“After fourteen years, you still never add enough milk.” Marion whined on Sunday morning.
“I just think milk covers up the true taste of the coffee. I’m trying to help you out.” I replied somewhat sincerely.
I never drank chasers in college, I drive a Jeep with a stick shift everyday, I drink my coffee black, (if that wasn’t clear earlier), and I rarely wear make-up. In essence, I prefer enjoying the treasures in life in their natural form. If that way is a little tougher, so be it. I’m fine with that. I do think I have needlessly chosen the hard way a few times over the years. For example, I refused to embrace the copy and paste function in Word until the Summer before my senior year in college. Crazy, I know. However more often than not, I believe I have benefited from living an embrace the raw lifestyle.
This week gave me a welcomed taste of my favorite flavor of raw, physical effort: rigorous run workouts.
The kind of workouts where my knees feel like they are clipping my chin, the seconds on my watch flip by quicker than usual, and I run as fast as I can one day, then slow, and steady the next. All of these challenging ventures on two legs are necessary, because I have a couple run-only races lined up over the next few months.
Thankfully, with each successive workout, I can feel the dial being turned up, turned down, and tuned in.
I am really looking forward to running the Boston marathon, and the other half marathons I have on my schedule, but my focus remains becoming a better triathlete.
For the first time in my life I do feel like I see the edge of the cliff approaching.
Where did the time go?
I’ve always been the youngest. I was the youngest of four kids, the youngest of my friends, and will always be MUCH younger than my husband. I know I am getting older, we all are, but it’s not the fear of getting older that haunts me, it’s the reality that time is running out to significantly improve my fitness. That is why I am digging so deep at 38, because I want to be good enough by 40.
Then again, what does good enough mean? It means reaching the set standards for earning a pro card before I turn 40.
However, reaching that level of fitness does not guarantee that I will feel better during or after a workout than I do right now. Or, when I was 15 sprinting around my high school track during my favorite 200m interval workout, my eyes watering from the hard effort AND from the joy that my body was doing what I wanted it to, practically fly. The everyday efforts in swimming as fast as I can for 50 yards, riding my bike at a level that produces a number of watts beginning with a 3 or 4, or running a pace on a treadmill I never imagined my legs could reach a year ago, let alone nearly handle with ease today, is the real joy in all of this.
The fact is that I am growing faster and stronger as I am getting older.
That. Is. Cool.
I looked up the ages of the top women in the 35 – 39 age group at Kona this past year, and I am older than most of them, but a few are long in the tooth like me, so it should be an interesting day at the races. Maybe the added life experience will make us more aero?
No matter what happens during my quest to be good enough, when I freak out, zone out, care too much, not care enough, cry, laugh, and smile, I have faith I will enjoy the process of getting there, because the ultimate win was the realization that running two hours on a Wednesday morning in January was simply what I did after a Dr’s appointment and before I went to work. Completing that monumental physical task for many was simply part of my day.
I will never take that for granted.
I have worked hard to get here, but I will work harder to get there.
This video from Walk The Moon is hysterical, but I love the song, and it is fitting to include with this post. Enjoy:)