Unicorns & Cotton Candy

Today was the suck. I didn’t sleep well last night. This morning I woke up a whole 90 minutes before I actually had to get up negating the whole point of being able to sleep in on my off day. Work was trying. Some people were stupid. I was crabby. And then I was crabby some more. And then I kept being crabby, and despite acknowledging it I couldn’t shake the bad attitude, all the while knowing I couldn’t throw in a workout to quiet my crabby brain.

When I arrived home and was granted my wish to change the channel (away from Monday Night Football)l I saw a TRIATHLON listing on Universal Sports and tuned in. And. They. Were. Broadcasting. KONA. IRONMAN. 2010. And then my outlook improved and life got better and there were fairies and rainbows and sparkles and unicorns and cotton candy and everyone lived happily ever after. Well, not everyone (see stupid people listed above), but just one minute into the coverage and my worries and woes paled and evaporated.

“Running” the marathon in a boot. Completing the race after a bloody crash. Racing and finishing just weeks after concluding chemotherapy. Running neck to neck, just 2 miles left, and sharing your ice water sponge, a smile and a handshake with a competitor who even if a friend is the only person that can take first place away from you. Starting the race knowing you may not finish. The lucky few that pulled it together and finished with just seconds to spare before midnight.

I’m a glutton for punishment and part of why I love distance racing is the heart-wrenching journey that takes place on the road to and during the race. There are outside factors you can’t control – the field, the weather, the course, the crowd – and there are internal factors that you can control – your attitude, your approach, your plan,  your mantra. Put them together and it creates a unique journey and experience every single time for every single person. When a marathon is done it feels like a lifetime of sights, sounds, decisions and thoughts have gone by. I can only imagine that an Ironman is a marathon on crack, so maybe a decade’s worth of input and stimulation? All of the athletes finishing Kona went through something that no one but them will ever understand, but the beauty is simply found in that they decided to do it, and did.

Today sucked, but tomorrow will be better. And on Saturday I’ll think of all of those racing Kona on October 9th, and I will make it rock.

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