Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The infinite wisdom of Axl Rose

Whew! Craziness at work.

I swear it's harder to miss school than it is just to be there. Getting sub plans ready, making copies for 2 days I'll miss and all next week, calling some parents I needed to touch base with, trying to get my 42 kids ready for our Model UN Conference tomorrow....whew! I had to stay extra late the past few days to get it all in, but the conference should be really cool and it's so exciting for me to see the kids having FUN while they are following parliamentary procedure and debating world topics.

Yes, I am a geek.

Finally got home around 5 and it was already starting to get dark. But, the snow had melted and it was a whopping 39 degrees out with a pretty I put on my shorts (anything over 35 degrees, and I'm wearing shorts, baby), my long-sleeve Ironman Finishers shirt (because even on a bad day it just makes me feel so freakin' good), my obnoxious pink gloves, and my Brooks Adrenalines size 10.5 (yeah, I've got big feet, whaddyagonnadoaboutit?). And I puddle-jumped around my neighborhood for 5 miles in the brisk air.

Now, since when has a nice little after work five miles turned into an 8:45 pace for me? I can't figure it out. But it's happened 3 times now. Strange.

Anyway, on the iPod came an oldie, Mr. Brownstone, by Guns N' Roses. Suh-weet. Some nice 80s rock. Now, granted, the song is about cocaine use, but I actually found some identification with the lyrics (NOT FOR THAT....! JEEZ! I'll explain)
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(cue Axl and Slash)
"I used to do a little
but a little wouldn't do it
so a little got more and more

I just keep tryin' to get a little better
say a little better than before"

I kinda thought, hey! That's kinda like me and tris!

Cocaine...triathlons...where am I going with this....

OK, see, I used to do lots of sprint tris. Olympic for me was far. And it was still is fun...but after a while I think I sort of longed for more of a challenge. NOT that it wasn't challenging, by any means, but I'm just the kind of person that likes to try new things or I start to get stir crazy. I got to the point that I was doing pretty well in age group on sprints and olys and bring home the hardware, so I thought, why not try a HIM? How hard can that be, I thought?


Whole 'nuther ball game.

Whereas I am able to compete in the short distance, I get my ass handed to me daily in the long distance races. Which, for Competitive Sara, can be a little frustrating. But, you know what?

I think that's why I like it.

I think I really, really like to go long. It challenges me, and I'm sort of that geek that likes to be challenged. Picked-the-hardest-Brahms-piece-for-state-contest, SM-Physics-taking kinda challenged GEEK.

Which leads me to my next point: I need to start working on my weaknesses.

Otherwise, how am I ever going to stop getting my ass handed to me? :)

I've come a long way, but I have a long way to go. I think that's what I'm going to focus on this year--trying to really focus on improving my weaknesses. Strength and power on the bike is the biggie. Stamina on the runs (at a certain pace...I can go all day slow, but I'd like to bring my times down) and form on my open water swims are the others.

Things are UP.IN.THE.AIR. which I hate, but that's just the fact of the matter. So, I'm going to train like NOTHIN'S up in the air. And if I need to change things, I'll change 'em.

Cross bridges when I come to 'em. Yeah, that's a novel idea.

(I like to usually plan each bridge about 3 months in advance--so this is another weakness I must work on)

The thing is, I love the training for the long stuff. This past year was hard, really hard, and at times I didn't know how I'd do it...but I love the simplicity that Ironman training brings to your life. Does that make sense?

I love that for 9 months my life was centered around my faith, my family, and my training. Everything else sort of found a way to sort itself out. I loved that.

I hope I can continue to do that.

And while I'm at it, I hope I get better, too.

Thanks, Axl. I think I get it. :)


Hermano said...

Axl is wise. I thought Mr. Brownstone was about heroin, though. Not that it really matters at a certain point.

TriJack said...

Dude I so identify with you. All the clutter, the minutia, disappears when your training game is on... Wicked cool feeling!

My feeling toward training, or not training right now is summarized in my fave gnr song patience...
"Shed a tear 'cause I'm missing you
I'm still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt you're in my heart now..."

Lana said...

I love Axl!!! And I am so like you in always looking for another challenge. Sometimes I really have to hold myself back from diving in over my head though, because my boys have to come first. I'm thinking about the Gulf Coast Half Iron in May - could I convince you to come join me(and maybe Michele) in Panama City?!?! I mean, since you're not doing Wildflower and could drive to Tennessee and then catch a ride with us to Florida - whaddayasay?

JenC said...

I've got the song "Paradise City" in my head now. I think I'll have to expand my Ipod selection.

I totally agree with you. I think studying for my actuarial exams was very much like IM training with regards to perspective. You focus on the priorities and the rest sorts itself out. And, you appreciate your free time way more when you get it!

Rock on AxlSara!

Fe-lady said...

Funny how EVERYTHING (even coke?) becomes workout/triathlon related once you are hooked...did I say that? Can triathlon be a drug...OH YEAH! So can blogging! So can commenting on others blogging!(Good AND bad...)
Too much of a good thing is always bad!

Spokane Al said...

Perhaps if you could replicate Axl's sideways dance moves that could improve your flexibility. Even if it doesn't help - welcome to the jungle.

Triteacher said...

You know... you're enjoyable to read for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that I think we're all watching someone come into her prime. I mean, look at your improvements. It's so cool. :)

LoneStarCrank said...

Axl is da man! Nothing like some GNR to lay down the gauntlet some days!

Takes me back to high school.

Michele said...

so, whaddayasay???
The more I think the more I want to attempt Gulf Coast. But, posts like this scare me. Am I ready for that next big challenge???
Come on down, we cold use an Iron man's insight!

RunBubbaRun said...

wearing shorts in the winter during training, a brave soul. There is no fun when stuff is to easy, that is why IM is just the beginning, so many possiblities and adventures out there.

TJ said...

you totally just took me back to my teenage years. i was a big gnr fan back then. now i've got mr. brownstone stuck in my head.

i know exactly what you mean about the work involved to be away from your job. my wife is a teacher also. she has to start preparing several days beforehand to be able to be away for one or two days.

you should totally do gulf coast. it is an awesome race. i did it last year and will be returning again this year.

Siren said...

Maybe Axl knew what he was talking about...
One of my dearest friends - who used to be quite the recreational experimenter long before I met her - told me that she wished someone would have told her years ago that exercise gives you a better high than any other drug out there. (And she'd tried just about all of 'em)

qcmier said...

Yeah I think hermano is right about Mr. Brownstone being heroin. But that's really irrelevant here.