A few weeks ago I experienced wake boarding for the first time. It was not what I expected. Rather than ripping huge sprays and launching mad airs across the wake I was belittled to dredging saltwater with my body in multiple failed attempts to be pulled out of the water from the start. This resulted in actually injuring my forearms or the muscles used to grip the rope as I'm pretty stubborn and pushed it a little to hard. NOTE: I did get up once and was too tired to last very long so after falling due to believing I had more "fin" than what was there I was too tired to try again.
Now that I'm all healed up it is time for round two and that's what we set out for on Sunday. The first attempt was exactly like the last time. Slowly dredge through the water.... inhale saltwater through the nostrils... feel the ski rope stretching out before you.... the unwanted reflex of letting go rather than rip a muscle. Something has got to be wrong I tell myself! I've been pulled behind boats longer than I've been surfing and never experienced such trouble! I get back in the boat, take the controls and show my friend exactly how I want him to pull me out of the water. "Fast and smooth like so," I say, as I hammer down the throttle on a dry run. Back in the water and it's "go time!" He hammers down. I feel the tension in the rope, the resistance of my board against the water and I instinctively twist my left side forward. Then it happens! My entire body shoots out of the water with little or no effort at all. SUPER EASY! Now that I'm up I know what to do and it's just a matter of getting used to using the rails to turn and stabilize instead of having the added benefit of large fins and rails like a surfboard. Then I realize all this time it wasn't me with the problems. It was the damn boat driver! He was going to slow from the start to pull me out of the water! I laugh at myself for doubting myself and make several small jumps, cutbacks and even finish with my signature last run beer drinking!
AND SO IT BEGINS....
No, not wake boarding. Well, yes wake boarding is now officially on for the summer, but what I really mean is the next little adventure in my life: Running!
More specifically: Running a freaking marathon!
It's always been on my long and crazy list of things to do before I die and recently several factors have influenced me to play around with the decision of actually training for and doing it. It all started one night over at the hang out on Cooper Street while drinking one too many beers. A married couple, who are two of my best friends, started going on and on about how they are training to run the Disney Marathon. This blew my drunk ass mind away as these two are NOT exactly the health freaks, but what a great idea of using a marathon training schedule to get in shape. Intrigued and drunk I declared that I, Sylvan, shall run this marathon with them!
The next morning I found myself saying, "Did I really say that last night? I wonder if they were serious? Oh well, what the hell!" The other factor was discovering an old friend of mine, Redhead Running, has become absolutely, insanely, out-of-her mind obsessed with running kind of like I am with surfing. Reading her blog has inspired me a little and she's a lot further ahead of me in her training for her marathon so it's fun to follow her progress.
Now I'm what I call a free runner. I'm not knew to the sport of running. I've been running since I was in high school, but not what would be defined as a serious runner. Hell, I don't even wear a watch when I run. I've always run for me and kept it simple. Run until I get tired. Distance doesn't matter. Time doesn't matter. Running for me is a way to collect my thoughts, release some of my "can't sit still for long" energy that lingers in me from childhood and a way to stay healthy. Oh yeah and I almost forgot; something to do when it's flat!
I managed to get up at dawn the past two days and knock off 4-milers, despite being a little sore from my wake boarding epiphany. Last night I actually sat down with a calendar while debating the true meaning of the Foo Fighters song, Everlong, with my roommate and planned out my battle strategy for the next 28 weeks (the time I have before the Disney Marathon). It's done now. It's written in red ink on a calendar in my room and I'm writing about it in this blog. So I have to do it, right? This morning I got up at dawn, strapped on my Asics GT2140s, put on my Timex iControl, started my "5k Playlist" on my iPod and promptly ran 3 miles according to the training schedule.
It was easy. Too easy. I ran it in ____? As I start to write down my time on my calendar I realize I totally forgot to use my Timex that felt so strange on my wrist the entire time. I'm so used to NOT timing myself that I can't even remember to start my chronograph! What a funny start to my training? On the calendar I simple write "YES, it begins ???"
We'll see how it goes. There are several factors playing against me.
1.) My passion for surfing and travel. If there is an epic swell in the water it's going to be difficult to manage both running and surfing. Running might have to take a backseat to surfing since I prefer to surf at dawn rather than run. The schedule I've picked has a lot of cross training in it and hopefully surfing can count as cross training. I guess it's more up to Mother Nature.
2.) Puerto Rico. If all goes well I intend to move to Rincon, Puerto Rico for the winter (Mid-October to the end of April). It's a long shot, but it could happen and if does it doesn't mean I won't run the marathon with my Cooper Street friends, but I'll have to take my training down there and then fly back here for both the Disney and also the Daytona Half Marathon that I plan to run in November. Thank God for cheap direct Jet Blue flights from MCO to BQN.
3.) My health. I don't see this as being a problem as I'm in better shape than just about ALL of my friends my own age, but you never know. I'm not exactly 18 and bulletproof anymore.
Time will tell....