Derick and I took a Wilderness Survival Course a week after Hawaii. It was a great change of pace to our Saturday; almost ‘like a normal couple’, doing something cool, unique and together. We drove 1 hour north of the Austin sprawl into the quiet countryside of Bertram, Texas. We spent 7 hours in a rustic little cabin with 10 others learning the basics of wilderness survival; how to be prepared for an emergency scenario, immediate human needs in case one is stranded and alone, how to make fire, how to find water. It made us both want to go camping again. It made me want to go camping and impress my friends with 6 different ways to start a fire. We finished our course with a quick lesson on compass reading, and we were taught about how ‘magnetic north’ varies from ‘true north’. Our instructor left us with the simple yet resonating message. “Go and find your own true north.”
I had my mind made up. I was going to do Ironman Chattanooga. Even if I qualified for Hawaii, it didn’t ‘make sense’. I didn’t feel I had been performing well enough to put in a respectable performance. Financially, I would drop $5k minimum to do Kona; with the pay out 10-deep, it would be tough to make a return. Chattanooga would be less expensive, less travel, and a much larger chance of ‘return on performance’ so to speak. I was absolutely certain this was the plan, and I’ll admit it felt a bit empowering knowing “even if I qualify, I’ll turn it down…it just isn’t the best decision.” As I mulled it over heavily, within 24 hours I had a complete change of heart and I told Derick, “I think I want to do Kona.” (Thankfully, he was completely on board.)
The past two races were slow to get put into writing. Sometimes you have those events whereby while you’re proud of the effort, the result in your opinion is just ‘meh’. That is how I feel about both Buffalo Springs and Racine 70.3. That said, there was a similarity in both races which is something I am proud of and that is the attitude I managed to maintain throughout and how it helped get me to the finish line; in what I feel are less than stellar 3rd and 4th places, but in reality are nothing to hang my head about.