Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The joys of mediocrity

The workout was simple, an hour hard on the trainer followed by a hard 3 miles. Burn the body into the ground, because after all the Jack in the Box burgers, I deserved a little burning.

But I wasn’t feeling it. After a miserable day at the office, the last thing I wanted to do was push hard. The burgers were settling in and I could feel the metamorphosis of burger fat to human fat taking place. Why not take the easy route and let the process take place without struggle?

After much hemming and hawing and secret deals and broken promises, I finally found myself on the trainer. I hoped and prayed that after a few minutes I would feel good and feel ready. And true to exercise form, I did. I felt good and was actually having a great ride. Perfect pacing and I was sweating bullets. Reach down for my water and realize that I forgot to get water. No problem, hop off, pause the workout and get me some aqua. Only as soon as I was off the bike, my energy level plummeted. I was done. I could not get back on the bike. Give it a few minutes to recharge right? Nada. If anything the sugar rush had officially worn off and now I was lethargic and fat all over again. On top of that I felt even worse, because not only had I not gotten the work out done, I only got 1/3 of the workout done.

Epic fail.

Who cares if I had a great 30 minutes? Who cares if it was 30 minutes more than I was afraid was going to happen. Who cares?

Not me. All I am left with is a feeling of failure. I couldn’t even buck up for a full hour. I suck. I am so tired of sucking. I am just so tired of being average. I am tired of failing to rise above the typical and achieve greatness. I am tired of being mediocre.

Mediocre is exactly it. I am not fast, my endurance is at an all time low and apparently, I have zero mental discipline. I feel pathetic. I am pathetic.

I have found that after Ironman, everything seems meaningless. Who cares if I can run 3 miles? I used to run 10 miles as my first workout of the day with 2 more workouts to follow. Swam for 30 minutes? IM training had me in the pool of hours.

Everything pales in comparison.

Ultra running was different. In training for an ultra, I would run a marathon and keep going. A full 26 miles was not something that was the end, it was the middle point. Again, I felt like I was doing something.

Yet even then, I would be struck with my mediocrity. Yes I finished 140.6 miles. But I am slow. After 3 tries my times are no were near fast. After this last IM, I realized that even on my best day and everything lined up perfectly and I was strong throughout that I could not beat 12 hours. Hell, I will probably never even see 12 hours. Realistically, 13 hours is probably the best I will ever get and that is with several years of training. 13 hours? 13? People do better than 13 on their first try. They just learned how to swim one month ago and they beat 13 hours. The blog world is full of people who lament that they had a bad day with 3 flats and bad cramps and have to walk the entire marathon and they STILL BEAT 13 HOURS! Let’s face it, maybe IM is not my thing.

Ultra? One would think that since the top 50% of ultra finishers complete an ultra with a 12-15 minute pace and since I happen to run an IM marathon at around that pace, that it would be a perfect fit, right? Nope, it turns out that while it looks good on paper, the reality is something much slower. My 12-15 translates to a much slower 15-17 minute pace. Again, I am regaled with the back of the pack.

That’s fine, I am not complaining about that. Except I am…

I am tired of being the back of the pack. I am tired of being “happy for the accomplishment”. I am tired of beating my mind silly with the “Even attempting to try equals success” and “You are doing more than most people in the world are”. Great! Most of the world is not doing this, but I have the sneaky suspicion that if they entire world would spontaneously go out and do this; I would be at the back of the pack all over again.

Now serving number: 4,591,834,140!

So if I am so tired of being last or near last, then get off my ass and do something right? Right! Only that leads me to here. Sitting on my fat ass (getting fatter every second) while I feel sorry for myself for not having the chutzpah to pedal myself into the ground.

Even my backup plan is mediocre. This post is a prime example of why I don’t post. It’s lame. It’s long winded and not even an iota of funny. Originally, I started the blog in hopes that my creative writer skills would come flowing out, or my comedic talent would garner instant likeability in the blogosphere. More than a year later and not only do I not feel like a world class writer, I am now acutely aware of that fact. One more fantasy to scratch off the list. Everyone talks about wanting to write their lives story, but they are afraid of having nothing to write and no one to read it. I am happy to say that I have been blessed enough to make that nightmare come true.

Is there a point to this post? Like the origins of this blog, it was started with the best of intentions. Maybe it was just to get the feelings off my chest or maybe because typing seems more therapeutic then screaming. Somehow in all the rambling the point got lost and all that remains is a meandering tale of depression. Is there a point to this blog? I am not sure. Perhaps as a kind of measuring stick. “You think your life sucks, well look at this blog” or maybe as a way to get your kids to eat their vegetables and scare them into doing those 1 mile repeats. “KIDS! Finish your workout or you’ll end up just like me!”