“Perseverance is not a long race. It is many short races one after the other.”
“So, do you have your mind wrapped around this thing?” John asked me a few days before the 2015 Florida Double Anvil (double iron-distance triathlon), which was held on March 6-7 in Tampa, Florida.
He has never in all of the history of the things we’ve done asked me that question, which led me to question myself. Wait! Do I have my head wrapped around this “thing”?
“Um, I…uh, what do you mean? Do I have a race plan?” I asked.
“Not a race plan – I mean have you thought about what this is going to take?”
“I’m going to swim, bike and run until I finish,” I replied, trying to hide my creeping feelings as my brain began to whine with uncertainty.
“Okay, as long as you’ve committed up here,” John pointed to his head, “that’s what you need to do.”
Pre-race pep talk complete.
Yup, fully committed… or committable. I forget which one.
While I did my best to imagine various race day scenarios, I wonder how anyone could ever have their mind wrapped fully around this thing. I finished the race, and I’m still not sure I have my mind wrapped around what happened out there.
Pre-race, I had moments of fear, excitement, uncertainty, pleasurable anticipation, nervousness, eagerness. I cycled through the positive and the negative – working to reject the negative voices when they wanted to introduce doubt. Every time I let the idea of 281.2 miles enter my thoughts, I had an instinctive response to immediately STOP thinking about the totality.
To state the obvious: it’s a long race.
The Florida Double Anvil features a 4.8 mile swim done as 76 laps in a 50 meter outdoor pool, a 224 mile bike done as 31 laps (plus several miles of riding between the pool and Flatwoods Park where the bike and run take place), and a 52.4 mile run done as 30 laps. Between each lap on the bike and the run course, you come through “Tent City,” where all of the crews are located.