This week: The true race begins at the intersection of one's preparation and the demands of the race itself.
Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
- A large group of local triathletes traveled to California to compete in 70.3 Indian Wells. The pro race became a Norwegian affair, with Casper Stones and Solveig Lovseth winning their respective men's/women's pro races, and Mikal Iden (the older brother of multiple world champion Gustav Iden) winning the amateur race.
- A large group of runners traveled to Sacramento to compete in the California International Marathon- one of the largest marathons in the country with over 10,000 competitors.
Thought that struck a chord:
Yesterday, I participated in the California International Marathon, my first marathon in more than two decades. While the conventional belief is that a race begins with the starting gun, I was reminded yesterday that the true race materializes at the intersection of one's preparation and the demands of the race itself.
In the marathon, the first 20 miles is effectively a warmup that can feel manageable, even easy. However, as the race unfolds, the demands of the pace begin to show, manifesting in subtle signs such as a slight shortening of stride or the onset of cramping. By the later stages, you may find yourself pushing the limits of your training, transforming the race into a battle of willpower, paid for in discomfort and pain. The last 6 miles are when the real race begins, where the stark reality of our preparation is laid bare, forcing a confrontation with the brutal truth.
At this juncture, it's crucial to recall that all your prior training, every drop of sweat, is geared towards preparing for this precise moment. This is what you're really paying for- not the initial 20 miles, but the final 6. Here lies the heart of the race, the ultimate test of preparation and resilience.
Ultimately, I fell short in those last 6 miles, finishing 2 minutes off my goal time. Few experiences provide as honest and immediate feedback as racing against the clock. Upon reflection, I'm reminded that training and racing tend to be very fair. My training was not ideal, failing to adequately prepare me for the rigors of the race. In the end, hope can only carry one so far, and a race has a way of stripping away hope mile by mile, leaving us face-to-face with the reality of our preparation.
Few endeavors in life offer such unfiltered honesty and fairness as racing does. It serves as a stark contrast to a society that often cushions blows with pleasantries or circumlocution. This is why I encourage everyone to race from time to time- rarely do we encounter such immediate and transparent feedback in other aspects of life
If you have a moment to spare:
- Countersteering and the counterintuitive physics of riding a bicycle.
Have a great week,
Tri Town Bicycles
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