Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Athlete know thy motivation

We are approaching the end of the year which is when many people around the globe will sit down and figure out their goals for the upcoming year.

I love goals. I love setting goals and meeting goals. I've spent a significant amount of my leisure time studying why goals do and do not work.  One of the things I have learned is that it is really helpful to know what motivates you when you are choosing a goal.

I love endurance challenges. The longest race I've ever done is an Ironman. Many people think that's crazy. Perhaps they are right. Sometimes people will mistakenly assume that because I love a race that long that I'm up for anything - the bigger and the badder the better.

Those people are mistaken because there is a whole category of races that hold absolutely no appeal to  me at all.  Zero - Zip - Zilch - Nada.

The races that don't appeal to me are those that go by time.
This is why I am not registering for the 12 hour Sebring bike race no matter how many times Triathlonmami asks me to do it.

My friend TriathlonMami is going to do the 12-hour Sebring Ride. The challenge is to see how far you can go in that time. It's a huge challenge. If 12 hours isn't enough for you there is also a 24 hour challenge. 

This is actually not the first time I've been invited to register for Sebring. My friend Nicole is super hot to trot about doing the 24 hour race but thankfully not this year because it's hard to say no to her and yet I really don't want to do this event.

But why not? I wondered that too. I did some thinking and I realized there were a bunch of other events that I had been invited to that I had no interest in (postal hour swim, 12 and 24 hour running relays, treadmill races,) and they all had the same thing in common. They are by time and not going to a destination.

Years ago before I was married, before I had kids, way back in the day I made a friend through work who's email was 1000mileman@somethingorother. Or maybe it was 100 mileman I forget, 100mileman certainly seems more likely. But either way I asked him about it and he told me that he had  run a race and it was 24 hours you went around a 1-mile loop as many times as you could. He invited me to this race over and over and over. And I said no over and over and over. I just couldn't think of anything less fun than running the same 1-mile loop for an entire day and night. But I do understand that many people are very motivated by this challenge.

Ta-dah! I am motivated to get to the finish line ... not the finish time.

I think actually this may be one of the reasons I must go to a masters practice versus swimming on my own. When I swim on my own I get to the other side and I say to myself ... well that's that I got here, I must be finished.

It may also be why I am more likely to run outside in cold windy drizzle than do 5 miles in my garage on the treadmill. In fact, I don't do well running by time at all. In the beginning of Iron distance training a lot of the workouts are by time only and I cheat. If it says 50 minutes I might only run 3 miles stopping to talk to people along the way. I totally shortchange the workout. I have learned that I need to change that 50 minutes to be in my head 5 miles.

One exception I can think of is that interestingly I can actually workout on the bike trainer without too much complaining. I'm not sure why that is.

So, good luck TriathlonMami! 
I know that she's going to do a great job with this challenge. She will be pushed in ways she's never been before and she'll learn more about herself as she pursues this challenge. She will probably also use her challenge to bring more goodness to the world - that's just how amazing she is. I look forward to watching her train and meet the milestones along the way. But nope I'm not joining this one.

But keep me in mind for RAAM 

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