If you're an experienced runner and you sign up for your first Ironman, you know that your cycling skills are going to need some work. Most athletes plan to do that by riding long on the weekend and adding a few century rides into the mix. Not Elizabeth Earhart - she likes to go all in!
Elizabeth's best friend from childhood had done a race called Ride the Rockies, an annual seven-day point-to-point route that rotates its location within the state of Colorado each year. When Elizabeth signed up for Ironman Wisconsin, she decided that she needed an intermediate cycling goal, so she reached out to her friend to see if she would be interested in participating in the ride again. The 2017 route would span over 400-miles from Alamosa to Salida including riding 8 mountain passes (the famed Monarch Pass being one of them) with over 32, 337 of elevation gain along the way. The friend and her husband agreed and a few months later, the entire group found themselves among several hundred other riders traversing the Southern Rockies.
Reflecting back on the event, Elizabeth says it was one of the hardest things she's ever done and one of the only things that she's ever done that she 'just couldn't believe that I did it!'.
On the first day, she thought of jumping into one of the almost full SAG wagons as it rode by but the lessons she had learned from marathon training and the companionship of her friends kept her in the game. 'I didn't want to let my team down and I knew I couldn't think about what was ahead. I would get overwhelmed. I had to focus on the moment.'. That strategy paid off. The team completed the entire ride and by the last day, Elizabeth felt like her cycling fitness and confidence had been supercharged.
So how has the experience impacted Elizabeth? First, it's made her much more confident in her Ironman training. She
attended an Ironman Training Camp in Wisconsin and many of the individuals had to hike and bike up a hill with an 11% grade. Elizabeth put her climbing skill to use and went right up the hill (and then rocked Ironman Wisconsin this past weekend!). fBut maybe even more importantly, it's pushed her outside of her comfort zone, even more than Ironman training. The ride is an awesome metaphor for life and how to endure things that are challenging. It's all about taking one thing at a time and not getting overwhelmed by the journey.
Elizabeth says that Podium Multisport was an important part of her journey. She had a bike fit at Podium and purchased her bike at the same time. 'Others would get off their bikes incredibly sore and uncomfortable, my muscles were tired but I never felt uncomfortable or sore, that's a testament to the right bike fit!'.
She also appreciated Matt Cole's input on how to manage the ride. To have some one who has done big cycling events as well as Ironman races and give her advice on what to do was invaluable.
Podium even shipped her bike out to the ride and the team walked her through exactly what she needed to do once she received the bike box in Colorado.
At Podium, we get excited about stories like this because we know that every time a customer walks in the door, we have an opportunity to help them accomplish a big dream. We are thankful to be a part of Elizabeth's journey and can't wait to follow her as she races Ironman Wisconsin!
Elizabeth's Favorite Things
Bike: Felt Road
Helmet: Kask Mojito
Kit: Coeur Kit - the chammy was perfect and the little pockets in the back of the shorts were great for stashing nutrition