unlike a “conventional” marathon, there was no medal waiting at the end, no crowd, no photos, it was just me bouncing up and down in the same place from late morning until early afternoon on the final Sunday in June.
It’s the everyday. It’s waking up and setting out to accomplish every work out every day that adds up to days when a soaring task almost feels easy.
It took sixteen years of consistently remaining in marathon shape, and then it took nearly ten months of rigorous, focused training with the determined mindset of, “Yes, I am a triathlete, I want to be the best I can be, and will do whatever it takes to get there,” to truly manage a work out like this with my mind and body in sync. It could also be that when I step on a treadmill I enter a vortex of self-confidence that is un-parallel in any other setting. Plus, it comes in handy to have a vivid imagination. I ran parts of the LA, Boston, and Ironman Arizona marathon courses while trotting along a revolving rubber belt in the San Fernando Valley. That was cool. Funny, they’re much easier in air conditioning.
Naturally, I am competitive. I would love to qualify for Kona, and run a 3:10 marathon next year in Boston, but I will survive and keep going if neither of those goals are met. What I may not survive is a bear attack in Alaska next month, so it’s been real. Sure, would I love to be that good? YES! But most of all I am ecstatic that I am able to do any of this; it’s the daily process I crave and enjoy, and will not take any of it for granted.
I ran 26.2 miles on a treadmill, that’s nuts! I am aware. Then again, it’s not really, because it took years of everyday hustle to wake up and feel ready to go. I believed I could do it, and I did. Race results are fleeting, but everyday improvements are constant. That is why I choose to live in the moment, take it all in, learn, and move on to what’s next.