A few hours after running the Sweetheart, I found myself on my bike in the basement, spinning out an Aero Base Builder. After all, Saturdays are for the bike, not running races, so there was no question I should do the spin after resting and recovering from the race.
I have an Apple TV with a number of Spinervals set up on it, and that and its monitor sit on top of an old TV. So when I went downstairs the ironman was on, however, I didn't turn it on right away. There was the fact I'd already seen it once. There was also the fact that, well, I have a little bit of a sore spot there.
It's an hard thing to get by. I'm really fortunate to train with, know, and even be coached by people who not only have been in the big show, but conquered it nicely. As someone who never thought about qualifying, to have qualified and then not gone is- it makes it a little difficult to watch this ninety minute celebration of other people at Kona. Which is incredibly selfish. So after refusing to turn it on during the first five minutes of my spin, I did flip the TV on.
Of course, I was glad I did. It's good to get past your own selfish hangups. There are the obligatory reminders about how good you really have it. There was the kid with the scar running the length of his chest, the blind man, the guy with zero legs.
But what really affected me was Rutger Beke. My own race at IM Arizona was brought back to me in force. I was embarrassed. I was shocked with myself, but mostly, I was just disappointed. And then I watched this man, a true professional, an accomplished athlete, the sort of guy who is looking at breaking not just 11 hours, or 10, but who is a top ten finisher, and multiple Kona finisher. And there he was, honouring the race, walking the marathon not because he wanted a finisher's medal, not because he planned to walk the marathon, but because he could no longer run.
That was something. That is something I'll take into races with me, a reminder about determination, about looking inside yourself to find something, even when nothing is left...