Back from St. Louis, and back from, um, quite an interesting ride.
It started out bad, got worse, then got funny, and ended bad and funny.
First, the concrete facts:
1. Got home after our 10 hour drive at midnight last night and was wired. Couldn't fall asleep.
2. Somehow must have decided that 1:37am is a great time to start worrying about Ironman, since OMG it's July, will I be ready, etc. etc. Yeah. Good times.
3. Headed to the GCT course on about 4ish hours of sleep to try and ride hills for 4:30 and then run :40.
4. Elizabeth and IronJohnny are pretty much the best people to ride with on a day like this with what happened.
5. It poured, lightning, and thundered just when we hit the stretch of the busy, 45 mph road (which means most were then going 50-55) with no shoulder.
6. Had fun the past few days staying with our friends, who are expecting their first baby in 3 weeks. Found out that one of their Dad's cancer was worse than I knew. He lost his entire stomach three weeks ago. Gone. Forever. I knew things were bad, but I didn't know they were that bad.
Now, the following things MAY or MAY not have happened.
1. I may or may not have let the first hill get the best of my head. Again.
2. I MIGHT have had a slight anxiety meltdown after said hill and started to irrationally question my ability to ride the IMW course, eg. "What the F were you doing signing up for this course? You're screwed."
3. Going along with irrational thinking, I may or may not have had some irrational thoughts about how I am nowhere near as fast as I used to be when I raced short course, and of course therefore that must mean I suck (WHICH IS A VERY DUMB AND IRRATIONAL THOUGHT)
4. I MIGHT have had trouble with the extreme heat and humidity since I have a history of heatstroke/fainting. Elizabeth might have gone to a random house spicket to get me water to be a nice friend, and it might have tasted like poo and I almost vomited because it was well water
5. When it became clear that it was dangerous to ride and we wanted to live to see another day, we MIGHT have felt extremely lame by going to a random house and using their phone to call our friends still on the course or in the area
6. When none of them were around, we MIGHT have felt even lamer by calling a taxi since we all lived far away and had no idea where we were
7. While waiting for said taxi, if it occured, one group member MIGHT have decided they needed to pee in the front yard of the house behind some bushes since the family left to go see a movie
8. If this happened, it MIGHT be one of the best, worst, funniest, and most memorable rides despite having to cut it very short but still putting in close to 40 miles
Elizabeth and I were trying to figure out in our "ride of shame" why this happened and what lesson this was supposed to teach us, as we part felt extremely lame and part felt like we knew we did the right thing because getting hit by cars going 50 mph is never a good idea.
I think I know why it happened. I was having a miserable time and was starting to panic, to have stupid, irrational thoughts and doubts and fears. And on the way home in my car, I got really angry at myself, but for once not because I felt slow or that I cut my ride short, but for the audacity I had to feel like it mattered.
OK, yes, it matters that I cut my ride short on paper. But I know next weekend's trip to WI will make up for it.
But I mean it doesn't MATTER. As IronJohnny even said, "Every day we're out here is a good day, and we have the ability to do this when others don't."
My friend's Dad, age 58, never smoked or drank much in his life--he lost his stomach to cancer three weeks ago. His entire stomach. He's now waiting on test results which he'll get back on Wednesday to find out if it spread.
Who the hell am I?
What right to I have to whine about a bad ride, about my "slow" hill ability, about being afraid of doing an Ironman in 10 weeks?
SHUT up. Just shut up. I am so disgusted with myself right now. I have my health, my two legs to push a bike I bought with my own money up a large hill. I have a husband who knows just what to say and do and is my best friend, and my parents are happily married and healthy and don't have stomach cancer and aren't waiting on tests to determine their life's next path.
I think that's why today happened. God's way of telling me to SNAP out of it, for crying out loud. My so-called problems and insecurities and long rides and flat tires and whatever really DON'T MATTER.
So that's the only sense I can make out of it at this point.