Sunday, August 30, 2009

Race day doesn't care about you

It was past time. Way past time.

I was heading out for my first - and long overdue - 50-mile bike the other Sunday. The temperature was in the mid nineties, and it seemed to be competing with the humidity for first place.

Gary and I were at my sister-in-law's visiting with the family after church. Nearly everyone was taking advantage of the pool's refreshing powers, but I needed to leave early to head out for my ride.

As I began to work my way around the patio saying my goodbyes, telling them why I needed to leave early, everyone insisted that I should be swimming instead and thought I was crazy for taking on such a task.

Swimming just might have been the wiser decision, but I had very few weeks left before my next tri to put-out some good bike mileage. I, quite simply, had not a smidgen of room to care what the weather was that day...because Race Day won't be caring about me.

Race Day doesn't care that I either am or am not prepared for the brutality with which it might treat me. It's going to be what it's going to be, in all of its limitless characters and shades, regardless of what, where or who I am at the time.

I thought of this on my next ride, a 30-miler heading south of town on a boring, overcast afternoon. I was feeling quite zippy for the first half of the ride. The moment I turned around to come home I immediately knew why. I'd had the fortune of a tailwind, that was now, due to the simple turning of my bike 180-degrees around, my enemy.

I thought, more than once, that I wish that I had been closer to home because I'd just call it quits. Then I was grateful that home was 15 miles away, because I was left with no choice but to toughen it out...and to toughen-up.

My next tri is on the same course as my second tri from last year where the headwinds became so brutal, according to a story a friend in the tri club told me yesterday, a several-time Kona qualifier called it quits. Of course, we were experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Ike, now also known as Landicane Ike, but that particular course, regardless of landicanes, is prone to headwinds.

So, here's to going out of your way to look for the unusual training day, because Race Day could care less about you, but you'd better be caring about it.


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