Will you still like me if I’m 22nd place?
With Vegas just around the corner and the publication of the Vegas race preview I have to admit my skin is boiling…..
I won’t say I’m nervous because I really do know the outcome. I will go, I will race my ass off, I will finish, I will see friends, I will have fun, I will get muddy, and I will drive home. Simple.
But complicated. This race has become a tiny bit emotional for me. I am now two years into this sport and it has really taken over my life. I love it. I miss it when it’s gone. I crave it. I’m decent at it….but I’m not the best. As the sport has evolved and become more and more popular the competition has gotten stiffer. There is now money and titles on the line. There is sponsorship, magazines, radio, and television coverage….all things unknown to obstacle racing in May of 2011.
The surge in popularity and media attention has attracted money and talent to obstacle racing. Great you say.....But where do I fit in???
This question has been playing over in my mind as I have entered the 2013 racing season and get ready for Vegas. The best of the best ladies are going to be in Vegas. Woman who are not only strong at the obstacles but run miles 2-4 minutes faster than me. Woman who are personal trainers, or “professional athletes”, woman who do this for a living and are truly gifted.
How can I compete with them??? Knowing what I know about who is going to be there, should I even show up? If I race against only my “known” competition I will be lucky to get a top 15 finish. When you throw in the wild cards…I’d honestly be happy with a top 25 finish. If I end up 25th place it will be my worst (placing) at a race ever. But will I be ashamed or will I be proud? I am struggling with this dilemma.
I know to be the best you have to compete against the best. In 2012 I was fortunate to place 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th at different races. I felt like a contender. I felt like competition. I was one of the best… but only since so many had not discovered the sport.
Since South Carolina in December I have placed 19th, 16th, 15th, 14th, 6th, and 4th . I have to be honest but with the races I have run this year I have not felt like a contender for the podium. It’s just not realistic with these fast girls out there.
So what do I do? I write to get my feelings out. I write to let you know that getting 16th place doesn’t give me the same feeling as getting 1st or 2nd or 4th. I write to let you know that I DO care but I DON’T care!!!!!
I write because I still love this sport! I love every mud pit, every wall, every rope, every barbwire scar, every ripped shirt, every Spartan. I love my friends I have met through this sport. I love my new love of running and training and trying new things. I love traveling across the US and spending my life savings to roll in the mud or run 3 miles. I love the relationships I have made and the people who have inspired me. I love that this race challenges me physically and mentally. It is a challenge to no longer be a contender. It is a challenge to come in 16th place and be proud…. But in a way it’s not.
Winning is great yes. I love to win. BUT….. THERE IS NO LOOSING IN THIS SPORT!!!. Whether you come in 1st, or 16th, or 190th or 1000th… did you have fun – yes, did you get a workout – yes, did you meet cool beautiful people – yes, did you inspire others – yes, were others inspired by you- yes, will you do it again – YES!
For better or for worse I am married to you Spartan race. I will keep coming back no matter what place I get. I will keep coming back no matter how much my knees bleed or my muscles ache. I will show up to a race that I cannot podium at. I will walk away with my 4th or 15th or 25th place and be proud. I will give you 100% of what I have every time. That is all I can give. I will try to measure myself against myself and not against others. I will race a good race for me. Vegas here I come….let me have it J