Eight hours, that is the normal amount of time that a person should sleep or is a normal work day. Why would anyone want to torture themselves in an athletic event for that period of time. Personally it is because I love to suffer when it comes to sports. I can't play baseball because I'm not challenging myself mentally, I like to hear my brain tell me that my body can't take anymore.
I know that sounds sick but it all goes back to being a diabetic and putting myself through hell for ten years. More than once in those ten years I thought about taking a bunch of insulin after a night of drinking and hoping I didn't wake up. I was in such a bad spot that it was almost easier to do that than to try and fix everything that I had ruined in my life.
After the first thirty minutes of any endurance event my mind goes from my diabetes to memories. That first thirty minutes I'm not thinking about the race, all I care about is what my blood sugar is doing and how I feel. I make sure I eat at the fifteen minute mark and take some Gatorade, I do the same at the thirty minute mark. After that if my blood sugar is ok it is time to reflect on my life.
I spend a lot of time crying when I'm alone in races or training. I think about the hell that I put Leanne through, I think about how lucky I am to be with her and have the best family ever. I think a lot about "Minnie", I can't write about it but just know that I'm crying thinking about it. I go back to when my father was sick when I was in high school, I think about what that did to my family. I clearly remember seeing him in a hospital bed and that he did not know who I was. I think about Leanne and before I knew her. I will look at my right elbow and see a scare from a surgery that saved my life. I think about a doctor telling I should be dead. I think about the worry that my parents and wife feel each time I go to race or train. (I could keep going and going)
I often think about why I'm doing this and the answer is simple, I need to know that I'm alive. If I'm not feeling pain than I'm not happy, being an endurance athlete is a very selfish sport but it also makes me a much better person. I strongly believe that endurance athletes have a very unique love of life. I come back from training or a race and I love everything about life. I'm not worried about the trash overflowing or the broken appliance. I'm just happy that the people that mean the most to me are happy and with me. All of the bibs and medals I have mean nothing to me, I got them for people in my life that mean the world to me. The first endurance run (anything over 26.2) that I do I will be giving the medal to a good friend because I believe he needs to know that if you fight like hell and never give up you can realize your dreams.