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Triathlete Blog

The Next Level

By March 26, 2008June 9th, 2015No Comments

We have received word that e.l.f. has arrived in San Diego for SST.

What is SST?

Super Secret Training of course.

Secretly I am in San Diego and I am geared up for another 5 days of super training. Along with me on this covert operation is Special Agent Sherpa-at-Large Thomas. This morning we started with a canyon run. I was on a mission to do an 80 minute tempo run while Thomas went 35 minutes easy.

Who goes 35 minutes easy?

Sherpa Thomas. Of course. And complains of “tired legs.” Whatever. I think he was just too chicken to keep up. And I let him know that too. The 80 minute run was most painful and the warm up was the only 15 minutes I actually spent in Zone 1. Beyond that it was just a bunch of huffing in a zone I will describe only as red. I thought about the last time I was on the canyon course with Marit pushing the hills and in memory of this I shouted 185! when I crested one of the hills and almost collapsed. It was hot in the canyon but I kept reminding myself that St. Croix (my first race!) will be much much MUCH hotter. So I kept running. Hot, shaky, and growing more and more tired. Marit, I would like you to know that this time I did not stop even when I reached my breaking point. I ran through it and was pleased to find that I did not break down. Mission accomplished on the run.

Afterwards I found Thomas sleeping in the grass (that’s what a 35 MINUTE EASY RUN will do to you). We sat under the sun for awhile. There was not a cloud in the sky. It was glorious.

I convinced Thomas we could survive on bars and gels and just go for an easy 90 minute ride along the coast. During the ride, Thomas and I decided that all rides should be 90 minute easy rides along the coast. The weather, the scenery – all gorgeous today. Imagine riding with the ocean rolling towards you literally hundreds of feet away. The sun shining. And you are on a bike.

Some stretching then Brad arrives home to find that once again this top secret triathlon training camp is based out of his house. Like a good man that has learned to accept strange triathletes squatting in his house, he gives me a hug. I believe he was also engaged in his own secret mission as we saw him wheeling an office chair into his parking lot. Behavior I will just call “shady” at best.

There is rumor that Joe B. is in town. When I told him that we were going to ride 3 hours tomorrow his question turned from one of “are you guys riding” to “are you guys drinking.” How quickly things change when the challenge is set. A morning swim, a long ride. And no room for drinking, trust me.

Today I thought about Tiger Woods on my run. There was a great article in USA Today the other day about how Tiger the champion was made. There was talk about his mental toughness and how where others saw greatness, Tiger just kept seeing another level.

I thought of that today – as I looked into the canyon running hard with my head on fire, breathing heavy, feet running jagged over rocks – the view was in a word amazing – a completely different level of beauty than anything I had seen before. And I have done this run about a dozen times. But that is where I was going today – a new level. Taking it to a new level, testing the limits, breaking through. This time in San Diego there will be a rock bottom. I will unravel and there will be tears. Because I’m finding that new level and once I get there I promise myself I will stop and take time to marvel at the view.