Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I ran 6 miles

Never Done: I "ran" 6 miles

It was 93 degrees, and we ran the official New York Triathlon race course in Central Park. Except I walked some. Or maybe it was 91 degrees. And maybe I walked a lot. What's a lot? Basically, I walked up some of the hills, and I ran the flats and downhills, and it took me 80 minutes to do the 6 miles. Or maybe it was 6.2.

It was my first time running around Central Park. It's a lot hillier than I thought it was going to be, especially from 110th Street to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I got pretty nauseous, and also I had one of those gulping breathing episodes -- I guess they're called asthma attacks -- near the end.

All this made me think about accomplishment. It's possible that I am going to complete the entire triathlon, and because I will probably have to walk up the hills, I might not feel like it's an accomplishment. In fact it's not just possible -- it's likely, unless I do something with my attitude within the next 3 and a half weeks. In contrast my own value system, I've always been rather product oriented, and not terribly process oriented. So the fact that I have trained relentlessly since March doesn't much factor into my sense of accomplishment (again, I am not justifying this, just being honest about how my mind works) and instead I'm focused on my performance the day of the event. So how do I change my own sense of accomplishment? Intellectually I already value process in conjunction with product, so I'm not suffering from a lack of vision or framing, but rather probably a childhood filled with competition and comparison.

This pattern is so deep that I feel the need to apologize for walking the hills -- and to explain to any of my friends who might come out to watch the race that I would run if I could -- that I'm not lazy, just injured. What's more, I feel humiliated about it. Rather than feeling proud that I can swim a mile, bike 25, and run 4 and walk 2, I feel humiliated that I can't run 6.2. What the hell is that? Is there a month-long training program I can undertake to shift it? Because I would like to be as enthusiastic and proud as everyone else is likely to be on the afternoon of August 7, when I am sweaty and exhausted -- and have completed the New York Nautica Triathlon.

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