Gonna Fly Now

“Gonna Fly Now…Gonna Fly Now….”
Yesterday, I ran a triple brick as part of my Ironman training. Basically, I ran almost a half ironman yesterday! Just thinking about that is amazing in the fact that I struggled to finish Vineman Half Ironman last year in a tad less than 6 hours. And now I run a half ironman just for a workout. Wow.
But let me tell you – towards the end of that mega workout I was losing steam. I was trying out my coach’s energy deprivation technique to help manage the craving for handouts along a race. Trying to adapt my body to being less dependent on carbo gels is tough. When you eat too much on an Ironman, you inevitably puke it out somewhere in the middle of the run – something I’d like to avoid. So anything to help it adapt to storing more energy, burning what’s stored inside, and to stop stuffing face at every aid station. Since I was just starting this adaptation, I think it drained my legs a little prematurely as I spaced out my gel intake.
So I start humming the Rocky theme, “Gonna Fly now” and it perks me up.
“It’s the…Eye of the Tiger, it’s the cream of the fight…”
I never run with music. I tried it once with my iPod, and it ended up skipping so I stopped that. Also, I don’t like being distracted out there. It can be dangerous! I’ve hit potholes and almost turned my ankle while daydreaming, or my form becomes really messy. I love to practice my focus on perfect running form and economy and thus, my concentration needs to be total.
In this month’s Runner’s World magazine (March 2005), there is an article about running with music. It extols the benefits of music and running, and how it can improve your running and/or make it less monotonous. I say, more power to you if you can do it. Whatever works.
For me, I enjoy the silence and focus of running as I arrow in on perfect running….Except when I start powering down…
Then I start humming Rocky movie music. “Gonna Fly Now” and “Eye of the Tiger” are my favorites. I continue to focus on my form, ignore the energy drained legs, and get pumped up from those songs. I envision Rocky Balboa in his quest to get himself out of the ghettos and nobody-life, and to win against all odds against his boxing opponents who of course come trained with 100X more resources than he does. I see myself during some of the more inspirational moments in the movies, the runs up the steps with the kids following behind, the snow running and working out in frozen conditions in Rocky IV… I force my legs to move faster despite them screaming, “stop Dave stop”.
Music doesn’t work for me, but Rocky does, especially when I most need it.

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