Sunday, November 21, 2010

why bother

During last week's HIM I got some time to myself and besides the obvious nerves of the race, I started asking myself some questions.
It is not strange, I s'posse, that we ask ourselves questions before, during and after the race. What I am doing here? Can I finish this race? Am I going to hard/slow? where's my gels? why on earth did I pay $xyz to get here if I'm not feeling 100%? and the list goes on.
Those are the types of questios that often times come, showing that the mind is still the most powerful determinant to the result of our race. If you give yourself the wrong answer, you're cooked, you're off the zone and the race is no longer your race, or a race, but something else much more negative than it was intended to be.
Karapiro was not high in my list of races, but after the dissapointment of Budapest, I guess the result came as a good pat in the back. Back to the questions, I was on my bike and had this plan of being conservative for the first hour or so. More than a few went past me and at some point I questioned if I was being too conservative and letting go more than it should be. The answer was not, or better, not at this early point of my training and with little strength on the legs.
The other questions came on the run, I was running fresh and happy, with my chin up and not thinking 'bout the time. As I was passing through a boring part of the course I questioned why bother coming to a place 3 hours from home, without Nat to do a race that would mean little to my season and without throught a little day out afterwards. I said I was happy, so, in a happy mood I said to myself that it is not the destination what matters sometimes, what matter is the trip.
My destinations for this season are three, both Nationals after Feb, and a Half in a month's time. There's little chance that I'll be in peak form for the Half, but at least I'll be setting a benchmark for what it was the base block of the training. There are other races mixed in between, and I am sure the questions will come to me at some point. But, as I said, what matters is the trip. Training and racing takes me to a bunch of beautiful places. Been out on the bike, or swimming in the ocean or doing a running trail, I get to see this country in a way I never thought of. Many training sessions are not just that, but a trip to the outdoors and the chance to see those great places. That's what matters to me.
So, why bother? I guess that I bother because each time I am out there I am doing one of the things I like the most, and I am very humbled that I have the chance to do it and proud to be doing it. Giving up would be stabbing myself in the back.


  1. Soooo true it's the trip that BOTH training and racing take us: literally and mentally.
    I have had the exact same thought process before my last few races...and have been guilty of cooking myself with the wrong answer.

  2. I was thinking about this today actually. Next year will be my 3rd season, and though I'll go longer next year, I doubt I'll make the big speed improvements I made between season 1 & 2 because I'm running out weight to lose, etc, and now it's just up to getting stronger. Which is a good thing, but at the same time I'll be looking for other things to be stoked on.