Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Yes, Virginia there is an Ironman."

Last week I ended an email to a friend doing Ironman Wisconsin with,

"Waiting for the day is like waiting for Christmas, but Santa is really scary and might actually be trying to kill you before he gives you your presents."

She liked it so much I Tweeted it, which was also met with approval by my "friends" on Facebook and the Twitter.

But it totally feels like that.

For the last three months (and the three months before that) I have been "good." I've been listening to my coach (except when I don't and then I fib and then I feel guilty and re-do the workout later.) She's kind of like Santa's elf, except a lot less forgiving and way taller. And Jewish, so she is really nothing like Santa's elf. (I am assuming, probably erroneously, that Santa's elves are all Christian as he is a symbol of a loosely Christian holiday.) She's more like a cyber stalker, but I gladly provide all the information for her to terrorize me.

It sounds like I don't like my coach, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I hired her (after implying she was fat when she was really recovering from a minor head injury) because if I was going to complete an Ironman, I wasn't going to half-ass it. I want to finish. I want to finish healthy. And I want to be competitive. But most of all I wanted a schedule I could share with my wife so I would remain welcome in my own house. (75% success is close enough, right?) She's been great and I get the feeling I might end up doing better than I expect (if I just follow the plan.)

Anyway. Back to the Christmas analogy. So I have a tall, brutally honest, Jewish, Christmas elf watching over me to make sure I'm not "naughty." I have overstated my "goodness" and fibbed about my "naughtiness," felt guilty and made amends. And now the big day is right around the corner. I'm not making up for any lost opportunities (adding unscheduled workouts) which is my attempt to be "good" before "Christmas morning." At this point the vast majority of the "presents" have been purchased (or earned in training.) Now I am spending my extra time looking for where those "presents" are hidden so I can shake them and try to figure out what's in them. The thing is, those "presents" will only reveal themselves on race day and they will only reveal themselves when they want to or need to and I may not like all of them. (Like opening underwear or socks for Christmas, but then opening a Lite Brite. And then opening a new toothbrush, but then getting a Wii.)

So really, I am spending my time imagining my "presents," just like I did as a kid. And when I think about them I get the same feelings - my heart beats faster, I get an adrenalin shot, my hands tingle and my mind races - and I just can't wait. But then I realize that this "Christmas Day" "Santa" is going to make me beat the shit out of myself before I get anything. However, "Santa" has promised that if I am patient and appreciate all my "presents" - good and bad - along the way, that at the end of the day I will get the one present that I have been asking for the past six-plus months. (And my wife will get the present she has been asking for just as long - for my training to be done!)

I will get that new bicycle! (Honey, don't worry, I am not going to get a new bike. My bikes are perfectly fine.)

Of course the "new bicycle" to which I am referring is a cot and an IV in the med tent after I finish a fricking IRONMAN!

Come on "Christmas" get here soon!


Beth said...

I love it!!! I can't wait until my own "Christmas Day" too! Although I'll admit that this Christmas analogy falls apart when we are looking at weather.... but I digress... ;)

Anyway - very excited for you Todd! Almost there now - the presents are patiently waiting to be opened!

Teresa said...

Love your post!! Christmas in August!!! Santas watching!! tn

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Clever analogy! And entertaining. I felt the same way before my 70.3 - happy dread.

kerrie said...

well, if my "christmas" fall apart, i'm taking santa and all of his elves down with me.

best line: "So I have a tall, brutally honest, Jewish, Christmas elf watching over me to make sure I'm not "naughty."" lol....great visual.

Jill Costantino said...

This is great! wishing you the the best "Christmas" ever! Kick some A$$ out there! woohoo - kick your accountants A$$!

ADC said...

Christmas is nearly here!

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