Sunday, July 02, 2006


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.


TryAthlete said...

It's a strange ride. Maybe you were kidnapped by aliens.

And you are ready for that Ironman. The question is, is that Ironman ready for you?

nancytoby said...

How about you and I take alternate days to worry about Ironman, so each of us only has to work half time?

Jodi said...

Trust me- Auborn was a scary ride in that rain! I was trying my hardest to get back to my car so I could pick you guys up. Had I not gotten totally lost in the rain on my way back I could have done it. :) Don't worry- you'll feel better next week once you've done the IMWI course!

Joseph Vinciquerra said...

Man - there are a lot of "adventures in training" going on in the Midwest. Things here in the Northeast are just... Bland. In comparison.

Oh, and Ehf'n *HOT* lately.

BuckeyeRunner said...

Perspective is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

You're going to do great, Sara. Good luck next week in WI!

E-Speed said...

Holy Cow girl you about summed it up! I don't even know how to begin describing this morning!

We are so going to master those Wisconsin Hills next weekend!

Wil said...

NOW that's what I'm taling about sis! Don't feel bad for getting a cab (hey, check my rhymin'-cool), get the hell out of there in lightening, screw that. And no worries on these hills, I'll be right next to you next weekend and we can tell each other to shut up and pedal ;)

We'll make it, we're in this together!!!!! Just live the day, baby.

TriBoomer said...


Don't borrow worries. Focus on the task at hand. You'll be ready.

Stay tuned...

qcmier said...

And I thought it was bad when I had not one but two flats out on that course.

Sorry I couldn't make it out there today. I don't think you would have wanted to ride wuith me since I would have been irrational enough to ride through the storms.

By the way, I think the climbs on the GCT course are tougher than IM WI.

You're going to do fine. Just keep your mind on the task at hand.

Any pics of the new Busch?

Sorry to hear about your friend's dad. I'll keep them in my prayers.

Running Rabbit said...

Well water? You better be careful!

Scott said...

Perspective is wonderful and all that... but you simply can't diminish your own challenges because you think others have it worse than you (somebody always will). You are putting yourself all out in pursuit of IM Wisconsin... you have every right to question and challenge YOUR training and YOUR abilities... if not why would you bother with any of it? How else would you get better?

It's not like you're attempting some rinky dink little 5K... you're challenging yourself to complete the ultimate challenge.

I'm learning so much from your journey and rooting for you all the way.

Pharmie said...

I think that each of us signed up for IMWI are having the same doubts running through our own heads right now. I know that I'll feel better once I actually see the WI hills in person. Time to put this weekend's ride behind you and look forward to next weekend's ride!

greyhound said...

I'm only a fraction-iron guy so far, but there's a lot of time to think out there. Remember what you did to snap back control of your mind so you can do it again in the race. As long as your brain is on your team, you're golden.

DaisyDuc said...

Wow, and to think Liz almost had me conned into coming out Sunday. Don't worry about the at leaat have a very fun story to tell.

Have no will do awesome in Wisconsin! Sorry to hear about the the cancer.

Lana said...

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And you are right, it really doesn't matter. You are going to great in IMW - no doubt about it.

tri-mama said...

The comment about the midwest must be right-I had a crazy run/walk/crawl on Fri, even though I started out ready to do 2 hours-quit at 7 very slow miles-then 2 bikes that were just uninspiring-maybe or brains are smarter than us and just know when to focus intently on the training that is really go to matter-have a great ride next weekend!

Cliff said...


Part of the challenge is dealing with that screaming voice of fear and freakout.

Remember, you have come a long way. I start to remember those early morning i wake up at 5 in winter time to go run. Compare to that, what i am doing right now is nothing.

keep that image of your dad. It will be a strong motivator. I hope your dad will be ok :) He will be in my prayer....God is a healer....(thumbs up).

Kewl Nitrox said...

You're right. It don't matter, every day out is betta than one when we stay in.