Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Races and Accomplishments

I got this in the mail a few days ago:

I almost had forgotten that I placed the order for the display at the expo the day before the IM. It was the first time I ever purchased something like this from a race. (I don't display my medals anywhere). When I opened the package It brought back all the feels from the past year. I'm so proud of myself for setting and completing the goal of "Finish an Ironman." I'm so happy I was able to train and make it to the start, and finish injury free.

And then I started reflecting on past races and started having mixed emotions about them. I thought about my BQ at the Carmel Marathon and didn't feel particularly proud of that race. Yes, I achieved my goal of a BQ on my 4th attempt in 4 years after coming so close 3 times, but my training was shit. I could have done better. I was super surprised at the outcome of that race.

Looking back at many (if not all) of my races, I feel like I could have done better at training. (Race execution generally was on point). Not like I'm trying to have super significant gains in times and Not like I would quit alcohol entirely, eat 100% clean and devote myself to a hobby where I pay to play- but instead be more moderate with everything - and not bailing on workouts when I'm lazy would make me happier with future race results... I like getting better, I want to continue to improve for as long as I can. Achieving a time goal in a race which Ive put in the work for is something that makes me feel proud, or accomplished for any distance. Tangible results.

Training totals from the day I registered for the IM through race day. 10/20/15 to 9/11/16

Even with the Ironman, I felt like I could have done a bit better with training- mainly train on hills and run more (I'll remember those changes for next time) but I know there's no way I could have skimped on training and completed the distance upright. It was a challenge I worked my ass off for, and I finished. I'm proud of this accomplishment. I think that's what spurred these feelings- that I had to put in the work to be successful at the IM. There was no way I could have "winged it" on race day.

I read {this article} recently and it got me thinking of how so many people on social media are so "obsessed" with running/triathlons/working out, yet don't have a fraction of the dedication of the guy in the article. All talk and no action. So much wasted time and energy which is easy to get caught up in. I know I've spent too much time obsessing over a freaking hobby over the past few years and have spent thousands of dollars to be mediocre in a race (for my goals/standards) all for a medal and t-shirt that never get looked at again.

I try not to take myself too seriously with my exercise lifestyle. I stop and take photos of the scenery during each outdoor run. It makes me happy. Sometimes I run, sometimes I cycle, sometimes I lift weights, sometimes I spend my disposable income on races. I like being active. I'm just noticing a huge shift in my thinking regarding training and races lately. Achieving modest time goals I've arbitrarily set for myself in races through solid training is important for me. First and foremost, my goal is to have fun at whatever I'm doing.

I think it's good to have a balance that works for your lifestyle- I'm always trying to find that and think I'm finally getting closer.

CB agrees.


1 comment:

  1. That is a very cool display for your IM triumph! Not many people can say that they have accomplished such a feat so you should display it proudly. When I first started marathoning, I put a few of my medals in a shadow box. Nowadays, post-race I throw every medal and AG award into a bin where they begin collecting dust. I need to get something like that and maybe have a "PR" shadow box for all of my PR medals/bibs. Anyway, you should be proud of your BQ, but I get the fact that you feel you could have done better. I feel the same way about Carmel 2016. :) By the way, thanks for the link to that article. I also ran the 2011 NYC marathon and hit the wall pretty bad like the guy. However, I had a blast because luckily I wasn't running for time (sorta)! :)