Last week I spent hours stalking this blog hard. It’s written by a gal named Maria who never gave up. She was on a mission to qualify for Kona, and after a few attempts, she got it. I devoured every race recap she wrote, appreciating her honesty and her dedication to just BELIEVE. If you’re looking for inspiration, go read her recaps!
Later that day, I sent John a text
Here’s what you need to know about me: I’m currently 33 years old, I’ve done two Ironman events (both with a 14+ hour finish), my stand-alone marathon PR is 4:27, I struggle on the bike, I’m not entirely certain I can fix a flat tire, and I give up easily. What I’m trying to say is that I don’t feel like I have the right to even dream of Kona.
The day I sent that text, I went for a bike ride. Murphy’s Law in my world means that on days that I bike, it is ridiculously windy out. Weather.com showed it to be 20 mph wind that day. I was all amped up after reading Maria’s journey to Kona, and something in my head screamed “Go ride in that wind like it’s Hawaii!” I did, I fought it! I hunkered down, I pedaled, I didn’t give up, my head was on right for a change. I ended up having my fastest bike ride to date, 20 miles at 17 mph!
A few days after that bike ride I had my stupid half marathon bonk at the Madison Mini Marathon. The give-up voice in my head reminded me, I really don’t have a right to dream of Kona.
On Monday, Mother Nature gave me the joy of battling 20+ mph wind for my long ride. The first hour of my ride was into the wind, with sections where the fastest I could possibly move my bike was 8 mph. Even going downhill into this wind I could only crank out 10 mph. It was nuts. I kept going. It’s windy in Kona I hear. I got 35 miles in with a 16.1 mph average, which is a good ride for me.
The day after I took my bike out again, battling half the wind, but on tired legs from Monday’s workout. The bike ride was still a struggle. After an hour on the bike I went for a hilly-ish brick run, finishing 6 miles with a 9:30 pace, again, decent splits for me.
While I know it’s a ridiculous dream for me, I’m going to borrow some of Maria’s BELIEVE attitude. The fact that in 20+mph wind I didn’t consider taking my ride indoors proves that I have some fight in me. Anybody can train in perfect conditions. I might bitch about the conditions, but I’ll train in them anyway. Maybe six years of training in quirky Wisconsin conditions will help get me there.