Thursday, July 5, 2012

Louis - Do I have guts or Am I stupid?

As I am sitting in the hot tub soaking my legs in an Epsom Salt bath, pondering about things that troubles me (Yes, Epsom Salt bath and Sauna are meditation time). I thought about Angeles Crest 100 just enough to write this blog.

Am I crazy for running such a tough race with less than ideal training? Or am I stupid for even trying?  I realized that it is either.  My decisions are not crazy nor stupid.  My decisions are based on my experience, and I do have a lot of experience. 70 races under my belt... excluding my backpacking and hiking experience.

The more you do or practice something, the better position you are in to deal with issues or problems.  The experience (thus confidence) you have with dealing with problems allow you to excel and to challenge things that you didn't think it's possible.  As my favorite Team In Training Swim Coach Sedonia wrote in her Ironman CDA race report...  Racing has become something much bigger.  Racing allow me to learn to define my own success.  The skill, the mindset, and the philosophy I acquire from racing help me growth as a person. As I told my coaches, endurance training allow me to discover myself, it's like a monk sitting under a waterfall kind of deal. In a way I always become more Zen when I race.

Only after reading Sedonia blog where I realized why I did what I did.  I redefined my "success" after I found out I got a stress fracture.  When I found out I have a stress fracture, my goal is to focus on recover.  My doctor told me I should sit this one out (well ya).  I told my doctor I want to focus on recovery first and see what happen.  I wanted to participate in the race and that I will listen to my body.  I reached my success when I was able to start running last week.  And through out the process I made mini achievable goals and I reached them.  I am now at the stage where I know I have a chance to finish the race.  If I decided to not do Angeles Crest 100, none of this would of happen.

There are many things against me. My conditioning, my slow speed, my bad eating, my blah blah blah.  If I were to compare with people like my coaches and the people that I train with, of course I am at the low end of the stick.  But I have a lot going for me as well.  I know the course, I have a lot of experience with dealing with issues, and I am good at pacing myself... amount a few other things (which I am not going to mention, because I'll feel stupid if I don't finish!).  But more importantly, I have a kick ass crew!

It is going to be one of the toughest thing I ever done, but unlike my first Ironman where I ask my coaches every other day if I will finish, I am not afraid with Angeles Crest 100.  Yes there is a good chance that I may not finish (only 40% people finish the race if I remember correctly). But I am just not afraid.  Angeles Crest 100 is like the final boss of a video game... an endurance video game.  The Angeles Crest Dragon has 100,000HP and each of my attack can cause 100HP damage. I just need to be patience and keep hitting it with my sword, and I have 33 hours to beat the game.  And if the dragon ended up killing me first, I can always hit the continue button in the future.

Regardless of what happen, I already learn and grow a lot from this experience.  As Coach Mary from the WB Tri team tell us. "You are a WINNER every time you get to the start line!!!".

And I can assure you, I am not just going to get to the start line. I am planning to finish the race.

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