Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Post race ramblings

So actually, because I've never done the Quarter Iron distance, Lonestar was a PR for me. That's something. And when I went back to swim clinic practice on Monday and everyone was asking about how it went, it was hard to have a good answer. I'm not where I want to be with my training, but at least I can do it, and not everyone can. I got some good feedback and have a good idea of where I am and how to get to Longhorn. But that takes a little too long to say.

And then I come back to thinking about all the cheering during the race. I am slow, and carry more weight than the average person. But I am not a rookie- I've done enough races to feel comfortable participating in these events. And the issue I have is when people I don't know cheer specifically for me. Most often these are spectators or volunteers, and they say "you go, girl" "good for you" "way to get out there" and being the sort of person I am, I try to over-interpret their comments. Are they cheering me on because they don't often see a fat woman in a triathlon? Do they wish they could do it too? Do they think "if she can do it, I can do it?" Do they wonder if I can finish? Do they think I've gotten in over my head? "How can she still be out there when everyone else has finished?"

And while most of the thoughts behind those words are positive, I am uncomfortable with the attention. I just don't like being stared at, and it's too bad that I can't do a triathlon in a vacuum all by myself. I wish I could just be the average, blend in to the crowd triathlete. "Nothing to see here people, move on..."

And then while sometimes I like the distraction of smiling or giving a thumbs up or waving at the cheerers, it gets tiring. I feel like I waste a lot of energy that I should be directing at moving forward. But how can you not say thanks to volunteers that could be a thousand other places than at a race on their Sunday morning?

Anyway, I don't think there is an answer to these concerns. Everyone has a reason to be looked at, and during long, multi-lap races, there is a lot of time to kill for both the participants and the spectators and volunteers. People watching is harmless fun. Maybe it's the effort the participants are putting forth, and the just sitting the spectators are doing? Of course, I have learned that ringing a cow bell for a long period of time can make you sore.

I think the trick is to let it all go, and just go train for the next race!

1 comment:

F said...

I cheer for the beauty of the effort. I cheer for most all folks. When we held Mary signs, several Mary's would say "hey, thats me too!" I always cry just because, dammit, you are doing it. I don't think can they finish, but dammit, you and the other racers signed up and are DOING it. It inspires me (ok, not quite enough to do it myself but I need to come to more races, I think), the effort. Now that I think about it, I don't actually cheer for any one person specifically (except you) but if someone is running alone (and lots are), I still ring my noisemakers and say yea! Very cool to me, the effort. Not sure if that helps in the least but there it is...