Saturday, March 13, 2010

Looking over my shoulder

There are times, probably too many times, when it's not a good thing to be a poker player.
The game is so beautiful, with the intoxicating allure of money, the rush and more fun than anyone really deserves, that you put up with all the crap that goes with it. Losing streaks that make you constantly cranky, the douchebags who always seem to infect your table and just the goddamn unfairness of it at times (and I'm not just talking about suckouts) can always make you wonder why you play.
And there's another reason too.
You're constantly wondering when you'll stop running so good.
Running so good is the best grammatically incorrect feeling in the world, and right now, I'm running really good.
No, not in poker, though that hasn't been too bad either, thanks to Rush Poker. No, I'm talking about my marathon training.
I ran 19.5 Friday. I had to get up at 4 a.m. to do it. I ran 9 the day before in a nasty wind that felt as if I was being thumped in the chest by a demon. Friday was the longest I've ever run in my life. By the end, by all rights, I should have been dragging. But I wasn't. I was stronger by mile 14 than I was in mile 12. I pushed the tempo again. It was, dare I say it, fairly easy.
Every time, in fact, I've run the longest I've run, I've felt stronger at the end.
I feel great right now, perhaps the best I've felt in my life.
So really, what's the problem?
Well, I've got three 20-milers waiting for me, but even that isn't really the issue.
The issue is I'm wondering when the good run will end.
That's what you always think as a poker player, and that's not what I need right now. I've been an endurance athlete most of my life - in fact I've been one longer than I haven't - and most of that was mountain climbing. Even so, I've never considered myself a good athlete, and my track record growing up will back that up. I'm not being modest here. I'm proud of what I've done. But there are always doubts, warranted or not. Doubts, if you really think about it, usually aren't warranted.
The game's still going. It ends May 9 when I cross the finish line. I just need to keep the rush going, so that when doesn't turn into an if.


BWoP said...

You got this Peaker. No doubt in my mind.

Long live the run good!

BadBlood said...

At some point, you'll gain the confidence to claim you've earned exactly what you've accomplished.

The self-doubt is what keeps you humble - the fear of being self-congratulatory. It's probably a good thing.

But every now and then, you can smile to yourself and say, yeah, I nailed it.