California On My Mind

So on Sunday I went to my blog and saw something that I very rarely look at.  What I saw was the 70.3 Oceanside countdown.  I have not paid attention to this very much because of the DRC 1/2 Marathon and the Dallas White Rock Marathon.  My coach emailed me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that the training was going to ramp up because California was coming up.  It still never dawned on me what that meant. Then the number finally hit home.  On Sunday I saw 98.  As in 98 days away.  I was 14 weeks away from racing in my first 70.3 race.  I was 14 weeks away from going from an aspiring triathlete to a half-triathlete (not true as I'm a triathlete now but the enormity of the feat just hit me that way.) Now I am not one to get nervous about these things as I have planned for it.  I have been training for it.  I put myself in a position to succeed.  It's what I do, but the days were for some reason just staring me in the face.  Derek and Mandy (check out their blogs - super cool people doing super cool things) have had a countdown for IMLP going for sometime and I thought it was great.  I have had this countdown on my blog for sometime and it helps to alert you when the race is coming up but it finally spoke to me. So for the past three days I have been California Dreamin'.  I even changed the background on my blog to what I believe resembles the coast in Oceanside the morning of the race.  This whole race has changed my view of training.  Before it was like I knew I was training for this race, but now each session means more.  To me it means going faster than the guy sleeping in.  To me it means going longer than the other guy just going through the paces.  To me it means pushing my body to the next level.  To me it means pushing my mind to places I never thought existed.  I am honing my craft and my craft is my mind/body connection to not just complete the event but to COMPETE in the race.  Am I dreamin' that I can win....absolutely not, but what I'm dreamin' is that I am going to be the best I can be on that day and I will not accept other options.  Failure is not an option.  Coasting is not an option.  I signed up to compete and compete I will. On the home page of the 70.3 California website is the following description: Athletes will enjoy the calm waters of the 1.2-mile swim course in Oceanside Harbor, the tough one-loop, 56-mile bike course that includes the coastal beauty of San Clemente State Park and the challenging inland hills of Camp Pendleton 13.1-mile run through the coastal neighborhoods of Oceanside. The 1.2 mile swim starts with a wave start and I have 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the swim.  The 56 mile bike is 1 loop with a 4 hour and 20 minute cut-off.  The 13.1 mile run is 2 loops with a cut-off of 3 hours.  Total time to complete the race is 8 hours and 30 minutes.   My training has gotten me to the point that I know I have the endurance to complete this race today.  What I also know is that the training has ramped up to the point of pushing my body further and further.  Coach was not lying when she told me it was going to get harder.  It has gotten to the point that I almost lost my lunch twice in the past week.  Once during 12x400 repeats at a once unthought of pace of 6:00-6:06/mile and once during a 2 hour trainer ride where I was pushing the RPMs higher and higher.  Today may be the third time that this happens because I have 6z800 repeats at a pace of 6:15/mile.   All of this being said I am loving it.  I am loving the fact that my body is responding to this training by being able to go faster, harder and longer (insert joke here.)  I am loving the fact that I look forward to swim training now.  This has been a breakthrough week for me.  A week in which I say....who cares if you throw up?  Are your competitors throwing up or are they eating cookies and cake and candy and sleeping in because it's the holidays? There is no substitute  for hard work.  There is no magic pill (Thanks Jon) to getting faster.  There is no more powerful muscle in the human body than the the mind goes so does the body.  My mind is being trained just as much as my body. So as I continue to dream and visualize the race I will leave you with this:
or maybe this is more your style:
Maybe something more modern:
  No matter your style and flair just know that I got California On My Mind....
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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