I faced a big fear this past week. It’s going to sound crazy, because why would someone that is afraid to go biking with a group be entered in a Half Ironman, right?? Well, my fear came from the fear of not being able to keep up with this well-versed group of bikers. They know what I’m training for and they have encouraged me several times in the past couple of weeks to go biking since the weather has been so nice. Up until a week ago, I never took them up on their offer. Not because they are not nice, not because I thought they would be upset if/when I couldn’t keep up, but because I didn’t want to hold them back. My fear of holding them back, was what was holding me back. So finally, after the gentle nudging of a good friend and another good friend’s daughter agreed to come watch my boys while rode, I set out for my FIRST road bike adventure with my new road bike (that I got used two years ago….yes, you read that right….). It’s the first road bike I have ever ridden. In the past it’s always been mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. This is a road bike…with skinny tires….
For those of you reading who may be unaware of the biking routes in Southwest WI, let’s just say they’re hilly. And that is an understatement. There are no routes outside of town that are flat. None. At least none that I am aware of. I am a chicken going down hills. I ride the break and cringe as I see the people I’m riding with fly down them. I’ve never had a bad fall….not even close. So again, the fear of what could happen is holding me back.
I was SO glad that I rode that day. We went for about 26 miles of a challenging, hilly route. Almost half of what I will have to ride on race day-on a course that I hear is flat and fast! Music to my ears. I went out again later in the week. This time I was challenged to a really tough hill, but I made it up. No stopping. Another small victory. I know I will not be the fastest biker or runner out there. But this past week has shown me that I CAN do it! I will be fine on the last two legs of this journey. I am SO grateful for the ladies I biked with those two days. They were so helpful, so encouraging, just plain AWESOME! I can’t wait to train with them some more. I know they will help me with this leg of the journey.
Now…I have to figure out the swimming part. Remember that post a few times back when I was so excited that I swam some freestyle and that because a wetsuit doesn’t work real well for breaststroke, I was going to have to learn to swim it? Well, the past few times I have swam, I have felt my shoulder give a little as the yards piled up. I know if my shoulder sublucts (pops out) on race day, it’ll be really nearly impossible to finish. So, now I’m back to the drawing board on swimming. My plan this week is to talk to more people who have done the half and see if there is anyway to do it without a wetsuit and swim breaststroke. Or if there is a type of wetsuit better suited for breaststroke. That is my last piece to this puzzle that is causing me some anxiety. I honestly feel really good about the other two pieces. I won’t be fast, but I WILL finish. I WILL Bstrong!