Tuesday, July 18, 2006

No risk = no anthem

I took the title from Simon Whitfield's blog. If you don't know who he is, he won Gold in 2000 Olympic games. The title is taken from this post. He was in a race where he felt flat on the run and ended up in 12th place.

It reminded me of my race on Sunday. The bike course consisted 5 loops. In the first loop, a male with 28 (his age) on his calve just passed me. Realizing he was in my age group, I wasn't going to let him go that easy. We passed each other back and fourth. On the stretch out, I would pass him. On the way back, he would pass me.

I was really upset about this. Not b/c he was faster but b/c I was slowing down on the way back. I only slowed down b/c I was conserving myself. I was scared. I didn't know if my body could handle the run after.

If he was fitter than me, there was nothing I could do to catch up. But if we are in the same fitness level and he was faster, he would beat me b/c mentally I wasn't strong enough to deal with it.

Two thoughts wrestled in my mind.

1) Just let it all out, pass him and keep pushing. Don't let him influence how fast or slow you go. (attack)
2) Wait, would you want to look like an idiot? If you pass him and he pass you on the run? Conserve. Just follow him. (defend)

In life, sometimes you have to take risk. If you don't, you lost already. The race was too short. There was no room to wait. Now or never. If I don't attack, I will always wonder what if I had.

By the fourth loop, I let it go. Take the risk and accept the outcome. Blow those legs. I passed him and kept the intensity. He never passed me. Before I reached the dismount, I glanced back. I see no one. Great. I beat him.

As I was putting on my socks at T2, 28 just strolled in. He made it out of transition a few seconds ahead of me. Doubts grew within me. Oh no, he was faster than you. He would just outrun you. Are you sure your legs can handle the run? Blah blah blah...

For the first few hundred meters, my goal was not to lose sight off him. He was about 100 m ahead of me. I had another runner with me and we paced each other. I was breathing hard. I wasn't sure how long I would hold out for. But hey, my body ain't dying yet so why not kept the pace?

My run legs were coming back. Breathing did not die down but it didn't felt as hard. My pace partner slowed down. It was between me and 28.

I slowly reel him in. He wasn't running in the best form. A few times I would hear his shoes scrap the ground. I made sure I kept my form as smooth as possible (no feet dragging). Relax those arms, focus on the cadence. 80 m, 50 m..pretty soon I was on top of him. At that moment, he made a turn at the dualthon turnaround point.

Then I realized he was a duathlon....

.....In my life, I am too conservative. Sometimes I just have to let loose and see how far I will go. I have to rememeber, failure is not fatal. Now that I got my competitive juice out of me, half ironman...we will meet again. ;).


qcmier said...

Nice job pushing yourself out there Cliff. So much of racing is a mental game and you seem to have a great handle on that.

Keep it up!!!

Trifrog said...

If you really just wanted to 'see what you could do', great. You can use that knowledge to race better next time. But chasing others you don't know in a race is not usually a good prescription so don't make a habit of it ;)