10 Reasons to Race

Putting in countless hours into training, work, activity...basically fill in the _______ can really drain you after long periods of time without any type of result, reward or gratification. This is very apparent in endurance sports. You train basically everyday and depending on what your event/sport is - you might not race for months on end. Some people may pick up the sport just to loose weight, but it's the same thing; often you don't see the results you're looking for even after months of training. I think it's really important that if you put in hours of training that you race from time to time. That's when you get a chance to see some of the fruits of your labor and enjoy the fitness that you've worked so hard for. Sure, with endurance sports getting more and more popular - races entries are expensive, you have to get up early and some people may even be a little intimidated to race because of their lack of fitness. What the entry fee doesn't tell you is this:

#1 You get to accomplish something difficult with other people you've never met before and get through it together, who knows maybe even make a new friend!

#2 There's almost always someone faster or slower than you are, which makes you fit it with everyone!

#3 You basically feel like you're floating for most of the day after coffee, energy gels and caffeine shots.

#4 You realize that porta-potties at races are probably the worst porta-potties in the USA.

#5 There's a reason why everyone is smiling at the finish line. It's called accomplishment, it's called reaching a goal, it's called endorphins (or runner's high) and it's called relieved.

#6 Beer never tasted better at 9ish in the morning after racing so hard.

#7 Beer never hit you so fast after just racing so hard!

#8 It's the only time it's ever OK to walk around with a huge metal around your neck.

#9 The leg soreness/fatigue you have for the next 24-48 hours is a wonderful reminder of how much fun you had.

#10 It fuels the fire inside of you to get up, train and do it all over again so you can get a new PR!

I especially want to touch on #10. Training can get very discouraging if you're putting in countless hours each week and you don't race, you get injured or even burn out. Every time you race you learn something about yourself. You may learn how hard you can push yourself, what you need to work on or maybe you just take new motivation into your next block of training. For me all of those happened after the San Diego International. I was getting pretty discouraged with training after getting hurt, putting in countless hours by myself and nothing to show for it. Although 6th in my AG may seem great, I looked at it like I got my butt handed to me. My swim was pathetic, my transitions were terrible, my bike was so-so and I failed to finish strong on the run. It really ignited a fire inside of me to make things right. These past few weeks I've been just hunting for any free time I may have to go out and train, learn something online and find training partners to push me to the next level. It's been working, I feel like I've found a groove with all of my time commitments and it's going to make a big difference for the rest of the TRI season.

Last week's highlights include:
Doing 5 hill repeats with the Slice up a .6 mile 400ft elevation climb with a training partner. Brutal!
Doing my first 1 mile swim (straight) and then hitting up 45 miles and 3500ft of climbing
Doing my first long run in months with a training partner. The best thing about it? My calf held up.

Next up, I'm gonna try and jump into TCSD's Aquathon next Thursday which is a 1000 meter ocean swim followed by a 5k run on the beach. Should be fun!

Some photos from the week and some from SDIT:

All SDIT pics courtesy of 3 Hot Shoes

Why does my face look so fat and happy??

The Slice and I have become quite good friends...

Pretty sure this is around the 5k mark
Not a fan of mass-marketed breweries, but "Rotator IPA" is actually pretty good
And it said this under the bottle cap...Kinda ties in w/the blog post no??
We donated $5 to our church's "local farm program" and received a bunch of fresh produce!
My love and I at my bros wedding last month


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