Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
4am...one nasty alarm that required my FIST to turn it off...UGH...REALLY?? 4am??? I'm use to 5 or even 6 but 4am. YIKES...
But today offered an opportunity worthy of that alarm. After months of training, I was going to get to do a MOCK triathlon on the Rocketman Triathlon course in Titusville with my Tri with Sway Triathlon Team. I rolled out of bed, grabbed my coffee and my gear and off I went.
A stormy morning produced rain as I made my way to the Space Coast. Precipitation really doesn't bother me during a race as long as it isn't a "toad strangler". This was gentle easy rain...and a light breeze...or so I thought.
I always learn from every workout. Whether I learn I'm getting stronger or faster...or I learn I need to focus on a weakness, workouts are a great opportunity to find out what you are really made of. Most people think that racing is that time...for me...racing is the victory lap.....it's GETTING to the race that makes you who you are. It's the long miles alone...in the dark. It's the cold pool at 5am or the dark lake with one single light on the opposite side that is your only "goal" for the day. It's very simple: Train Hard...Race Easy.
So today was no exception to that rule. A swim that should have been easy for me turned into a wave in the face, ingested sea water and a moment of "feeding the fish" .. if you get my drift. Once out of the water, I was feeling ok, but a 35 mile bike awaited me....and today..that was my proving ground.
We road out to the Canaveral National Seashore. There was LOTS of wildlife including a few snakes and some buzzards who had to be reminded that I wasn't dead YET. But it wasn't until a turn inside the state park that put me directly into a headwind...a STRONG headwind...that I started to get that lesson.
My speed slowed to a crawl. My legs ached. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop. I wanted to pick up my phone and call Sway to come pick me up because I was DONE. Somewhere, however, something in my head pushed me forward. It kept me moving even when all of me wanted to stop
Don't get me wrong...I have a great team. They would speed by me and give me encouragement. Coach Cherie and Coach Trung both cheered for me as they saw me struggling...that is worth so much...but...it was that voice in my head...to keep going...to keep pushing...to keep at it.
And I did.
After what felt like 20 miles but was only 5 to 7 miles in the direct headwind, we came to the turn around point and WOW...that wind was now at my back. I was FLYING. I don't look at my Garmin when I ride...I just RIDE...and with the wind at my back...I felt like a pro cyclist...a really GOOD pro cyclist.
But isn't this the way life is?? Isn't this how we learn and grow?? If we don't have those moments of utter pain and frustration and if we do not endure those times of complete hardship, we can not fully appreciate the joy of the good moments. How do you fully appreciate the finish line if you don't put the work in to GET THERE?
So, for most triathletes, a 35 miles bike would be a minor event but for me, today taught me so much. Just get through the tough stuff...it's gonna be better on the other side....
My thanks to the entire Tri with Sway team who always encourages me every step of the way....
192 days until Ironman Florida