Friday, 19 February 2010
Cell phones on Race Day.
Drivers can't talk on the phone or text while they drive. Not a bad idea. I've seen too many drivers - especially as a cyclist and runner - not even notice me because they where on their mobile devices, concentrating on where to find the @.
Although there are huge fines and demerit points for those that get caught, it is next to unenforceable other than at spot check kind of situations. I still think it is a good idea and will, eventually take hold like it has in some parts of Europe - not because it is illegal, but because it is just wrong to be holding a phone and driving.
But then there is the frustration. You know how locked doors only keep honest people out. Well. Every so often, I get a call or text while on the road. And it is really not possible to pull over and stop.
This happened today while I was driving with Second Born. I quickly recruited her into reading the text and answering. It worked really slick.
But as with all unrelated things this incident got me thinking about endurance sports and what draws me to the longer distances.
I'm an age grouper. I'm not aiming to podium or FOP and sometimes MOP turns into BOP. That is clear. But even though I wont likely jump to the Front Of the Pack, I'm still in these races to finish and to finish standing, upright, smiling and hopefully, at least a little, breathless.
In the car, I had Second Born do my work for me. In some shorter events, MOPs can just show up and race and be done. Training is secondary little work is really done. Someone else is really doing all the work at their races.
Don't get me wrong, the contenders in these races, even those cursed with balsa wood bones and lightening speed, train and train hard. Some, however, just do a little running and stuff a few weeks before the race and get by with that. And that's fine, but it is like making the destination the most important part of the journey.
Can't do that for an iron distance race. You just can't phone it in. You have to start training early, you have to train hard and you have to train smart. No one can do this for you.
If you show up unprepared, you will end up at the side of the road seeing the inside of your stomach convulsing in the open air right in front of your bulging eyes.
As for me, I like to finish races. I love to finish races, it means I can rest. The races themselves? Well...
What motivates me is seeing my progress through the months of training. Pushing myself more and more every week, then resting. Then pushing harder.
The destination is not the race, the destination is what I can achieve through the training. The six hour solitary bike ride to nowhere and back is the journey that will get me there.
The four hour run - just to see if I can do it - is just one of the signposts. The soupçon of chlorine on my skin is the tattoo.
I just signed up for a bunch of short races to prime my training as I work towards the Marathon and Ironman I have have planned this season.
I'm not looking forward to getting up even earlier to get in the training before my family misses me. But I am yearning for the euphoric jolt I get as the training takes hold and that quiet confidence fills me on race day.
I won't be phoning anything in, except maybe the news that I didn't drown when I call my mother after the race.