Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Destiny

Between photo boothing and the weather my workout schedule has gotten a little off. I was supposed to do a 6-1/2 ride followed by a 45 minute run over the weekend, but I just couldn't get it done. So, I had planned on doing it on Monday and pushing things back and shuffle things around for the next week. But looming in the next week was a 7-1/2 hour ride shooting for 112-120 miles. Early into the ride I decided I was just going to give the full thing a-go.

I had decided since I was doing the ride by myself that I'd ride to my sister's house and back twice and then throw in a little extra at the end of the ride. This way I was close to home in case something happened and also to make it easier to refill the bike with nutrition. The first trip out to my sister's house was interrupted with a short jaunt to my parents' to empty my bladder. I was seven miles into the ride...it was going to be one of those days. :) But, this added a few miles so I decided to keep the trek to my parents' house on the agenda for both ways. This would mean that finishing two loops would come up to 94 miles. The first 47 were pretty uneventful. I found some roads out by my sister's house were in the process of being chip sealed (gravel and then asphalt--yeah, she lives in the country) so I decided not to take those roads a second time.

The second time I got to my sister's house (around 70 miles) I was starting to feel bad. My shoulders were super-sore, my knees were achy, I was tired of being on my bike. I had a hard time taking a bathroom break and wanting to get started again. If she didn't have a million kids around, I might have asked her for a ride home. The workout description said "don't quit," so I wasn't going to. Around 77 miles I was starting to lose it mentally. The wind was in my face and I realized I still had somewhere between 35 and 40 miles left for this ride. That's still a lot more miles! Eighty miles into it, I was arguing with myself. Out loud. "Come on, Meredith. You're the strongest person I know mentally." "No, I'm not." "You can do this." "No I can't!" By the time I made it back to the house at 94 miles, I was toast.

I called Dave and he gave me a little pep talk. He told me to just take the next 18 miles in smaller steps: get to the end of the street, make it into New Albany, try to ride out to Abercrombie. Okay, I could do that. I started out again and I was actually feeling better. My knees and shoulders weren't hurting as much and I felt like I had a second wind. Yes, I could do this.

And then I got to thinking. Last night I was watching Holly's World. Shut up! You know you watch it too! She said in the episode that having big boobs was her destiny. He he he! But in all seriousness it got me thinking. Becoming an Ironman is my destiny. I have wanted to achieve this goal for as long as I can remember. When I was little I used to watch the Hawaii Ironman, sobbing, telling my dad that I was going to do that some day. It's been the number one goal on my Life List since it existed. This is my destiny.

At 100 miles I cheered out loud. Around 104 miles I was brought back down to reality. Something was squishy, and it happened to be my back tire. Crap! I've never had a flat tire. EVER! So I found some shade and called Dave. He talked me through changing it while on the phone. And I totally did it by myself. I wish I had pictures to prove it. Sure it might have taken me a half hour, but I had that back tire on in no time. :) I was riding again and I was going to finish this b!tch! Except a few miles later I was squishy again. Gosh darn it! I must have done something wrong. I had one more CO2 cartridge but not another tube. At 107.5 miles, I was done. I had to call Dave to come pick me up.

As it turns out, I didn't do anything wrong. There was a stone stuck in the tire that had punctured both my tubes. I probably got it at that newly chip sealed road 80 miles prior and it just took that long to actually puncture the tire. So, now I know how to change a tire and I know that I can do it successfully, albeit slowly.

Although I didn't get the full 112 miles in, I know I can finish the ride. I had some dark miles late in the ride, but from everyone I've heard from that's pretty common. One more big ride left before the big day....


jeff said...

that's the neat thing about endurance events...and i'm not talking about marathons. the marathon is all pain and too short to have true highs and lows. once you start doing something, riding, running, swimming, etc, for more than 5-6 hours, you start to vacillate between highs and lows. the amazing thing is that with proper nutrition, you can go on and on and on, AND the difficulty never always gets worse. at some point it plateaus and knowing what that max discomfort or max dark spot is going to be like makes it easier to keep going. the two important things are to keep up with your nutrition and to never stop. it looks like you made both of those breakthroughs on this ride. that's more than half of the battle and makes your goal so much more attainable.

good job, mer.

M said...

way to stick it out - i think we've all been to the "eff this i'm quitting" point. it's not those last few miles that's going to make or break you at Ironman - its your ability to mentally power through the dark spots.

at this point, you will be able to cover those race miles - no problem. so even if you didn't cover all the miles you planned in this particular session, you got something far more valuable out of that session - mental toughness - that's going to ultimately get you to that finish line.

"pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." yeah, that seems to sum it up.

oh, and nice job on the tire changing!!

Middle Name Marie said...

Good job on the ride. Reading your post, I can tell how strong you are. You will def be an ironman.

Don't worry--I saw the episode of "Holly" too.

Mary IronMatron said...

You did, Meredith! Awesome! I totally know the head battle you talked about.
Great job with the tire, too. Definitely check the inside of your tire for glass/stone before you put in the next tube. What happened to you has happened to me many a time... and when I get home I find the culprit.