Thursday, July 12, 2007

Failure... its an option!

So I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. Slimer, (aka Gary), is a long-time friend of mine from college. Actually, I think we've gotten closer over the last few years as we've both evolved into some semblance of "adults". Bah ha ha! Anyway, we were talking about triathlon in general and racing in particular. One of the things that he brought up is coming across a finish-line with absolutely nothing left... in other words, pushing yourself to your absolute limit... and seeing where that takes you. We were talking about Escape from the Gorge, a race held up near Hood River in Sept, that was my inaugural triathlon and will continue to have a solid place in my race schedule for many years to come. I believe his exact words were, "I want to see you come across the finish line absolutely exhausted... not coming across saying, 'I feel fine'." This brought up a very interesting question for me. Am I completely comfortable doing that? Pushing my limits. The thing is, if you're going to push your limits... put it ALL out there... you need to be more than willing to accept failure as a possibility. Its a huge risk. 2 things can happen, 1) Go all out... put it ALL out on the course... and it could be BRILLIANT! or 2) Crash and burn and DNF. Where I start to have a problem is with the failure part. I've failed in many things in my life... but to be honest... it has very rarely been in sport. SO... this begs the question, have I not failed in sport b/c I've never pushed to the point of breaking? I dunno. I mean, the closest I think I've come to collapsing due to complete exhaustion was during Ranger school in the Army... but I think that was more due to lack of food than anything else. SO... do I push harder and risk complete and utter failure? OR... do I just race, be comfortable, and still do fairly well? Hmmmmm... no idea...

Any thoughts out there?

K and the kiddos took off for Minn. early this am... so I have nothing to do for the next 5 days except work and TRAIN! Oh... and clean the house, fix the toilet, mow the lawn, finish the laundry, do the dishes.... on and on and on! Bah ha ha! SWEET!

Semi-weak swim this afternoon:
  • 300m warm-up/drills
  • 10 X 100m tempo on 15 sec RI
  • 200m cool-down
  • avg pace = 1:20/100m
Felt good... wanted more!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rob, I live in Bend and am also a triathlete. I also happen to be about the same age as you (37). As a triathlete junkie, I find myself reading your blog and Drew Holmes' blog every so often, especially if I am bored at work. Anyway, to answer your question about pushing yourself to the limit, I say that it partially depends on the distance. If you go way to hard on the bike in a Half Iron, you will be suffering for a LONG time on the run. However, in a Sprint, you can pretty much suck it up for 5K no matter how hard you go on the bike. Having gone too hard on the bike in some races, my new strategy has been to keep a hard but measured effort on the bike (on the swim, I am just happy to be out of the water), and then let it all hang out on the run, which still allows you to finish pretty much exhausted.

- Chris Manfredi