In my own personal hell, the devil would wear ice skates and a balaclava.
I woke up to a good inch of snow on the ground this (OK yesterday, I’m working 12+ hour days this week at the gym, blogging is taking a while) mid-April morning. I know, I know, this is New England. “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, and it will change.” Five minutes, seven months, whatever. I’m starting to truly believe this winter will never end.
And perhaps it was the weather, but more likely my third 4:30 am wake up call in a row, but I’m completely guilty of throwing a small temper tantrum over the fact that I had foolishly taken my ice scraper out of the car and placed it in the basement for the summer. (To my credit, I hadn’t had any caffeine yet). The windshield wipers were not up for the challenge of clearing off that mess.
Touche, mother nature.
Today I am thankful that I spent most days outside last week soaking up what I thought was spring. A small bit of reprieve from another week of cold, winter weather. Rumor on the streets (well, in the gym at 5:30 am this morning) is that tonight will bring a low of 15 degrees.
FIFTEEN DEGREES. With a high of 29 degrees tomorrow. Mid April. Ludicrous (at least in my world.)
But enough ranting…race season is officially here. Snow or no snow, it’s time to put my game face on.
Yesterday I received a comment on my post about training in the gym for obstacle course racing that really got me thinking. (And for a hot minute, riled up. I’m sometimes guilty of getting slightly offended when I think someone is using a rude tone, when in fact they weren’t, it’s just impossible to decipher tone via the inter-webs.) Not verbatim, but it was along the lines of didn’t I realize that most people run obstacle races for fun, and therefore suggesting that one train to perform obstacles while exhausted (as opposed to pausing to catch your breath) was “elitist”.
I obviously, whole-heartily, disagree.
Not to say that it is wrong to take your time throughout a course, because it’s not; everyone has their own reason for being out there, and if yours is solely to have fun, then so be it. Now, I am not an “elite” by any standard. I’ve podiumed one time in the sport of obstacle course racing, and I’m pretty sure that was due to the fact that not many other people signed up for the “elite” wave.
Other than that, I’m what you would consider a participant “out there for fun”. But that doesn’t mean I can’t push myself to do my absolute best. I can’t even begin to tell you the personal satisfaction I feel when I conquer an obstacle that I couldn’t do before, or beat a previous course time. That, to me, *IS* fun.
So let’s bring this post full circle. Reebok and Spartan race recently (and slyly) announced an invitational, 1.5 mile race at the Reebok Headquarters in Canton, MA. After Mass Mayhem last weekend, I wasn’t sure when our next obstacle race would be. But this one sprung up on us, and fortunately Geoff and I will have the opportunity to race.
I’m excited and a little nervous all at the same time. Spartan races are known for pushing your limits. The fact that this course is only 1.5 miles long leads me to believe that they course designers are going to push us…and throw in some unexpected surprises. With only just over a week left until race day, “stepping up” the training isn’t really an option. But it is another opportunity to see where I’m at, and see where there is room to grow. I’m ready to push…and it will be fun.
I had a point to this post yesterday, but it’s now 5:45 am and my brain is struggling with the consecutive 4:30 am wake up calls (kudos to you morning people!). So let’s just end it with this question: do you push yourself during each competition (road race, OCR, CrossFit comp, etc), regardless of the possibility of placing or “elite” status? Does “competing for fun” mean you do not care at all about your time and accomplishments, or do you find it “fun” to push yourself? Or is it a combination, and why?