• Jason Bankston

PERSISTENCE


Ironman Augusta swim start

It has been just over 2 weeks since I did my last Half Ironman race. I did Ironman Augusta 70.3. I went into this event very confident. I was so confident that I had a lofty goal of finishing under 5 hours.

I figured with a downriver swim this would give me 10 extra minutes on the bike or the run. I had been training consistently with running off the bike for the last 3 months. Each workout was strong. I was exceeding my run pace goals each time. This gave me confidence going in. My last 2 races I had improved significantly with my race times. I had been persistent with training.

I got no where close to being under 5 hours. I finished in 6 hours and 32 minutes. The half marathon run took me over 3 hours alone. I did a personal best on the swim and the bike and then a personal worst on the run. Optimistic approach is, I had a personal record in each event!

When I came off the bike I knew I did not have it in me. I was frustrated and openly disgruntled. I saw my wife and she was cheering me on saying you can do this. I tried to stay positive in the beginning. I told myself I was going to walk the first mile and get my self together. I did walk the first mile but I never got myself together.

I tried to run. Then I tried to walk, run. Then I tried to walk, walk, walk, run. I just could not get it together. I thought of quitting but then I said to myself what kind of example am I setting? What would I tell my kids? What would my wife think?

I had never had these thoughts before. I usually am positive telling myself I got this. I am usually the guy stopping to ask others if they need help and encouraging them to fight through it. I was the guy receiving the encouragement from other racers and spectators. People would pass along and ask, "Are you okay?", 'You got this!", "You have the best race jersey!" (I was wearing my jersey with the tacos on it)

None of it seemed to matter to me. I was disappointed. Finishing is a great accomplishment but I had done this 3 other times already. I wanted to accomplish my goal of under 5 hours.

Persistence is the act of not quitting no matter the circumstances. I did that. It was difficult, it was hot, I was miserable, but I fought and made it to the end. I learned some things on the way, just like I do in every race.

Some days it is just not your day. September 29, 2019, was not my day to hit my goal of under 5 hours. I made a pact with myself and with my wife's permission. I would never let that happen to me again. I haven't stopped training. I have hired a coach to help me. I have a plan for the next year. I will be persistent with my training, my attitude, and my will to accomplish this goal.

Being persistent, or having perseverance, is not just about one day. It is about overcoming the obstacles you face in your journey. It is about persistently striving to be better, learning, growing, changing, and adapting. It is what makes you successful.

When you start your day or end your day, remember it is only one day and a bunch of one days being persistent will be a goal accomplished, a dream realized, and an overnight success that took 20 years! Be persistent, and great things will happen. I will be back next year in Augusta.




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