Spending Money is Motivation

Not many people in the water with me... this is how I like it

Not many people in the water with me… this is how I like it

Rather should I say that when you spend money on a race, you are one step further at being more motivated to actually complete the race.  There was only one race that I missed.  The reason was illness.  Normally, I don’t mind running when I have the sniffles, but this was the full on nasty flu where my body felt so limp that I could barely get out of bed.  Otherwise, when I spend money on a race I make sure that money doesn’t go to waste!

So, I have been thinking about doing a Half Ironman for quite some time… since this past summer when I completed my first two sprint triathlons.  I was considering the next step, an Olympic distance, but for some reason I just decided to skip that step.  I don’t know, I guess I figured that I might as well go the distance on this one.  And it’s not like I did a 10K or a 15K before my first half marathon.  I managed a 5K, but that would be similar to the sprint triathlon in this situation.


The constant debate in my head wasn’t about whether or not I would do a Half Ironman (eventually followed by a full IM of course), but about when I would do it.  I knew it would be during the summer at some point, but I was really opposed to completing one during our vacation or even after our vacation.  I’m sure my husband would love me to pieces if I woke up at 5:00 AM in our little camper to go train for 4 or 5 hours.  I’m sure I would be able to find some nice lakes to swim in though.  Okay, so it would be ideal to find a race that I can complete before our vacation.  Then I could just relax (you know, relax while on vacation with 3 little kids).


That was settled.  I needed to find a Half that I could do in May or June.  Well, one popped up on my radar right away.  It was a Half Ironman in Kansas.  Yay Toto!  It is at the beginning of June (right around my birthday… but just after it so I could race with the next age group and have a better chance of not coming in last).  Then I started reading the reviews.  Lots of hills on the bike.  Wind, lots of wind.  Choppy lake… waves about 3 feet high.  Running in circles.  Running in 95 degree heat.  Wow!  That sounds like fun!  Sign me up!  I do love challenges right?  Sure.


Aha!  I was waiting for this.  Another triathlon series, HITS, was considering it’s Colorado date and location.  I was waiting, patiently, because I am so very patient.  Okay, I was about ready to sign up for Kansas and an 8 hour drive across no man’s land when I noticed that HITS had posted its date and location:  Grand Junction in May!  Whew!  I had been so worried that they were going to hold their event in July.  I’m all over that.



Wait, I just realized something.  This HITS triathlon venue is not Ironman.  Everyone knows the big wigs… you know, the IRONMAN folks.  But lets not get ahead of ourselves.  This HITS Half Triathlon is the SAME distance as a Half IM.  Seriously people, it is the same thing!  I know those hardheaded IM folks would beg to disagree.  Okay, so maybe I will only be getting in the water with 700 people instead of 2,000 people!  I guess that means that I am not tough enough to call myself a Half Ironman!  (not that anyone really calls themselves half of an Ironman, but you know what I mean… you have to start somewhere).  Whatever, I am just a beginner.  I will stick with the smaller event for now.  I don’t really like crowds anyway.  But, I am thinking that I may have to consider an IM event for my FULL.  Okay, that’s settled.  I will eventually be able to put the sticker on my truck after all.  No worries about finding that tatoo parlor… that big red M insignia doesn’t do my skin justice.  I might have to figure something else out.  Ideas anyone?


So, I will be in Grand Junction in May.  Too bad I won’t be able to let loose at sea level, but at least it is about 2,000 feet lower than where I am now.  I don’t think I will need to worry about scalding temperatures during the run, but I will have to deal with freezing my tushy off in the lake.  Let’s do this!  1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run here I come!








When no one is looking…


What do you do when no one is watching you workout?  Let’s say you went out for a run, alone.  Do you stop to walk more often than when someone else is with you?  Or do you push yourself harder because you don’t have to worry about slowing down for someone else?  I tend to believe that most people opt for the first option.  It is too easy to just say “the heck with it!” when we are alone and no one is watching.  But, why even workout if you aren’t going to do the best that you can do?  It would almost be a waste of time.


A few of you may choose not to go to the gym because you assume that people are watching you and judging you.  Well, don’t get too full of yourself…. people typically have more important things to think about.  And who really cares what someone else thinks?  Isn’t it supposed to be your workout, not theirs?  Everyone has a different strategy and of course we should all know that everybody’s body is different.  I admit that I have often wondered how an overweight person can pass me out on the race course.  Obviously, my running fitness is not as fine tuned as theirs and I have learned that you can never really assume anything.  You can get your rear kicked by anybody.  And the same applies in the opposite situation.  You may see someone at the starting line who appears to be fit as a fiddle, has the so-called runner’s body and all of the most current running gear and gadgets.  Then, the next thing you know, you are flying by them at mile 12.


When no one is looking, I try so hard to give it my best, but I must admit that I often fail.  However, yesterday I was on the spinning bike (not in spin class) and I forced myself to sweat bullets.  I didn’t allow any breaks and I pushed through the pain.  I really felt like I had a good workout when I got off that bike.  I was proud that I did that all on my own.


I know that I am competitive and that I am most challenged when I am with someone.  I spend some time running and riding with people who are more experienced (and way faster) than me so that I am forced to push myself harder.  It just seems much easier to do that then to try to give myself a stupid “you can do it” peptalk.  Today, during boot camp class, I was in so much pain trying to hold a plank (forever, I swear) and it took everything I had not to let my knees touch the ground because I knew that no one else in the class was going to give up.  It was actually kind of funny because I found myself trying to meditate and breathe evenly and I am not one to do the inner feelings crap like the yogis.  The instructor had said “put that pain in a box and ship it the fuck out of here” (sorry, but those were his exact words).

Then I think about the discipline.  When no one is looking I get my bum out of bed early to go for a run.  When no one is looking, I make the choice to go to the gym.  When no one is looking, I ride 20 miles instead of 10 miles.  When no one is looking, I run up the hills instead of choosing the flatter path.  I think I’m finally getting pretty good at this.  I tell my daughter to “always do the right thing even when no one is looking.”  That is something that we all struggle with.  Take note and try to push yourself a little more the next time you are working out alone.  Or, make the choice to look fear in the face and try working out with someone who is faster or stronger than you.  I get tired of people saying that they wouldn’t want to run with me because I am too fast for them!  That is the whole point!  (And I am really not that fast :).