THE ENDURANCE ATHLETE | THE JACKAL

Do you know what its like to dream untainted dreams?


‘This is absolute, its the shit’. A drop of serotonin hits my brain as my heart pounding run comes to stop. I walk off the discomfort, Satisfied. Dreaming. 


I need to get this on paper before the jackal on my shoulder barks in my ear.. Deafening my flow with anxiety. 


"One day life of a lion is better than a hundred years life of a jackal (Tipu Sultan)".


I’m not thinking about the run I just did, I’m thinking forward.. I see mountains carved on the road bike, switch backs, trail running - Kosciuszko. Its the AAA Triathlon which I hope presents on the calendar in 2020. I contacted race organisers twice in the past about this. I heard about it and saw it in a magazine. The advert went on my wall.

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I contacted Organisers initially asking if it would be a regular event they said yes…I tucked it away as a must challenge. The real deal in my opinion. Its early version was something like 3K swim 128KM bike and 28K run. Mountains, altitude. Epic.


 I re contacted them again in 2017 and they said it would be a biannual event. 2018 I would be far from established in my new location to tackle this goal so I hope that 2020 it returns on the calendar. 


Pick a goal that scares you’. Ange reminded me. In fact I already had. Whilst somewhat tired from pumping Vo2 max work to fuse myself into fitness for sprint distance events, I yearn for more. 


Short distance training is hard and time efficient but somewhat cowardly in my mind, to my own expectations of my self, for the endeavour of an endurance athlete. 

Whats the point in going really fast for 20 mins if you are scared about doing a 10-15K run?

Time, patience, anxiety. That shit is out of control. 

Get it over with. I used to revel on distance. Ive done it in the past I can do it again. New challenge new conditioning.

‘Start again’ it say on my chalk board. 

I once lived in the dream of being an elite half Ironman athlete/ a mountain runner. Don’t get in my way kind of attitude. I would get out and bore the engine consistently - Less life stress / more training and untainted dreams. Naivety is gold.  Experience can be a bitch.


So I start getting out there with a new vision. I need to be out there for time. Lets back it off a touch and build it up. mental resilience and patience. 

I throw my self at a trail I found thinking I can run it at threshold for 50mins. Its hot and humid and 35 mins in my heart is suffocated. I’m walking. 

‘I used to annihilate this stuff?’ 12 trail a regular threshold Thursday arvo , Friday AM -  20Km road pushing the edge again.

‘Don’t be bloody defeated’. One cannot expect to reflect on days of peak fitness backed with months of consistent training - But turn around and expect to jump back into that picture with 18 months of half the volume of training. 

Its going to take time. Not weeks. Months. 

 I look at the calendar and I’m back in the business of wanting to do trail running events again.

I need to get familiar, I need to get strong - If I’m to run 20+ off the back of 3K swimming and 120+ biking in extreme conditions then I’ve just got to get past feelings of failure and revel in the challenges.

The weekend comes and I give my self 2 hours to spend on the trail from last week. I slow it down a tad but its steep and challenging. An 1hr 10 in, Ive reached that point, fairly buckled. The jackal says ‘This sucks’… and then I realise this is what I came for. 

The longer stuff much like the shorter stuff is the mental strength to override the negativity and endure the very uncomfortable.. Make it tolerable. Learn to suffer. 

So I smile and appease my self for slowing down. For now covering time, covering distance is important. It will get better. Persist. 

The Endurance Athlete - The reason to get your body stronger, make positive choices and have a better relationship with yourself. Be a better person. Live a reality that started as an untainted dream.