Week 79 – To Be Better or to Settle

Is it ever really simple?

I am having a dilemma this week. I am totally satisfied with my level of fitness right now. Except that I am not totally satisfied with my level of fitness right now at all.

I am currently in the best shape I have ever been in. I can run faster and farther than I EVER have been able to (save maybe when I was 3 or 4 and full of that child-like nuclear energy that happens.) I rock the EcoCross (KettleHell) three times a week and I do an hour of spin before that. I run the Cooper River Bridge once if not twice a week on a regular basis. I completed 6 races in the year of our Lord 2012. Two 5k’s, a mud run 5k, two 10k’s, and a sprint triathlon.  I feel great athletically.

But something deep down inside if me is screaming, “You can do better!”

Call it self-competitiveness. Or maybe athletic dissatisfaction.  Or maybe neither of those. The fact is that I want to do more even though I could probably maintain my current level of activity for years to come and remain healthy. I just WANT more.

I made a goal that in 2013 I would do a race (or two)((or three)) in which I earn a medal. Not necessarily “placing” mind you. Just a race that is tough enough to warrant a nice heavy piece of metal around my neck. It is like there is something in my head that says, “If you get a medal, you prove to the world that what you just did makes you awesome.” My inner self is seriously going to write a check that my outer self can’t cash one of these days.

Looks like that opportunity will come on April 20th when I compete in the Try Charleston 70.3 triathlon. If that doesn’t satisfy my desire to prove that I am better, then nothing will.

Also, did you know that there is a division for male triathletes over 200 pounds called “Clydesdale?” How majestic.

Do any of you folks out there deal with never feeling satisfied? Is it a bad thing? Also, I would love to hear some feedback from people who have competed in a 70.3. I would also love to hear the thoughts of those readers who think I am crazy.  Which I am.

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9 comments to Week 79 – To Be Better or to Settle

  • Eric

    Great post. I’ve been following you on FB. Between February 2006 and March 2007 I went from 310 lbs to 170 lbs and about 10% body fat. I know the feeling you are experiencing. Through 2008 I mostly just enjoyed it and did a lot of hiking and ran a few 5 and 10k races. I wanted to run triathlons so in 2009 I did a couple Olympic distance races and then signed up for an Ironman which I ran in 2010. I’ve since run a half ironman and a couple trail runs and a century, and even coached triathletes through a cancer charity (this, it turns out, is one of the most rewarding experiences). I have met all sorts of interesting endurance athletes. Tomorrow I start training for my first 50k.

    My comment for you is that I would encourage you to do exactly what you are doing. Sample from the available options and ENJOY your success! But always seek balance. Establish a baseline fitness plan that you can always fall back to between big goals. That way, when you have run a 70.3 (the best triathlon distance BTW, I can explain why of you would like), you can take a couple weeks off and then revert to your normal plan.

    Anyway, great job! You are doing one of the hardest things a person can do, no other challenges can really stop you from here.

  • So I am taking this post to assume that you are accepting the 70.2 challenge?! OUTSTANDING!

  • Hey Jason Chucktown Triathletes, I may even add an extra .1 to it! Yeah I am 98% committed at this point. When you get back let’s talk about getting me a bike. Maybe Ben at Trek Bicycle Store of Mount Pleasant will have something for me!

  • Brian G
    Twitter: brianggilbert

    I can totally empathize with where you are right now. While my weight loss hasn’t been as dramatic as yours, I’ve dropped about 40 and gone from just trying to live through my first 5K (early Dec 2011) to races up to my first half marathon (last weekend) and a couple of sprint triathlons.

    I’m taking the tact of just keeping it going, because it feels too good to be where I am, so more must be better. My goal is a (yet to be defined) 70.3 in 2013, and if I do that early enough in the calendar possibly a full 26.2. I like where this journey has taken me, and it’s obvious that you do too.

  • Jason

    I definitely understand the desire to improve. I’m currently 225 lb down from 265 lb. I’ve been in the 210 – 225 range for 3 or 4 years now, but would really like to get to and settle at about 205. Also have goals for a sub 25:00 5K, a sub 2 hr half marathon and to just finish a marathon. Best of luck with 70.3.

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