I woke up with a mango coconut smoothie and made a large batch of cucumber, green apple, lime juice to get me through the day. I rode downtown to the bike shop to pick up a few things – bicycle pump, water bottle holder, spare tube and tire lever just in case.
The sales guy was so nice to me and laughed when I whispered that I was pumping up my tires for the first time and had no idea what PSI meant. (A hint as to just how clueless I was – my tires are specked for 85 PSI and mine were at 22.) He loaded me up with the things I needed, pumped up my tires and reminded me not to compare myself to those guys on the suped up tri-bikes.
New gear in hand, I crossed the street to Ala Moana and chatted up one of the lifeguards. I checked out the channel where the swim portion of the race will be, let it start to sink in mentally. Then I hit the open road and pedaled all the way to Kualoa Regional Park (stopping for a peanut butter chocolate almond smoothie and a macadamia nut date bar at Sweet Home Waimanalo of course).
At Kualoa, 50 miles in, I sat down under a tree and called my mom and dad. I told them how hard it was to ride with the group last Saturday. I was the only one from Team in Training there and the head coach’s shoulders dropped when I showed up. It was like my presence ruined his day because he always brings up the rear and he knew I’d be so far behind.
They go so fast. I mean they actually take off and leave me in a cloud of dust. And I get so frustrated thinking Where are the people like me? Where are the beginners who just want to try something new and raise money for cancer patients? Why did I get dumped on these people who don’t even want me? I try not to look ahead after everyone passes me. It gets a bit demoralizing. Coach C was nice enough to have everyone wait at the top of Makapu’u but as soon as I arrived he got the team going again. No breaks when you’re last in line, you just have to keep moving. Not long after that Coach P, the head coach, told me to turn around. Everyone else would go farther than me and pass me on the way back anyway. So I rode home to Aina Haina by myself, had a shower and went to work.
I struggle with some of the coaches but mostly I’m disappointed in the Team in Training experience, namely because there is none. There was no kick off dinner, no orientation. There’s been no fundraising events, no team building or correspondence with survivors or local patients. Our coordinator seems to be checked out. Every now and then we get an email with schedule information, but other than that she’s absent. The TNT website swears it will hand you this life changing experience, but how could that really be true? Just like everything else in life it will be up to me to make it what I need it to be.
Back at Kualoa my mom and dad listened and responded with the same thing they’ve been saying since the day I was born. “Don’t worry about it, just do your thing. They’ve got the bikes but you’ve got the spirit. At the end of the day you thought it would be a great idea to raise money for an important charity and challenge yourself to a new adventure, and that’s exactly what you’re doing. We have no doubt you’ll cross the finish line on both accounts.”
In a word, my mom and dad are the BEST. They may have also said something along the lines of screw Coach P, he has no idea what you’re capable of and clearly has no clue how to motivate you… but let’s not worry too much about that for now…
I got back on my bike and finished the ride. All told I logged 84 miles yesterday. I climbed so many hills I almost cried. I finally got home at 6:30 PM and was fast asleep before 8:00 PM.
Speaking of important charities… please click here to visit my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraising page and donate to my efforts! Thanks so much for following!