Well I have been riding for TransIowa and my blog has been quiet but believe me my mind has not been. Here is a recent thread post that I put on beginner triathlete and shows a small glimpse of where my brain was last week :)
Well in 3 weeks plus less than 18 hours I will be at a predetermined, yet unknown, starting line in Grinnell, Iowa ready to ride 320 miles in 32 hours or less. I will have directions to the first checkpoint, nervous flutters in my stomach, a mind racing like mad, and the knowledge that I have ridden as many possible days since last years DNF and with as much intensity as I had each day. Nothing else
Checkpoint #1 will be somewhere in the 40-60 mile range most likely, based on previous years editions. It will be a fun start with a rollout of about 1-2 miles depending on how it is set up and there is rumor it is going to be police escorted! I will hit checkpoint #1 well within time, get my directions, to checkpoint #2, refill some water and get some fuel in me, and head out.
Checkpoint #2 - Last year it was 110 miles away. We had until 7:00pm to make it. Those 110 miles were on some of the most desolate and hilly roads that I have ever seen. 90% of it was gravel. 10% was either asphalt or "b" class roads that forced you to walk you bike! I had never experienced a hurt tank like I did last year and fortunately I had someone along side me to get my mind back into it and to Eric I will be grateful forever!!! Somewhere after the truck stop refueling and equipment shuffling and checkpoint #2 I lost Eric. I turned around and he was gone. We spoke afterwards and he just said he dropped off the back like we each had been doing over the course of 70-80 miles, made a wrong turn, and we were separated. I made it to checkpoint #2 in time but, as some on here that know me, I declined the offer to take a new set of directions, bailed on the race, called the sag wagon in, and went back to the hotel!
This week I have been focusing on Checkpoint #2, my mindset, and my physical state as well. I could have continued - my legs were still strong but my mind was shot! Every spin of my crank since last May has been for 1 goal and 1 goal only - not to just stand at the starting line with some of the strongest (physically and mentally) bike riders in the midwest and other parts of the US, but to have my rear tire roll into an unknown barn location in Grinnell, Iowa some 26+ hours later as a finisher of TransIowa V6.
I do not seek victory - I seek understanding.
I do not want accolades - I want peace.
I do not seek something that is unattainable - I seek the feeling of seeing friends and family that have persevered through my training over the last 3+ years as I have sought first physical strength, and then mental fortitude to complete this journey.
I want to thank those that have shared words with me about my attempt from before last year, to the heartfelt anguish words of failing, and back again to the start line this year.
This will not be Bill Graves crossing the finish line - it will be wgraves7582 of www.beginnertriathlete.com crossing the finish line.
There will be other journeys in the future. This I know. But as the saying goes I have this fish to fry first. After that watch out because you are going to be reading about some sick events that I am training for!
BT Rocks!!!! (A little picture from the middle of Iowa for those that think it is flat!)