As you know from last week, I signed up for and subsequently raced a duathlon yesterday. Had I known what the weather was going to be when I plunked down my money ... I may never have signed up. While you'll get the full recap on Wednesday, I'll give you a teaser:
Everything weather-related that you could experience in a race - save for heat - I experienced.
And it's funny how perspective and attitude make a difference.
It was miserable weather.
Yet I had already paid my race fee and was off work, so why not race?
I kept a smile on my face.
I enjoy racing. Jenna is awesome and came out and watched (weather conditions caused her coach to make her scrap racing so instead she returned the favor and cheered) and couldn't believe I was smiling the whole time. Neither could the volunteers. But really, what was the alternative? Be miserable and complain? The only way out is through and the way out can be easier if it's enjoyable. In the case of the bike at IMAZ, it was a fake it until you make it kind of situation. Yesterday, I actually, weirdly enough, had fun racing in the conditions. They were so ridiculous that I couldn't help but laugh.
90 minutes of racing is a lot different than 16 hours of racing.
After Ironman, a short duathlon? Pfffft. It was hard and painful, but nothing in comparison. It was also nice knowing how quickly the "race brain" comes back. It was also nice to see that, despite a comparative lack of training this year, how relatively well I did.
Racing is COMPLETELY different than training.
Jenna didn't race and instead ran 20 miles in the same crap. She called me a bad-ass for racing in the weather; me? I think she's more of a bad-ass for training in it! Although training in days like that are what make you a competitor (and Jenna's 20-miler in shit weather is the reason she's a top-amateur triathlete gunning for a pro card ...), racing in it, to me, is so much easier. I would NEVER train outside on the bike in wind, rain and hail ... but race in it? Why not?
I also do believe that I'm a tougher athlete now thanks to Ironman. I've done that; a little duathlon in craptastic weather is nothing.
(Okay, not really, but if that's the way my brain is going to play it, why not use it?)
Perspective. Attitude. Two things I've always had, but two things that have changed over the course of my triathlon journey and two things that will always continue to change.