Yesterday I’m talking to a friend, and fellow triathlete about our upcoming 5150 in New Orleans…
We’re chatting about the course, packet pick-up, how we’re sure we’ll get our asses kicked, and how hot it’s going to be by the time we make it onto the run course. All the usual pre-race stuff.
We start discussing and questioning our OWN training and abilities and the natural question arises…
“How in the hell does so-in-so or yoo-hoo over there swim/bike/run at that level?”
Nothing slows them down. Not age, heat, humidity, fatigue, or injury.
Obviously I’ve been doing something VERY wrong!!
The conversation soon drifted to PED(performance enhancing drugs) use in AG athletes.
While the entire country and world, for that matter, is up Lance Armstrong’s ass here lately condemning him for what he has or has not done, it might be better to check the age grouper heading for the swim start.
Regional and national data shows PED use, among AG athletes, is pretty damn common. HgH and Testosterone being the 2 biggies.
Hell, you don’t need any fancy studies, just get on the internet and you’ll get your data right there.
I was disturbed….
I came home and talked to my husband and he patted me on the head….
“Silly girl thinking everyone plays by the rules!”
Yes, I live in denial.
As someone who refuses to take Motrin or Tylenol prior to workouts/races because I fear my kidneys and liver are already comprised by the shunting of blood to the harder working muscles (maybe a bit overboard, but I’m freaky that way…), I simply couldn’t believe someone would use a PED for a recreational sport.
Well, guess what…
It’s going on EVERYWHERE!!!
DISCLAIMER: not everyone who is fast, PRs, or even knocks 45 minutes off a previous race time is using PEDs… We know what assuming does!! 😉
That being said, I was dumbfounded by what I was being told….
If it’s a career, someones livelihood…..shit, even the Olympics I can at least wrap my head around WHY someone would do it, but to earn a plaque or a goodie bag…or to just to say they won, despite knowing it wasn’t legitimate….
In the past, I always maintained the opinion that the average AG athlete was smarter than that. That they were educated enough about the risks and were in it for the right reasons.
Last night, I asked Dr. Google his opinion and almost fell out of my chair.
Not only can the topic be found in forums everywhere, but there are magnitudes of athletes directly asking OTHER age groupers HOW to combine substances to make them not only effective, but undetectable.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m gonna create a syringe full of juice and inject it into my ass, HOPING to not only be Superman, but to not DIE…A triathlete forum is probably not where I’m gonna go for advice on how to mix my dope.
But then that’s just me.
Personally, I don’t give a rats ass what anyone chooses to put in their body. It’s a free country and I’m certainly not going to try to convince anyone what to do or not do….aside from those who reside in my home and luckily THAT isn’t an issue.
What really annoys me though, is that I look at race results and compare myself to not only those in my age group, but the overall women’s field as well as the total group of men and women combined. I use that data not for self-validation, but as a measuring stick of my personal fitness/performance and to see where I fall on the proverbial bell-shaped curve. If the stats are correct and 10%+ use PEDs then the curve is jacked….
I equate it to if 10% of high school seniors had the answers to the SAT. How would that effect the rest of the kids and where they landed on the school’s bell curve?
I thought about that a lot last night.
As you can tell, I thought about it way too much.
See, I often wrestle with the issue of whether or not to enter a race in the Athena division. I’d almost always, if not always, place if I did so. I’m 5’8″ and weigh right at 150-153# with clothes.
Once I add in some carbs, salt-tabs, and I get myself amply hydrated…lets just say I’d never have a problem qualifying! My run splits reflect that weight and so while I’m middle to top 25% in my AG, I’ll never crank out a 7:00/mi for 1 mile, much less a full 10k or more.
So do I enter as an Athena to capture the podium? I haven’t done so yet, but last night I was as close as I’ve ever been.
For me, it’s never felt like the right thing to do. I’ve always maintained the belief that I just need to learn to run faster….or ride harder, swim smoother, and give up the massages in T1 and T2 to make up some time! I’ll get there one day!!
Winning can be defined in so many ways and each one of us has our own formula that we strive to achieve.
For me, it always comes back to 1 thing.
I don’t believe we can be in this game to let our ultimate happiness and peace of mind come from comparing ourselves to others. If we do, we’ll never find that happiness because we’ll never be satisfied.
And I may be naive, but I still feel that’s the REAL reason we all do this….
To end the day happy and satisfied with ourselves…pleased with the body of work we’ve done. Knowing we put in the blood, sweat and tears training and made it across the finish line to the best of our ability.
How the rest shakes out is just lagniappe.
Personal Satisfaction. How do you define yours?
Train Happy, My Friends!