Over the “weekend” of May 1-5 my best friend and I will be competing in the 2014 Eco-Endurance Challenge just outside of Halifax, NS. As faithful readers will know, Dan and I have known each other since grade school and been best friends since (cough) 1986 (cough) and we have a “bonding” weekend every year. We try to alternate between “touristy” excursions (Cleveland last year, Memphis in 2011, etc.) and “competitive” weekends- long-distance hikes, races of various kinds and lengths, etc.. You may remember that during our last “competitive weekend” in 2012 we raced in the Fredericksburg (VA) Off-Road Duathlon (F.O.R.D.), which combined cross-country running (Dan) and mountain biking (me). We did well in that race, winning our age group (male, 40-49) in the “team” category, and finishing second overall in the team category. But here’s what you don’t know…
…there were not a lot of teams competing overall – and even fewer in our gender and age group- and, more importantly, Dan carried our team. I was little more than “dead weight” on a bike- and a lot of it. He finished his running portions of the race so high up in the overall standings (with the guys who use words like “bonk,” never race without a heart monitor, and wear Oakley’s 24/7) that it kind of didn’t matter how poorly my portion of the race went- and it went poorly. I could get into discussing how Dan is a “Type A” guy and an “achiever” who trained his ass of for the race despite the demands of being a husband, father, and satellite engineer at NASA, but that’s not the point. The point is that in addition to all of those things Dan is a great friend, and a true gentleman. For those reasons he has never once mentioned my, ah, underwhelming effort, in 2012.
I on the other hand, have thought about it pretty much daily over the the past two years. See, despite my occasional penchant for self-sabotage I am just a wee bit competitive and have enough athletic prowess in my past (and hopefully present and future!) that I know the only reason I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain in 2012 is because I didn’t train like I should have for the race, which is to say, I didn’t train at all. I mean I went on “bike rides” leading up to the race but nothing that made me break out in a sweat- and everything makes me break out in a sweat. So, competitive as I am- and knowing that I “owe one” to Dan for last time, I’m taking the EEC seriously. Since February 1st I have lost almost 25lbs (and almost 4″ off my waist!) and have been exercising regularly.
If you’ve made it this far- and bless you if you have- you’re probably wondering, “And I care about all of this because…?” This is why: I am at the point where the intensity of training regime is going “escalate quickly.” For the next three to four weeks my goal is to run about 50K a week and that is going to take time. It’s going to take even more time than you might imagine as on some days I’ll have to run before and after work (my feet and knees can’t take much more than 5K at a time) and that’s not going to leave a lot of time to peck away at my keyboard in the name of the glorious sport of football. The site will not be dormant during this period, but my 5-ish posts a week might be more like 3-ish and they may not be overly long.
Any-who, just wanted to let you know. Thanks for listening, thanks for continuing to visit the Tanner Ba’ (page views continue to steadily increase almost three years into this idiotic adventure), and be well.