|Start of the 5k|
After taking a few months to focus on my family and school, I’m back to triathlon! I’m looking forward to starting a new season fresh with new goals, new race distance focus, new sponsors, and a new perspective!
My race season has officially begun and this past weekend was my first race of the year! The first weekend in April was the San Luis Obispo Marathon, ½ marathon and 5k. I had the opportunity to take on multiple roles during the weekend, which brought me full circle to an event such as this. On Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to take a volunteer role in which I helped participants register and pick up swag bags. I felt that as being an athlete in SLO I need to do my part to volunteer at these races when I can because they do so much for the athletes and the community and I wanted to join in on that side of the racing as well. I had a great afternoon meeting some amazing people as well as help athletes prepare for the weekend of racing.
For my race season opener I decided to take on the 5k race on Saturday morning. I I ended up winning the overall title as well as narrowly missing the course record by a few seconds. My final time was 17:37 (5:40 mile pace), a great place to start for the year, but there is definitely room to improve as this is still early in the year. The course was a 2 lap course with a large climb in the middle of each lap. I decided at the start line that I was just going to go out as hard as I could and try to hold on for as long as possible before I would blow up. During the first lap I felt amazing, I wasn’t sure about my competition, but had opened up a sizable gap by the first hill and put about 250 meters on second place. Coming down into the second lap I started to feel a little light and whoozy but was too excited to slow down because there was such a large crowd at the beginning of the second lap screaming and yelling with excitement that it kept pushing me to run faster. Unfortunately when I hit the hill a second time I was starting to pay for the fact that I chose to just run as hard as I could until I no longer could, but knew that it was a gradual descent to the finish and I could make up my average pace there.I slowed a little and focused on creating a good forward drive up the hill with proper technique. Once I had crested the hill it was an all-out attack downhill where I was happily greeted at the finish by my parents, sister, and girlfriend. The final overall results are: 1) Casey Bateman 17:37 2) John Gugala 18:38 3) Brian Peters 19:14 4) Joe Morlock 19:17 5) Troy Swier 19:23
After a quick race on Saturday I headed back to the SLO Marathon to take on yet another job! This time I was to play the role of a Sherpa for my girlfriend Jenny, who was running her first half marathon. This for me was a tough new job! The hardest part of this job was the fact that I was here at the race to support and participate rather than race to win, but at the same time it was also the most amazing experience of the weekend. It was a whole new perspective for me. I’m always used to toeing the start line and sizing up my competition, focusing on my task at hand, trying not to let the pressure I put on myself not get too high and thinking about my race strategy. But on this occasion the race was not about a time, winning or even about me. I was here for the sole purpose of making sure Jenny would make it across the line safely. As a participant I had no nervousness, I was very relaxed most of the race and I got to see the race unfold in a new light. Rather than always looking around to see if I’m going to catch the guy in front of me or wondering if the guy behind me was going to catch me I got to enjoy the people around me. When I race I look at others to see if they are struggling and use that as an advantage towards myself. I like to try and speed up and put more distance between myself and that person, but as a participant I felt compassion for those with signs of struggle on their faces all of whom have a goal of reaching the finish line standing up. Instead of wanting to inflict more damage on someone while running I wanted to tell everyone there how great they were doing and do whatever I could do to help them get to the finish line. As a Sherpa for Jenny I saw her go through many of the same struggles that I go though in a race even though we have different goals when racing. I saw her question why she was doing this; think about just slowing down and taking it easier and other questions like that. I also saw her choose not to give in even though the body was telling her no she kept telling it yes and that was a wonderful thing to watch. Jenny finished the day in 2:21:51 beating me by 10 seconds. She had an amazing race and I am glad that I was able to help her pursue this goal for the past 12 weeks as well as be there for her during the experience of finishing something she set out to accomplish.
I have taken a lot away from being a Sherpa for Jenny that I plan to apply to my own racing this season. I learned that I need to relax a little more when I’m toeing the line whether I’m there to win or participate. I learned that I need to be in the moment of the race; I tend to think ahead to the finish but I need to focus on everything that’s going on around me at that moment because that is what is leading me to the finish, and to smile a little bit no matter if I’m in first or last when I race I need to enjoy it, not everyone around me gets the opportunity that I have to race at this level and I need to take advantage of it because I don’t know when it’s going to go away!
My Next race will be April 20th, 2013 in beautiful Morgan Hill, California at the USA Production Silicon Valley Long Course Elite Triathlon. I look forward to the race and will be presenting new sponsors this week on my blog as well!
|Calm before the storm|