Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Soma Second Thoughts.
Now that I'm deeply into my post-race funk, I'm having second thoughts about Soma.
I've been looking at the cutoff time (3:15) and the high number of DNF's, and it occurs to me that probably, many of these people actually finished, but didn't meet the cutoff time or were forced to leave the course.
I'm used to being last, or nearly last. I don't mind losing. I'm used to having aid stations torn down as I go past, or even before I go past. I'm used to volunteers going home, and being accompanied by someone as the last runner in.
I know I'm getting a little faster over time. As well, for me, for now, there is the finishing, the acknowledgement and the recorded splits. They all say I finished. It may have taken me 8:56:00 to finish a half iron, but by golly, I showed up, did it, and never quit, no matter how hard it was.
However, I'm not sure that I'm internally motivated enough to work my ass off for over 8 hours, to swim, pedal and pound, then try to cross where the finish line was a few minutes ago, only to be told, "you weren't fast enough" and be labeled DNF. I'm not sure I would appreciate being lumped in with someone who walked up, stuck their toe in the lake, and then didn't try at all.
I think I could make the cutoff time. I think I could, but I'm not positive. I'm just not sure that I want to try that hard only to be told, "Your best just wasn't good enough. You didn't try hard enough. DNF"
As a teacher, I live in a world of external motivators, aka grades. It's a repulsive thought, the idea of saying to my students, "yes, you worked awfully hard on this project, but you didn't meet my standards, so I'm giving you a zero. Not credit at all. Now go away."
So I have some thinking to do, about whether or not I want to be told that my best just isn't good enough, and about whether I'm strong enough to handle it if/when it comes.
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