For the Record…
That 54 on my Puegeot? I own it. Turns out all Mama needed was some SPD pedals and a little dash of anger to get me movin’. With both ingredients in place, I killed last night’s commute home. I rode fast, tipsy, and without a tail-light. Tipsy and tail-light are not recommended. Fast, however, is strongly advised. My friend and co-worker, Ant, trailed me home to provide rear-tail-light visibility.
This is also the kid that I mentioned earlier who did a half-ironman last Saturday.
He did it alone, without a wetsuit, and drove himself 3 hours each way there and back in the same day.
So let’s get this straight: kid wakes up at 2 in the morning and drives to Bend. Goes through rat-race driving all over the course and back trying to get a straight answer from people about registration. Begins said race wearing a rented wetsuit that turns out to be too small. Flags down a boat, offloads the wetsuit, and finishes the swim in just his skin and a pair of tri-shorts (the only one in the field to do this). I happen to know on good authority that he swims more like a rock than a fish. He stays focused on each buoy as they appear on the horizon in front of him. Promises himself to just keep moving. Actually, I think he put it like this: “I gave myself two choices: die or keep going.”
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m already impressed.
Then he hauls his soggy ass out of the water, mounts his road bike and heads off on the 56 mile bike ride, which turns out to be hillier than he expected. Halfway through the ride his back is tweaked because he’s not riding the bike he trained on (*cough* *Jackass* *cough*) so he considers his options: “Die or keep going?”
He finishes the ride. (I’m glad because he’s nice and I think I prefer him alive)
Now all he has to do is knock off a wee little 13.1 mile run. No sweat. Sort of.
Long and short? He finishes. Gets in his car. Drives himself home.
Let me tell you – I know a little bit about his training. This isn’t a tri-geek who goes out with some prescribed training schedule and eats like a freak (me), carefully ramping up to the day of the event, pulling two-a-days and back-to-backs. In fact, I think he only swam 3 or 4 times before the event. He rides his bike to work everyday (12 miles total) and put in some good long rides during the 5 weeks leading up to the event. I can’t imagine he runs more than 15 miles a week.
My point? His “training” was sketchy at best. If you really think about it, he shouldn’t really have been able to do it. Ask anyone who is serious about training for these kinds of events – they’ll go on and on about training techniques and minimum weekly miles…
This kid goes out and hammers it out with grit and guts and sheer determination. Sure, he’s fit. But it’s his head that got him across that finish line. It was his head that forced him to drive himself down in the middle of the night after his lodging in Bend fell through.
He is one of the most self-reliant, headstrong, determined, inspiring mother-fuckers I have ever met.
But aren’t all endurance types? Just a little?
I made sure he knew I was proud of him (and happy that he lived through the swim… jesus) and I am. People like Ant force me to shut my big, floppy mouth and start producing. He goes out and gets it done and will tell you about it afterward, not before.
For everything I’ve ever done, every run I’ve ever run… there are people like Ant showing me how to be better. Say less, do more. Die or keep going?
Just keep going.