I didn´t finish. I´m so sorry for letting down the high hopes and well wishers. I truly appreciate all and every comment of support that have come through my blog, Facebook or via e-mail.
Most of all I´m sorry for my crew. They have had to put up with my temper tantrums, demanding persona and God-awful early mornings on my behalf and they have carried my flag of motivation through the worst of times. The single reason I finished yesterdays stage was the fact that I couldn´t bare to DNF and look them in their eyes as long as I could still stand on my legs. Once pride, vanity, ego, ambition and other forces of usual motivation are used up, that kind of respect is all that keeps one moving.
But yesterday beat the shit out of me. All I had in the way of mental fortitude, spiritual strength and raw primal energy was pretty much taxed. I just couldn´t hurt myself that way again. Not so soon. And today hurt. It hurt from the get go. The easy way out would have been to gracefully bow out prior to the stage, citing injury or whatever. But there´s rarely an easy way out at these races. That´s not why I am here. That´s not why anyone´s here. We´re all here to see the true core of our character, the inside out of dreams, hopes, expectations and all in between that defines us.
This life is about daring and trying. About going all in. Not being scared. Scared to fail or scared to miss. Because if we are, not much would be attempted. Not much would be accomplished. We would never be able to be our best if we didn´t at the same time risked being the worst.
I have an injury I haven´t been able to completely solve. Sometimes it´s better, sometimes worse. Sometimes a lot worse. I´m doing a new MRI on Monday next week and a new method of therapy. Appearantly there seem to be some calcification in a part of my hamstring close to the attachment. It´s not a problem in itself, except for being stiff and sore, but it fucks up my bodies range of movement and my stride so that I incur injuries in other parts of my hips and legs. Injuries that just stem from running slightly off balance or with tension. Today, there was no way I could run further. And that´s a shame since my running this fall has been awesome and way better than it has been in a long time. But something happened this week. Don´t know if it was residual fatigue, the long flight, bad training or just bad luck. But pain started shooting down my leg. It got better just before the race but crept up during the bikeleg. Yesterday it was out of control. And today I didn´t have a miracle worker on my side.
So if I ever only raced when I was certain that I was at a 100 % or without fears or with a body that worked flawless and where everything in preparation had been perfect, I wouldn´t have raced much. Nobody would have. There are always worries. And if I raced with low expectations, over risking a failure, only being happy to finish, I wouldn´t have enjoyed it as much. It wouldn´t have made me a better person. Because that´s what stepping up to the plate does. Stepping up, and at times, missing.
And I missed. But at least I tried. And I tried as hard as best I could. I tried as far as my legs would literally carry me.
And I´ll keep trying. And by doing that, risk missing. But in certainty that the biggest risk and the worst miss comes from not even trying.
It´s only sports. We all do it, basically, for fun and personal growth. Maybe I´ve grown some. Regardless, life goes on. And so will I.
Hats off, many gratulations and kudos to all the athletes that finished the day. Alexandre Ribeiro is a worthy champion, bouncing back from a few bad races over the past years, to win a fourth time! And to Mike Coughlin who got hit by a car 10 days ago and should be lucky to be alive, let alone finish second! Way to go Mike!