On a run last week I talked with a friend about training--and its pull. The gist of the it was that we (as in the people we train with) need to train to live and keep sane. That sounds dramatic, I know. Of course we don't really need to train to live. We need food, water, home and safety. I recognize that we are a privileged lot that can train and feel that we need to train. I get that.
However, what I need to get out is that on many days I feel that training is the only thing that can ground me. The more challenging life becomes, the more I want to train because it is raw, and basic, and releases me into a physical world of rhythm and sweat in which I can let go for a bit. It's a pain you can manage and control. This last week I had more than a few workouts during which I pushed so hard I thought I might be sick. It felt good to hurt that much. It feels good because I'm in control of it. I can make me hurt--instead of outside, uncontrollable forces which may make me hurt, or may just make me nutty, frustrated, isolated, angry etc. etc. I know some of you get this, and I'm glad that you do. I realize what I just described is pathological. People cut themselves or throw up or don't eat for the same reason I just described. I know, I know.
There are other things about training that make it a refuge too, of course. It's a magnificent social outlet if you make it so, it provides you with a goal--a goal that though arbitrary still holds within it purpose for living and moving, and it can be a game for those of us who love to play. It makes you feel good, it makes you look good, and it adds years to your life.
The problem is that training, like any other obsession and/or addiction contains, within it a vicious cycle. You feel like you need to train, so you train more. More is always better in my small world, a core belief which has gotten me into great trouble of the years. The trouble comes when you wake up one morning and realize that you are trying to train for an IM while you parent three little kids, maintain a home and a marriage, and work. And the IM is winning over the other things. Then it's really not good.
Okay ho hum. Enough on that. This last weekend I spent in SURPRISE! -- Maine. Had a great bike class early, early early on Sat. morning that ended in a great run, on which I unfortunately got lost. Still good though. Spent Sat. night with Ange, Alina, Mike and the families. There were nine kids and 7 adults. Crazy and fun. I drank and ate too much.
Saturday I ran 13 in the cold mist of my hometown in Maine. It made me feel alive, and sad, and desperate to get back there--to my friends, my family, to the ocean and the quiet roads.
The only other workout of note was my Tuesday battle with the treadmill. I won. I did 7 miles with 5 at threshold. I actually was quivering when I finished. Ahhh, nothing like beating the old body into submission. No creepy men this week watching me from behind, so that's good.
_________________________ A few videos from the Wilson files:
Cape Swim Meet
Alina doing the 50 Fly. Note how she is ahead of all of the men.
Here Ange does the 50 Fly. Beautiful, huh?
Noah. That's my boy.
I put this on purely to show how Alina poses for pictures. (Obviously the video part was a mistake.) It makes me totally crack up to watch her!