Monday, May 10, 2010

Wildflower 2010

May 1, 2010 - Race Report Part 1

"I may not be a finisher, but I'm definitely a winner." I've been repeating that mantra since about 3:15pm Pacific time on Saturday, May 1. For the bicycle gods were not kind to me you see. Not one, but two flat tires foiled my attempt to finish the Long Course at Wildflower this year. Between myself and Mike the SAG guy the flats got fixed and I completed all 56 miles of the bike course, but I only managed to get through 57.3 miles of the 70.3 I was aiming for overall. As with most races there were time cutoffs - and I missed the one that would have allowed me to start the run course and finish those last 13.1 miles on my feet.

Disappointed? You bet. Horribly disappointed and riddled by "What if?"s Friends and supporters keep telling me not to beat myself up. I was fairly hysterical as I sped down the final hill on Charlie with the knowledge that I would not be able to continue once I hit the transition area. A little white car had come up beside me somewhere between miles 50 and 53 out of 56 (I seem to have blocked exactly when) and the men inside informed me that the run course had closed. "I can't do the run?" I asked, still pedaling. "I'm afraid not," they said. "You mean I can't run?" I asked again. "No, we're sorry," they said. "We can take you in or you can finish the bike course, just be aware that the roads are open to traffic." A brief hesitation and then I continued on.

In the last few miles I passed cars and lingering spectators and even a portion of the run course as the rest of the field finished up the race. And as I got to the chute heading into transition, I knew I would need to let go of 2010 and set my sights on Wildflower 2011. The timing mats had already been removed and if you look at the official results, I only have a swim time (and a decent one at that.) As my dear co-worker Karen says, I successfully completed the Wildflower Biathlon.

But here's the part that makes me a winner - that night at the 2nd Inspiration Dinner for the 400+ Team In Training participants from across the country participating in the Wildflower Triathlon that weekend, I was announced as the 9th highest fundraiser. The NYC Chapter had 3 of the top ten fundraisers in the country for Wildflower and I was one of them. That is what truly counts. That is what means more than the shiny medal I didn't get this year. That is what means more than another embarrassing finish line photo that didn't get taken. Months of training and bothering all of you may not have ended the way I had hoped, but I couldn't ask for anything more wonderful than the tremendous support I have received and the success I have had where it matters the most.

My initial goal was to be able to say I had raised $25,000 over 3 seasons. That milestone was blown out of the water. 128% of my fundraising goal this season alone. Nearly $9,000 this season and nearly $27,000 overall. I could not be more humbled or more grateful.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't say it enough. Thank you for your donations, thank you for your kind words, thank you for your faith in me and thank you for defining "team" in an astonishing way. Donors, teammates, coaches, bike shops, co-workers and friends made up the best Team a girl could hope for. I hope you won't mind if I ask for your support again next year :) Wildflower Long Course 2011 - I'm coming for you.

Stay tuned for a more complete recounting of what turned out to be an amazing weekend.

I did a little googling for some inspirational quotes -

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

And I can't believe I'm going to quote a sports figure but:

Michael Jordan:
If it turns out that my best wasn't good enough, at least I won't look back and say that I was afraid to try; failure makes me work even harder.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, really sorry you didn't get to finish, but there clearly are silver linings, and you'll get another shot at it. Great job...