Challenging Conditions Channel Courage

(I wrote this a few years ago and never posted it. Here it is)

Courae is not the absense of fear.

Triathletes are considered lunatics, not because it is outrageous to swim, bike then run, instead that these disciplines go on for endless miles, in uncontrollable conditions, and with fire-in-the-eyes determination.   The ‘Tri Bug” is basically a burst of courage to overcome a physical and mental obstacle that simultaneously humbles and builds you up.

IMLT swim start rain run

My boss came into work the day after IRONMAN Lake Tahoe’s inaugural race with a 140.6 PR, and bragging rights to the advantage of growing up in the icy mountains of Colorado.  She was prepared for the freezing air temperatures with the emergency gear, with the game plan to stay calm and the reward was to head out to KONA World Championships in Hawaii few weeks after for a work expo.  Mantra was “The sooner you finish, sooner you can thaw out in Hawaii.”   Uncomfortable and unexpected conditions are intimidating, but not impossible to overcome.

Seeing her overcome that sudden weather change challenge with courage made me relieved I didn’t have any unexpected conditions racing in San Diego.  Then… Doh!

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The choice to DNF

Falling in love with the HITS Tri Series in Lake Havasu, I was addicted to try another race of their series.  It is in Palms Springs, early December. I was thinking of another 140.6, but knew it was cold.  I heard horror stories, of 55*F water, with air temp even less.  But last year it was 61* water / 70* air, so yes it was a gamble on sign up, thus I choose the Olympic, as I have a particular goal in mind.  One week before the race the dismal forecast was out… mid 30*s for air, 58* for water… with gusts of to 60 mph, in rain! Still I wanted to see what would happen.
cold bike ..cold bike prep, it is much more torture than being on the bike than the cold water, where the water temp is warmer than air, and you have no wind in the face too. Continue reading