Getting it all done
Several of my in person peeps and online buddies had signed up for Ironman Victoria 70.3. I had heard something like 25 people from RTB had signed up for the race. I do not like it when others are having fun without me. It’s like not getting invited to the high school dance. Some don’t care, but I didn’t want to sit that one out. Plus, with 6 very local people going, I thought I would be training with them anyway, so why not race.
A 140.6 distance race is a daunting task. Too much for my will power these days. Going that distance takes a ton of work. And a few minor miscalculations and the suffering continues for hours. I have great fear and respect for that race. A 70.3 race has room for error and can be accomplished without requiring 20 weeks out of your life.
Here is what I observed
- We live in different geographic locations but are linked together electronically. Strava and Facebook brought together people who we normally would have little contact with. Using Strava what the boys are doing in Renton without having to ask is convenient. Pictures and stories get posted on facebook. Imagine not having an athlete tracker?
- Victoria is a great place to race. I loved everything about the race. The canadians treated us very well. They actually respect the rights of bikers on the road, a rare thing these days. The weather was perfect.
The swim: Mark Casey and I started with the 35:-40: minute swim group because we usually swim that distance in about 40 minutes. Poor choice! I was passing swimmers most the day, and if I were not doing that I was getting kicked, pushed and shoved around worse than other swim races.
The ride: Fun! Lots of rolling hills and turns. Vancouver island is a beautiful place to ride. I noticed about ¼ of seasoned racers chose road bikes with clip-ons to take advantage of the turns and hills. Should I do the race next year, I will do the same.
The run: Good Stuff! A mostly gravel trail with a few hills and occasional root. It was shaded most of the time as it ran around the scenic lake. It is would be easy to turn in a fast run split if there would be such a thing.
It is the people that make a race an event! Training with others takes the sting out of doing it alone. Yuk. It is great getting to know new and different people without the distraction of the local comfortable stuff. Grazing on food together and swapping stories with those you don’t know is a plus! Even the travel up there was fun between a short road trip followed by a ferry ride. What is not to like about that?
(Almost) everybody was happy with their race! So far as I know, it was fun for all. We all earned bragging rights. It was great to see so many familiar faces before, during and after the race. RTB now has gelled into a real team complete with good attitudes and humility even though some totally rocked the course.
What did I learn? Mostly, you get what you deserve. Put in the time, work, planning and energy and it will come back to you with the result you deserve. That is a simple non-negotiable fact!
Things don’t always go according to the plan! Tires flat out. Nerves or a poor food choice may wreck your whole training plan. Maybe you didn’t click “save” when you purchased that ferry ticket. The growing comes when your stretched to make the training, travel and whatever happens during the race work out to your benefit. It forces growth and betterment of yourself.