July 2006 Bike Odyssey--Virtual Race to Traverse City, MI--Epilogue--Things I've Learned
At the end of any journey or goal achieved, I feel there should be something learned from the experience. What I learned is as follows:
I was surprised by the physical and emotional changes that came over me as day after day I plugged along at the 175 mile goal. The actual period of time given was from July 24 to September 5, approximately 6 weeks. When I heard about the contest, the prize became secondary to the win. My goal was to accomplish this in 1 week, or not more than 8 days, taking into consideration other life experiences, work, and weather.
As each day progressed, my initial fatigue passed and I felt myself grow stronger and become more determined. It wasn't that hard, but it wasn't easy. It was more mental than physical. It was a true indication of "the body can do what the mind lets it." And while I am a 100% goal oriented person, I haven't really set my sights on anything of this magnitude for quite some time, probably at least since my last marathon 3 years ago. Then I went on a total downslide for the next 2.5 years. And the bottom line here was I did not have to do this. I wanted to, regardless of the prize.
Of course the biggest question in my mind that kept playing over and over was: if I can do 175 miles in one week, can I do 140.6 in one day?? I decided I could. At least I could try. I had learned I can commit myself to a long-term goal, breaking it down day by day, week by week, month by month, and hopefully without breaking me physically. This past week has left me stronger in both mind and body, and I can't imagine now not giving the whole IM thing a shot. Its not that it hasn't been on my mind for a long time, or that I am not constantly exposed to it. I just did not have the confidence in myself to tackle something like this--until now.
And so, tomorrow's another day!