Sunday, August 03, 2014

It's all about the bike.

Dear Diary,

After about fortyish miles of Colorado countryside at an 11 miles per hour pace, I found myself nauseated in the heat and staring at another big-assed hill. It was 12:39. I had 51 minutes to get 17 miles, which was highly unlikely. The guy that pulled my chip apologized, but it was inevitable. They pulled my chip and those of the four people ahead of me. One of them, like me, was happy to take the ride. Another one had been in a bike accident with another rider, one sat silently trying not to cry at having failed her first attempt at an Ironman, and the fourth stewed silently, angry that they had pulled her chip,after she failed to make the cutoff by more than 10 minutes.

I asked the girl next to me, who is very young, if she would try again. She nodded. "Good for you," I said.

It was a new experience for me, being pulled. I've never been pulled. I've always just squeaked by with those cutoffs, but let's face it, it's an Ironman. It's all about the bike. Considering I haven't really trained for it, I'm surprised I got as far as I did. The ride back, in the shuttle, was a tense silence. The driver kept apologizing. I felt bad for him. I've been in races where you didn't get a ride back, or worse, you sat in the back of a pickup for the ride back. I thanked him for providing this service.

Now, the only way to get to where my bags were was to walk the same walk as the triathletes who had just gotten off their bikes. Hoards of people shouted at me as I walked by. WHOO! Good job number 1180!

That was a long walk. Yep. Awkward.

I loaded up bags and bikes and went to wait for Baboo to finish. I got a little lightheaded doing that.

During the ride back, and while I waited, I had pondered this experience, this 'being pulled'. I came up with some great truths.

1) this is a natural consequence and a lesson I needed. I didn't train. This is what happens when you don't train. You suffer, or you don't finish, or both. It's a miracle that I finished the swim.

2) Being pulled is not the end of the world. I've been anxious about it before, but it's not that bad.

3) I've said it before, when you try extraordinary things, things outside your comfort zone, sometimes you will fail.

4) Having said that, I have completed two iron distance triathlons. Hard ones. I'm good.

Oh, and one more thing:

5) I really, really, really really hate cycling.

I accept that we have roles to play. Mine is not necessarily to always win but to try. If someone tries something extraordinary, something outside of their comfort zone, because I did it, then that's a good thing.

















  1. That's all in the past. Keep doing amazing things, things that you enjoy, then blogging about it! I can tell you, as a recovering and struggling couch potato, that your blog is very Inspirational!

  2. Well, crap. But where's the joy in attempting something you KNOW you can do, right? I do a lot of suffering through things that were way bigger than I am thanks to inadequate training; even the times I've failed instead of being able to gut it out I still prefer "tried and failed" to "was afraid to sign up". And I love that quote in your last image. I'm copying that, because I know it's going to be all too applicable again one of these days.

  3. Anonymous5:16 AM

    WHY on earth would you enter an Ironman (a HARD one) and not train? WHY on earth would you enter an IM when you hate to ride a bike? It just boggles my mind.

  4. This might be my very, very favorite race recap you've ever done. LOVE your lessons. Keep on keeping on Misty!

  5. It is my eternal regret that IM triathlon didn't end up as swim, KAYAK, run! The biking really just isn't fun for me either - I get by doing a lot of spin classes and long indoor rides, but I have to force myself to do a weekly long ride outdoors, and I can't say I enjoy it like I enjoy all the other parts of training. Alas!

    (And yes, I have always promised myself that if I get pulled, I will accept it with a good grace and not make an unpleasant job harder for the person who's doing it!)

  6. I'm sure this was a disappointing result and a blow to your pride. But really, reading your recent posts, it sounds like you've already moved on. You've got big things to do, and Ironman didn't really fit with your new plans. Now go out and get fast, eat well, and do some epic shit.

    You continue to inspire me with your honesty, your sense of humor, your insight, and your doing stuff that most people think is impossible.

    (I just ran my first 50 mile race, inspired and buoyed up by a lot of people, but specifically by your blog. Thank you.)

  7. Donut, I signed up for this last July and I really felt like I could and would do it. I had gained a lot of new strength and experience since my last Ironman in 2008, which I finished comfortably. I was searching for a new goal to inspire me after coming out of a year-long depression.

  8. When the time actually came, since the money was spent, I decided I had to try it instead of being afraid to fail.

  9. and i'm the opposite. i LOVE teh bike and survive the run. :) good for you. my last IM was a month after typhoid. lots of naysayers there too, but hey i paid my money, i get to decide what to do with it.

  10. Yup, you said it yourself, "I've completed two Iron distance triathlons. Hard ones. I'm good."

    Yes, yes you are.

    Congrats on the swim, for trying, for being what I can imagine was a source of comfort for the young woman racing her first Ironman in the truck with you. You're one of the toughest people I've ever met. Meh, so cycling isn't your thing. Go, do what is! And keep blogging about it. I love your posts!

  11. i was reading this website and thought of you guys.


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...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary, For the first time in 7 years I have a goal. It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess...