Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Really NOT About The Bike

With another Ironman looming in the not-too-distant future, obsessing about the race starts to balloon in my thoughts.  Am I taking the right bike for the climbs?  Are my shoes going to feel good for the run?  Will my goggles fog?  Have I trained enough?  Hydration, nutrition, endurance - oh my!

But after reading Bob Babbitt's narrative in Triathlete Magazine about his first Iron Journey in 1979, I'm 100 percent sure that it's NOT about carbon fiber, locking laces or aerobars.

Here's a brief excerpt from his article:
Bob Babbitt and friend - slowtwitch.com

"(In 1980, I) bungee-corded a (radio) to the padded handlebars of my $75 fire-damaged police auction bike, which also had a fuzzy raccoon seat cover, solid rubber tires because I couldn't change a flat plus panniers holding my sleeping bag and tent.  Since I thought Ironman was a two-day event (swim 2.4 and ride 56 on day one, ride 56 and run 26.2 on day two) it made sense to carry a portable hotel room, right?

When I emerged from Ala Moana Channel, I put on my long-sleeve shirt along with khaki shorts and belt, mounted up and headed off on the second part of my Ironman adventure.  Riding through Waikiki I turned on my radio and started to enjoy a day that I will never forget.

My crew gave me a Big Mac, fries and a Coke about 25 miles into the ride, a root beer snow cone at mile 80 and then a 45-minute massage between the bike and the run, which means I probably have one of the longest Ironman bike-to-run transitions ever.  

The marathon was more of a walk a shuffle than a run, but it didn't matter.  By that time I had already surprised myself.  I had no idea that I could complete this unbelievable event all in one day.  So when I did, I felt like I now had this business card in my pocket for the rest of my life that let me know I could accomplish anything I set my mind to - whether it was in business, sport or life."

Indeed, it's ALL about the journey and the experience -- not about a ten thousand dollar bike.

Enjoy the event.  Train hard.  And as Dori says, "Just keep swimming!"

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Que lindo es sonar despierto.
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