Thursday, August 6, 2009

How two flat tires can prepare you for Ironman

...and NO...Im not talking about the kind on your bike...

Its Thursday! Thursdays are a pivotal day in my training week. It usually is a day that I am battling serious fatigue and have to really focus to get my body out of bed for a workout. This morning the alarm went off..and I was up...ready for a swim at Lucky's Lake. No struggle today...but my body had other ideas.

I was running a little behind (I just have to have a small cup of coffee before I hit the water) so I arrived at Lucky's greeted by a full house and a full parking area. I parked my car on the street and headed into Dr. Meisenheimer's yard. As I approached the dock, I noticed it was a busy day with about 40 or 50 people ready to swim.

I entered the water and after about 2 strokes I knew today was going to be rough. My body needs a rest day but I continued forward determined to get the laps in.

I exited the water, grabbed my gear and headed for my car. Tossing the gear into the backseat as I always do, I turn the vehicle on and headed home.

As I got out of my car at home, I heard this horrible hissing sound...coming out of not ONE but TWO tires on my SUV!! Crap!! This is just not what I need today as I inspected the tires for leaks. Two perfect slices in each sidewall look pretty suspicious but my concern was getting the vehicle to the shop and getting it back up to speed. My friend Rick called AAA and I called the Tire Store. I shopped 3 companies and found the best price and by the time the tow truck arrived, I had the proper address for the driver. The shop got my car and had the tires being brought in and the work will be completed in a couple of hours.

As I drove my friend Rick's extra car to my workout with Hector, I started to think of how I could learn from this situation. How could I apply a double flat on my car to Ironman and it came to me....I never got upset about it. Sure, I was surprised to find my SUV listing to the left from the flats but I didn't go to pieces. If this had been a year or two years ago..I probably would have been a mess or in tears.

Ironman is not only about strength and speed and determination but also about problem solving. If you watched last year's world championship, you saw the women's leader Chrissie Wellington on the side of the road with a blown tire and no Co2 canister to fill the flat. She problem solved. She asked for a pump. She asked other racers for assistance (which is legal). Finally, word got back to a friend on the course who offered up her Co2 canister to fill her tire. I watched as Chrissie stayed calm and then, at a blistering pace, took back the lead of the bike course after the tire was fixed. She didn't panic. She problem solved her way to a second world championship title.

The mental game of this race is one of the things I think I can control and wish to focus on in the coming weeks. There have been quite a number of people who have crossed the finish line while others watching have said : NO WAY. I want to be one of those people who beat the odds. I KNOW I can be one of those people. I just got to get my head in the game!!

1 comment:

Tri Mommy said...

You go girl! You know it kind of makes you wonder if Chrissy Wellington still would have won if the first racer she asked actually had helped. Would she have had the drive to really kick it in, or did the adversity fuel her? Now, granted she's fast as can be so she probably would have still won because well, she's Chrissy Wellington, but let's think in terms of us non-professionals shall we? : )