Knock on wood and all that stuff. Trust me: I'm doing it right now.
Day by day I'm doing my best to stay focused, keep my eyes on the prize (finishing!), and staying happy/sane/healthy/happy/focused/happy/happy throughout. Did I mention...happy?
A few things that have helped me along the way?
Why I'm glad that you asked....
-Giving myself permission to climb Palomar without the bike computer/time/watts showing. Then while pedaling to the traditional START of the climb, having my curiosity get the better of me and figuring "what the hell. IF I don't like the numbers, I'll just switch the computer off. And who knows - I may surprise myself."
It turns out: I surprised myself. But I never would have known had I not given myself permission to fail, given myself permission to be okay with just climbing.
-Along the way, I learned that talking with someone else makes the time go by A LOT faster - especially when that someone is a former world record holder for the Ride Across America. Can't remember his name (I WAS working my butt off!), but have the picture to prove it. The 62-year old former Cat 1 cyclist, US Marine, and world record holder made my ride awesome.
-Thinking about Jen's other athletes - Michelle and Ange - who are also racing at Kona. Even though I've never me them, I especially feel like we're all in this together. I know that they're out there...getting the work done and everything.
-Seeing and then following Cat's Survival of the Shawangunks. The event looks incredible and is one that I would MOST DEFINITELY like to do in the future. The trail running, lake swimming, trail running, MORE lake swimming (ie - no sharks!), and running is incredible. Throw in a 30-mile bike ride at the beginning and I'm hooked. Perhaps next year...? Or the year after...? I can't decide - but know that at some point, I'll have to do it.
-Following Herrad's story and being grateful for the ability to pursue my dreams. If you haven't checked out her blog, it is truly an inspiration. I can't thank her enough for sharing her journey - access denied living with multiple sclerosis. I know that it isn't easy for her - but her posts, her honesty, and beautiful insight on life makes me pause and reflect on what is truly important.
- Hearing Don Draper's quote on last Sunday's episode of Mad Men. It's a show that Nathaniel and I try and watch together. Okay..okay...stay awake late enough to see an episode through to the very end. But Don's quote really was good:
"Our worst fears lie in anticipation..."
I was so inspired - mostly because it's been the anticipation of Kona that has me the most nervous. In addition to the fear of the unknown... At this point, I just want the race to arrive...Don's remark was perfectly timed.
(I would be remiss to NOT thank French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac, 1799-1850 who commented:
"Our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation."
So there you have it...)
- It doesn't matter the workout - I crave the carbonation at the end. And don't think I won't go for the Diet Coke if we're out of Seltzer water. Not that it happens that often...but...
- Knowing that there really ARE good people in the world. Damie worked very hard to save the life of an abused and abandoned dog - and through her hard work, Shelby Angel has a new home and more importantly, a new life. Its people like her that restore my faith in humanity.
-Following the success of Mary. I couldn't be happier that she is rediscovering her athletic-self (with the help of an incredible coach). It makes me SO HAPPY when good things happen to good people (who work hard). Mary deserves all of her success - she's been through a lot...and I couldn't be prouder. I think about her effort when I'm out 'there', pounding the pavement or going after those few extra watts.
-Finally throwing in the towel and deciding to get a new hair cut. It's been way way way too long... I was planning on waiting until after Hawaii - but seriously... I can't remember the last time I went out without my hair up in a ponytail. So now, I've got a new look.
Yes - its short...
And I'm trying to figure out new ways of keeping it off my face for the race. And I'm still trying to get used to it (it is SHORT for me...). But hey, I wouldn't go back given the choice, because it is WAY better than the mop I had before.
Plus, it was super fun walking out of the salon with styled and bouncy and CUTE hair. Trust me when I say its a rarity for me.
The little things...right?
In a nutshell - there you have it. I'm sure there are more things, but I just can't think of them at this point. So without further ado...
Our worst fears lie in anticipation....
Remember that. Because I sure as heck am trying...