July 31, 2009

Competition vs. Participation

Before me lies a list of events I have interest in competing in. Even though tomorrow is August 1, I still have not entered a race this year. (Well, not counting two half marathons. I suppose that means something.) On the list are triathlons of varying distance, XTERRA events and some mountain bike events. I really want to compete in something this summer. I'll hate myself all winter if I don't. But what to do...

I am sorely undertrained, yet, as I mentioned in the last post, overtrained. I think I am fit enough to do anything on the list, just not as fast as I'd like. So, I could use them as training events. But training for what? That leaves me in a weird place, signing up, paying money and what's the word... not racing, not competing... oh yeah, participating. That's it, participating.

How the hell do you do that again?

Even though I hate to admit it, I am a competitor. Not that I compete to win, because I sure ain't paying the bills with my athletic prowess. I guess I just like to go out and hurt myself and go as fast as my sticks will let me. And when I'm not in shape I remember when I was in shape and get pretty down on the self.

In comes the theory of participation. Lemme get my dictionary.

See, when you are fit, racing is so awesome. You can kill it and not even realize how hard and fast you are going. Just dial it back to a comfort zone and fly. If the need arises, stomp a little harder and wheeze a bit, but then you recover and it's back to near effortless speed.

When fit, racing is like participation... but faster. I get it now. Except the slower part.

Slow isn't as much fun, so I end up really pushing myself to go faster. Which is what I did at the Ogden Half Marathon. And I paid ever so dearly for that effort. For days I paid...

Maybe it's time to make the transition to slower participation. I still like doing this stuff, but my reality is that I just ain't as good as I once was, and probably not even as good once as I ever was. But I'll suffer less and enjoy more.

Except the swimming. I frigging hate the swimming. More specifically the anxiety from swimming.

No comments: