So I've been absent from the blog for a while. Big shout out to Brandon for carrying the torch, so to speak. That kid writes good words. I wish I could echo Dre (yep, called him Dre) and say that "I've been in the lab with a pen and a pad..." but really all I've been doing for weeks is thinking about Victoria (the race, not the Regal Queen).

Victoria took a toll.  Not so much on my body, but it took a decent bite out of my soul in a way I haven't experienced before.

I'm fixated on this one point during the race -- 17km.  At 17km I was deep in the "pain cave" so to speak, wondering if I could even finish this race.  My mind wandered, and I began to think ahead and say to myself "if I can't do this, how am I going to do double this distance in only 6 months". Doubt crept in right at that moment, and it sent out its spurs and it grabbed hold.

I think race day stress has a way of solidifying emotional responses moreso than if you're just pondering things sitting on a bench somewhere.  From each race I have one or two very strong emotional imprints; moments that have changed me.  Most every one up until 17km of Victoria had been on the happy side of the scale.

But 17km was not happy....nosireee, not at all.

Have you guys seen that movie "Inside Out"?  If not, watch it, it's hilarious.  Sadness is the best character (basically a modern day Eeyore), but when Sadness touched the emotional balls of the others she can't help but turn them blue.  She didn't mean too, it's just how sadness works.

The doubt of 17km was slowing giving me blue balls too (cough awkward...).

With doubt taking hold, every time I tried to write I though "but what if you're a fraud? what if you can't do this"?

Time is of course my ultimate enemy. That's the stressor.  It's not distance or speed or heat or travel, it's time. Every lost training moment I think "I'm this much closer to having to compete in this monster thing, feeling that much more unprepared" and it kind of freezes me up.

So when I'm on my trainer and I have to cut 20 minutes because I have to run out the door, I get frustrated because "I need those minutes".

Or when travelling for work I miss a long run or two (or three), I get frustrated because "I only have 13 long runs left".

And then Victoria says "you can't do this"...

But this thing happened yesterday. My dear friend Erin finished Ironman Canada this past weekend. I am so so proud of her.

Erin sent me some photos of her race, and she said it was the best thing she'd ever done, and then she send me this finish video (reposted without permission, but she'll get over that):

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Looked at her grin!!!!

I don't care about the crowd (I don't feed off crowd energy like some do), but seriously just looking at her grin. She is elated.  Totally, absolutely, elated.

I'm going to be elated too.  I've decided.  BYE-GUM RIGHT NOW I've decide!! (smacks desk and startles assistant)

And watching Erin I've realized that Victoria can piss right off.  I can't do this?  Forget that, because I already am doing this. Everyday.  I really am.

Yeah my training plan isn't perfect, it never will be.

Yeah, I'm not going to set a top 10 time. That's never been in the cards for me and probably never will be (unless I'm a surprisingly spry 95 year old).

And yeah, it's going to be harder than I can imagine or even prepare for, but that's okay because hard is good.  Really good.

So I think I'll just write a brand new Arizona inspired [Expletive] Song, put my head down, fire up my own grin and "get this damn label off".

I'm back, all you Unicorns out there, and I'm coming for you Ironman Arizona.