the secret to my success

August 18, 2008

I had an epiphany last weekend at Leadville–I realized that Kim is not only the love of my life, but also the key (ha, you’ll see) to my success in pretty much any endurance event I’m struggling in.

I ran the Logan marathon several years back, my first of two marathons, which I ran, you know, just to see if I could. I ran in snow for the first 13 miles, and freezing rain for the second 13 (not sure what happened for the other .2 miles). Kim was waiting with the kids in the minvan at about mile 17, a miserable moment when I could no longer feel my fingers or toes. When she saw me, she jumped out of the car, ran up to me and along with me for a few seconds, cheering and encouraging, and when she saw me veering off course toward the car, she sprinted ahead of me, got in the car, and locked the doors.

I was too delirious at the time to realize what happened, so I just kept running, and eventually finished.

Two years ago, I was trailing Rick S. by a considerable distance on the third and last major climb of Lotoja. The final summit tops out at about the 100 mile mark (but only HALFWAY through the race), as far as I’d ever ridden on a road bike, and I was a shattered man as I finally hit the top, where I knew Kim and Shelle were waiting to cheer me on.

Again, I veered toward the car, hoping to get in and take a nap, and spend the next 100 miles cheering Rick on from the safety of the back seat.

Again, Kim got there first, locked the door, rolled down the window a few inches, and said, through the small opening at the top of the window “Rick’s right over there, he’s waiting for you, you can do it, I love you.” And she rolled the window up.

And I finished Lotoja.

Finally, last weekend at Leadville. Kim was my crew and my cheering section for what I hoped was both my redemption for my DNF the year before, and the LAST time I would ever have to do the race. At the Pipeline aid station, at mile 75ish, I was just starting to feel the first effects of a bonk that would bring me to my knees 10 miles later, at the top of the Powerline climb. When Kim asked me what I needed, I said “hey, is that a chair? I need to sit down.”

Kim sprinted over to get between me and the chair, holding me back, and said to whomever was around “Don’t let him sit down! He’ll never get back up!” And everybody folded up their folding chairs and eyed me menacingly.

I had no fight in me, so I just ate my soup, climbed back on my bike, and continued. And, as I’ve noted, finished.

And now I know. Thanks babe. You’re the wind beneath my wings. You can have my medal.



10 Responses to “the secret to my success”

  1. steve Says:

    Let’s have an AMEN!!! We would definitely not accomplish even half of what we have without the better half (why is it 1/2? It should be, like, 3/4!)

  2. Bikemike Says:

    Dug, could you please ask Kim if she could stop this tropical storm (hurricane) from destroying florida? it sounds like she’s got that kind of influence. thanks.
    of course i realize that we are idiots for living here in the first place, some of us are idiots for a whole lotta other reasons. thanks in advance. you’re a lucky man.

  3. mark Says:

    Last year, Rachel crewed for me at Lotoja. She was ready as I arrived at every aid station, smiling and happy and prepared with whatever I happened to need at the time. Did I mention that she did all this while hauling three kids (including a six month old baby that she was nursing at the time) around with her? I promise you I am not exaggerating.

    As big as the medal/belt buckle/whatever other memento for finishing an endurance event is, the one for the wife should be even bigger. Even if they don’t even show up for the event, they deserve medals for giving a hall pass every single weekend for months on end because “I need to get in a long ride/run on Saturday.”

    Priceless. Thanks, Ladies.

  4. Rick S. Says:

    Dear Kim (new nickname “the crew”),

    As your brother-in-law, I’m asking you to make Dug do Leadville next year. The entire town looks forward to the guy in plaid who rides with a basket.

    I know you can make it happen. You have the gift.

  5. Mocougfan Says:

    I met Kim at Fatty’s triathalon back a couple months ago. She is a very nice lady. However, I didn’t realize how persistant she was. See if she can move some mountains out here to Missouri so I can train better. Thanks.

  6. Rob Says:

    I keep imagining Kim as Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona when she locks the doors, rolling down the window slightly and insists that Hi not return without a baby…Makes your story even better.

  7. Jen Says:

    Nice post! So as payback to Kim are you wearing a suit every Sunday?

  8. Sam Says:

    I agree with Rick S. I am not going to lie this might get a little weird, 2 karate monkeys

  9. dug Says:

    jen. no. well, not the suit you’re thinking of.

  10. Jay Says:

    I’m emotional again…(of your aren’t surprised) but that was so sweet.

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