From one of my bestest friends in the whole wide universe. Bob Scott. 86 years old and still racing Half and Full Ironman distances. We train multiple times a week together.
I saw him today and we got chatting about Oceanside Half Ironman in just 22 days. He asked the looming question:
Are you READY?
I stared blankly and said straight up NO. Not no like I’m being humble, but no I’m actually not really feeling ready for this race.
He said well you are.
Mentally you are ready and physically maybe you aren’t to your highest standard but your mental game is ready.
Ummm hello Bob!!!! That actually made sense to me and I said … You are so wise and RIGHT! Mentally I am ready but physically I don’t feel up to the fitness I should. I have a hard core mental game when it comes to endurance sports. That is my strength. That and my big passionate heart.
He smiled in his calm way and said “Then go have FUN. Just enjoy the race. Soak in the ocean scenery and SMILE through the whole thing. Just go and enjoy it. We can’t always be at our peak fitness levels. It ebbs and flows as athletes. ENJOY this race because you love it and peak out for your next race. Nobody maintains their peak fitness all the time and year round. We would burn out and then we would lose the FUN. There is no point in racing if it isn’t fun”.
I just hugged him and said you’re SO right. I am NOT at my peak fitness I was at last year for either the Half or Full Ironman. Nowhere close! I’ve got a good base under me but my distances and volume is not where it “could” or maybe even “should” be.
But I signed up for this race ages ago because that is how this Ironman world works. Knowing I’d be surrounded by my FRIENDS racing/spectating and my Mom will be there by my side at the start and finish lines. I have a lot of LIFE stuff before I get to that start line as well that will take precedence over training. So will I be prepared to my peak…no. BUT I’m taking my Bob…aka Ironman superhero pep talk to heart.
What I will be doing is:
High-fiving and hugging my crew and people!
That is what we race for right? FUN! It’s the reward for the daily grinding. It’s the adrenaline and comradary we share with each other. It’s seeing how far we can go and celebrating our dreams! SHOWING UP is half the battle!
As we begin to enter RACE season remember this advice. From a pioneer in the sport of triathlon and running. Someone who has been to Kona and Boston more times than he can count. A LIFER. Someone who does continue to push daily and aspires to be faster and stronger than yesterday but KNOWS that having fun and celebrating finish lines over finish times is what keeps you coming back for more and not just more but for LIFE. People and hugs and kisses to the family and your crew are more precious than seconds off your time. THOSE are the moments they especially and you as well, will always remember. Not some silly times in 25 years from now.
Flow with the ebbs and seasons of your life. You’ll peak and train hard some seasons and just float through others. You DON’T have to do it all right NOW. Take it from a lifer if you want to be a lifer and
ENJOY THE JOURNEY
Smile your face off
Keep on Keeping on and always
What do YOU remember most about races? What is YOUR favorite memory of racing or watching someone you know/love race?