Monday, May 25, 2015

Journey to IRONMAN: 3 Weeks: The Bike

Well folks, here we are again.  This time with only 3 weeks left until the big Half IRONMAN day.  I successfully finished my final BIG week of training and am now in that glorious time of taper and rest.  After my de-railer incident, my poor bike had to be in the shop until last Tuesday. I had seriously begun to wonder if I was ever going to successfully beat my 60 mile goal before IRONMAN.  Thank the Lord though, I did it!  Logging over 100 miles on the bike last week felt amazing.  

Its really funny, tell anyone that you are doing an IRONMAN and right after the "I don't know how you do it,"  you always get the "I could never do the swim!"  I'm telling you, the swim has got people scared to death.  Doesn't matter that it is the shortest distance you have to go and that to accomplish the 1.2 miles will only take about 45 minutes.  The swim is the fear factor of nearly 95% of people I have encountered.  That's funny to me because, um hello? The biking is 56 miles (112 in a full) and will take a whopping 3.5 hours to complete if I am feeling good, and if the bike stays in good shape and if I fuel right.  The cycling portion of the IRONMAN is where my race either happens or doesn't.  I can run 13.1 miles in my sleep.  Even tired I can do it.  But the bike......thats the fear factor.  It's so big and covers so much distance.

The map seems fairly undaunting, but its big.  Now don't worry, I have it.  I can do it.  I know without doubt that I can, but I am acutely aware of the scope of the cycling part of this race.  Boulder sits in the foothills which means that the elevation will be above 5000 feet and its mountainous.  Below is the elevation map for the ride.  There are hills.  Not big gut wrenching climbs, but enough climbing to create a challenge for energy conservation.  I've got it.  Don't worry.  But again.....Its BIG.  

My goal is to complete my race in 6:30.  Yes, that's 6 hours and 30 minutes.  It will be the longest I have EVER consecutively raced.  My bike will easily take up more than 1/2 of that time.  It's a good thing Lady Trek is in better shape than she's ever been in!

I've got it.......Don't worry!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm Amazing

I headed out yesterday on my 2nd attempt to conquer 60 miles.  I was riding with a girlfriend of mine that I just met  a while ago.  About a quarter of the way through the ride she came up behind me and said, "Man, you are a rockstar, you're amazing."  I said thanks and humbly brushed it aside.  It's not the first time I have heard it.  My husband is the most supportive man I know.  I hear daily especially during this IRONMAN training time that I am amazing.  With every utterance of it I tend to brush it aside.  Not in an arrogant way, but more in a "no I'm really not kind of way."  I don't see myself as amazing.  Driven, yes.  Strong, yes. A wee bit crazy, yep, but AMAZING?...........not really.  There are far superior beings that have done amazing and world changing things.  I'm just me doing my thing.  Conquering my 60.  How natural it is to be self deprecating.

Well, it happened this week, a conversation that was pivotal, eye opening and life changing.  My Lily has had a hard few months.  There has been so much change, she has been asked to leave friends and make friends, move in with her sister, start a new school, take a hiatus from her beloved swim lessons and a host of other changes, like adjust to a new Mac n Cheese when the store was out of her favorite.  For some, those things are easy to brush off, but not for Lily.  And lets face it, getting her to be able to communicate the why's for her behavior is tough...she's 4.  But this week was different.

We had had a rough morning.  One of those mornings where nothing was working right and she just couldn't get on task at all.  She was frustrated.....I was frustrated.  So we got in the car headed towards the zoo and I asked her like I always do, "Lily, what's going on honey?  Is something bothering you?" She waited and then the floodgates opened, "Mommy, you are better than me at everything, I can't ever remember to do things right, I don't eat my dinner, I don't know how to cook.  You are so fast in the pool and you can ride your bike bigger than me.  I don't know how to make my bed and I always get angry.  I miss my friends and I miss our rec center.  When will I be big like you and know how to do stuff?"

I have to admit I smiled a little bit.  Haven't we all been there.

It's different being a girl though.  Its hard out there and our culture and sinful world are constantly berating our ladies and bringing to light "inadequacies."  Everything in our world tends to scream at us "you are not enough!" "Be better, be brighter, be thinner, be prettier, be smarter!"  "You are not enough, be AMAZING!"

We learn at a very early age to take a compliment and brush it to the side. We learn to be self deprecating.  We learn to look at ourselves through glasses half empty instead of glasses half full.

I turned to Lily with new eyes and told her that she was amazing, not because of what she could do, but because she, Lily Grace, is amazing!  I told her that I wouldn't want her to be anyone else, because she's Lily and the perfect person to be her.  I told her that she is going to do great things, not because there is some standard to meet, but because she just is.  Amazing is baked right into her.

And then I realized something, I'm amazing too.  I am.  And instead of brushing that compliment to the side or downplaying it, I'm going to start embracing it and seeing myself through glasses half full.  I'm amazing because I am a child of God.  I am amazing because I can do great things.  I am amazing because I won't quit.  I am amazing because I am me, Bethany Longmire, and no one can be me better.

I am Amazing......

and in case no one has said it.......You are too!