There are two horrible sides to being a goal-oriented person. We like to talk about the pure joy of meeting those goals. We tend not to talk about the other side – failing to meet those goals or not having them at all because you are not in charge of the outcome.
I’ve been absent here for a few reasons. My grandmother passed away a week ago and the night of the memorial service my father collapsed with an acute attack of pancreatitis. I am in Washington, D.C. to be with my family and have been on an emotional roller coaster. I promised my father some time ago that his life was his own and I would not discuss his private matters here. At some point I will figure out where his privacy line is and mine begins because there are things happening here that are changing me. Here’s where endurance racing works as metaphor – you cannot know who you will be at the end of the long road but you know you will be changed forever. It is the darkest piece of one way glass you will ever encounter. From one side all you can see is your own reflection and from the far side all you can see is who you were.
I have no time for a real post, so instead I’m going to brain dump everything that’s going on right now so I can look back on this and remember what causes burn out. In worst El Nino storm in years, pack a shitload of apartment stuff into boxes in prep for a move 1.5 miles away, live with boxes all around and no room being comfortable. Walk wet unhappy dogs twice a day. Have my $750 roof rack stolen in daylight in front of my house, right off the top of my car causing a few hundred bucks in damage. My grandmother gets sick, goes into hospice. I buy plane tickets. She dies. I have my 35th birthday. I get a migraine driving to my birthday dinner but pop an Axert during the strobing and then rink half a $100 bottle of wine. Then I take some downers during the meal and get pretty goofy. Meal is great. Migraine subsides. Yay goofballs. Day after birthday fly to Philadelphia and stay with my uncle, then Friday bury my grandmother. Fly home Saturday. Land at LAX to phone message my dad has gone back into hospital with pancreatitis. Come home to boxed house. Wake up Sunday remembering I have to run with the Core Performance people, take them on a 5 mile run. I’m running away from my demons so I add 30 second pickups into the run. Push everyone out of their comfort zone. Home. Brain dump. Pack. Wonder why I’m hit with crying jags. And life goes on.
Doing an Ironman will change you forever. I had been warned about a post-partum depression that would kick in shortly after the race. It never hit me. I am an angry person by nature and in the days and weeks after the race I let my simmering pot of self-righteous anger boil over. I was short tempered, had no patience for any irritant, and barely held my tongue in public situations. Over a few weeks that passed. Mostly I found myself getting into arguments that were a waste of my time. The further I got from the race the more I returned to normal, a low boil of wrath. A technology client of mine asked to borrow my road bike for a visiting family member and I agreed, offering to go for a long ride with them as well. We decided to meet at the south side of Marina del Rey and figure out a course from there. It would be one of the worst rides of my life.