Sometimes you can get with away being superficial. On the surface you look the
real-deal and might even put a few runs on the board, but deep down you’re not
really worthy. Sometimes you get caught out. Yesterday I discovered you can’t
fake an Ironman.
I’ve been a slack bastard. I worked pretty hard for about 18 months to turn
myself into a triathlete and race Busselton Ironman last December. Since then,
beers have outnumbered training sessions by a considerable margin, and I
haven’t been an alcoholic.
It all started when I broke my foot in a swimming pool the week after Busso and
couldn’t run until March. Running keeps me motivated, so without regular runs I
fell into a semi-depressed, drifting along state. Riding is fun, but isn’t a substitute
for running, and I have to confess swimming is just a chore. Couple this with the
post-Ironman come down and I blew off more than a few training sessions. A lot
more than once I substituted a morning ride or commute for a 5-minute spin on
the wind trainer in the evening. None of this is excuses – I’ve been slack and I
own that completely.
For a lot of events, like a 5k race the difference between fit and unfit is a couple
of finishing positions, and a whole lot more pain. I’ve always found that my body
remembers how fast it should be going (used to go), and does it’s best to deliver
it – just with substantial pain. Thus I’ve always been able to ‘fake it’ even when
I’m not actually very fit. This even worked for Boston Marathon back in April,
where coming off 12 weeks of injury induced lay-off I held it together with only
1 long run (ANU Inward Bound div 7, where we ran 45k), a few gentle runs and
2 Bilby’s interval sessions. My training was deliberately low-key to ensure I
arrived at the start-line in Boston uninjured.