Triathlons are so last year

I told you I would update this with relevancy, not with frequency. But whatever.

I’m here with exciting news–to no one but myself: I have new motivation–The San Francisco Marathon on July 31. It’ll be my first.

I get to cross the Golden Gate Bridge twice. I also get to wake up at 3 a.m. most likely. Sall good.

I’ve talked…often… about the benefits of tri training. And I maintain it is one of the best ways to get in shape. But as I sat at a roulette table at the Paris Hotel and Casino pouring days (weeks?) worth of my salary into the state of Nevada’s recession recovery fund, it hit me. “I don’t want to do triathlons anymore.”

Maybe it was the deepening depression and bong-shaped fruity drinks, but I lost all enthusiasm for triathlons, at least for this year. As I saw my last $15 dollars added to the stack of thousands at my table, I rolled my eyes and walked away to watch NCAA March Madness with my brother Ryan, who lives in Los Angeles.

We’ve discussed two “awesome brother things” fervently: getting the same tattoo and competing in a race together. We’ve come close to the tattoo twice, but time or fear stopped us. The race is just a matter of scheduling.

Slouched in a smoke-hazed bar, from the back of my buzzed mind and through my scratchy throat I garbled out: “Ryan, want to run in the San Francisco Marathon with me?”

Ryan: “YES!”

Eric: “Serious?”

Ryan: “Definitely.”

Eric: “Really?”

Ryan: “Yes, I said.”

Eric: “Eff yeah!”

It was on.

And it has been on. I’m on an 18-week training schedule, and I’ve kept to it. Hal Higdon has an amazing schedule with every workout carefully and thoughtfully prescribed. Ugliest site ever, but very informational. With as lazy as I can get with my schedule, it’s perfect for me. I finished Week 1, and I’m full-steam ahead.

I’m refreshed! I have new energy. I do not know how well I’ll do, and that uncertainty is exciting. I know the Boston Marathon qualifying time is 3:10. And given my previous race paces, I might be able to hit that. I might need more than 18 weeks, however. Who cares! The journey, man. It’s all about the journey.

I picked San Francisco at the urging of my high school journalism teacher Kit Harris. He ran it with his wife last year and swears it was the time of his life. She didn’t come back pregnant, so it couldn’t have been that great of a time. But if Mr. Harris says something is great, I trust him.

This also gives me an opportunity to tell my little brother what to do. He is an athlete, but not an experienced runner. Luckily, he listens and his determination level is something between Batman stopping the Joker and a lion chasing a mongoose.

New goals and adventures are instant cures for ruts. If you’re in one, find something new to try.

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2 thoughts on “Triathlons are so last year

  1. Good luck Jorgo. My mother-in-law ran the San Fran marathon decades ago and loves it. She said she hardly trained and did fine. So I suspect you’ll do fine too. Except you might have trouble hitting that pace. So train hard, and knock that pace out of the park.

    I’m gearing up for the Lawrence Half Marathon in a couple weeks, my first half marathon. I’m probably not adequately prepared, but after running 9 miles in 92 degree heat and 35 mph headwinds for Brew to Brew, I’m convinced that if you set your mind to something, anyone can do _almost_ anything.

  2. You’ll do fine at the half. I’m going to come out and root you boys on. Nick is doing it as well, I believe.

    3:10 translates into 7:14 miles, not including water and puke breaks. I’m not sure if I can pull it off. We shall see.

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