Recently a friend of mine, Melissa Samuel, completed her second Ironman triathlon at Ironman Florida. After the race she posted something to the effect that the Ironman race does not care about your life, injuries or excuses. When I read her words, it hit me. That is probably what draws me most to the individual endurance events.
The race does not care. It does not care whether you are over-trained or under-trained. It does not care whether you have been working overtime or recently laid off. It does not care if a hurricane destroys half your state or if the heat index is 120. It does not care about Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or erectile dysfunctions (not me). It does not care how expensive or cheap your gear is or whether it works at all. It does not care if it rains, sleets, snows, lightnings, floods, bakes or a sink hole the size of Texas opens up on the course.
The bottom line? THE RACE DOES NOT CARE! And I love that.
When I get to a race, I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want a built in list of excuses. I don’t want a pat on the back and a “better luck next time.” I’m an engineer. I want it black and white. You finished. Or you didn’t. And it is up to you to decide what to do with either result.
I’ve said it many times that I am not a racer anymore. I don’t have the desire or interest to try to be the fastest at any particular race. I still like to do races with friends for fun, but they better be fun. Like the Thunderbird Night Run where you run on trails at night with friends and then drink beer.
But I don’t want to do an event to “race.”
I want to do things I have to “survive.”
Maybe that is why it has taken so long for me to get off my ass and sign up for another race. After finishing Rocky Raccoon in 2013, my mental, physical and emotional resources to “survive” another race were tapped out. I was toast. So I needed that break to forget the pain and to recharge my resources.
After signing up for this latest 50K, I researched many race reports from the past few years. And I am hearing some disturbing words:
Down Pour of Rain
Wanted to Finish Alive
Mud for Days!
Mid-Thigh Stream Crossing
Steep Climb Almost a Mile Long
Yep. I think this race will fit the bill. It will be about whatever the course throws at me and whether I can survive it or not. Because that race does not care AT ALL!
Disclaimer: When I talk about “The Race”, I am not talking about the event organizers or volunteers. They are usually busting their ass to make sure every one has a great day!