Sunday, June 1, 2014


There are a few of you, as in maybe TWO, who remember the first time I did Elephant Rock in 2005.

There I am.

Do you see the look of fear?

Actually, I felt pretty good about it, but I had no idea what "being in cycling shape" even meant. I hadn't trained for the ride; unless you consider a few one hours rides, here and there, "training".

This was the bike elevation profile:
Needless to say, I got my ass kicked that day.

A 35 mile ride, turned into an over FOUR HOUR event. When I finished, my legs were like jelly, and my butt hurt we shouldn't talk about it.

I did ERock again today, after missing it last year because I opted to do a tri that weekend.

Even though I've done this tour many times over the years, for some reason, today felt a little different. I was able to remember my very first time, almost every step of the way.

The first time I ever did ERock, Mr. Tea and the boys went to support me. Of course, in my overestimation of my abilities (which I was VERY good at doing), I told them that it would take me about 2 hours.

Three hours in....I had to call Mr. Tea and let him know that I still had about 10 miles to go. If you look at the map, I still had some climbing to do.

Today, I went right through that "checkpoint" at around 1:45.

The first time I ever did ERock, I finished in over 4 hours. Today, I finished in about 2:20.

I think (particularly for people who are new to multisport or running or cycling or swimming or anything) it's easy to think that people have a natural gift for speed or endurance in events. And that IS true in cases. I'm MUCH better on the bike and in the water than I am running.

But people want results fast. It's taken me 9 years to get where I am, and most of my gains have been only in the past few years. I'm not even a top age grouper.

If you really want to get really good at a sport or get fast or be a top age grouper, it takes a lot of work and dedication. In other words, it takes years.

When you first start out, you'll see improvement pretty quickly. Going from a 33:00 5K to a 29:00 5K can happen quickly. Going from a 26:00 5K to a 24:00....not so easy. Going from 10mph to 15 on the bike, easy. Going from 22mph to 26, not so easy. The list goes on and on and on.

The first time I rode ERock as a took me 9 hours and 30 minutes to finish.

That's where "Enjoy the journey" comes from. If you're focused on the end result, you're going to miss out on all the good stuff, where the memories come from. You could have PR after PR; then hit a dry spell and not PR for awhile. It doesn't mean you can't get faster. When that happens, you need to make a change. You're constantly evolving as an athlete. Things that worked for me in 2008, don't work for me now.

When you get to the point, where you really are starting to slow down, that's when "enjoying the journey" because the most important. We all need to enjoy what we do for the sheer reason of doing something fun regardless of the outcome.

When you stop enjoying it, that means it's time for a change.