Tuesday morning, as usual, I ran to the gym for a spin class (the tri training plan has brick workouts on Tuesdays), ran a bit on the treadmill after class, and then as I was running home, the skies opened up and it rained on me sideways.
As I was miserably sloshing through puddles, wondering whether to take my phone out of its pocket on my waterbottle handheld and put it in a ziploc, I had one of those Moments.
The Moment went something like this: what the heck am I doing all this FOR? Why am I waking up at 5.45am to do lengthy cardio things to myself, why am I doing my 95th clamshell or leg lift of the day, when I'm obviously not a professional athlete, when I'm never going to make it to the Olympics unless they start a new category for competitive napping? When I'm the least competitive person I know, can talk myself out of pushing hard in a mere 10k, and will most likely never see the right side of a podium?
This is the sort of Moment that's lasted half a week now. The question nagging at me is not 'why do I run?' but 'why do I work THIS hard to race?' 'Why do I run' is easy. I like being outdoors, I like fresh air, I like the feeling of running. It's like dancing - because it feels good and because it looks beautiful and because adrenaline and endorphins and serotonin and you're having fun while you're at it.
But racing is different. There's a clear-cut winner, a hierarchy of participants. Someone has to be first. Someone has to be last. I know where I want to be (BQ? really race a tri for once, and place?) and also that I am very, very far off. Why do I work (talentless) this (clumsy) hard (genetically challenged) at something that will give me zero external validation? Give me a few days to think about it and I'm sure my rational brain will come up with a justification. Right now my lizard brain just wants to go back into hibernation.
Why do you?