If We Were Riding’ is a weekly triathlon-ish newsletter written by Kelly O’Mara and produced by Live Feisty MediaSubscribe to get it in your inbox every Wednesday morning. You can also read past issues. This episode is from March 13, 2019.

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This weekend I headed back to Marin (where I just moved from) to cheer on Alyssa Godesky, who co-hosts Ironwomen, in her 50-mile race. While I was waiting on the sidelines, I entertained myself by taking pictures after the rain cleared and the sun came out (below) and it was one of those days where all you wanted to do was run. Speaking of Ironwomen co-hosts, Haley Chura won the Bariloche 70.3 this weekend — which to me is sort of the start of the North American season. If we were riding, we’d be talking all about what’s next. You’ve seen what’s possible, now what are you going to do.

You are the people you spend time with

There is a growing body of research that suggests your environment and who you spend time with affect not just your mood and motivation, but your actual health and performance. Far more than might have previously suspected. (Having just moved from a neighborhood of very wealthy people to a neighborhood of very not wealthy people, I also have a lot of thoughts right now about how the structures and systems we create around people also influence how they perceive the world and how they are perceived.)

From a sports standpoint, this is most summed up with the notion of squads and training partners, community. You create a habit of excellence, etc. If the saying is: You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with — then who are you?

I was thinking about this a lot this week, because if I’m an average of the five people I spend the most time with, then it’s basically me + my cats + the characters on Law and Order. And I’m not sure what that says.

Into the weeds

I did actually spend time with some of my “tribe” this weekend, watching Alyssa’s ultramarathon. Quite a few people asked why she did this random 50-miler in Marin. And the answer is: It had UTMB points. Which brings us down a hole. In the ultra world, the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc is like the world championship. And to qualify you need a minimum of 15 points earned at three races in the previous two years. And this race had four (or five?) points up for grabs.

But the bigger point (hah) is that every sport has a hole you can go down pretty quickly. A week ago, my bike fitter started explaining to me the strategy of the top Spartan Race pros and the circuit and how you qualify and how the shorter races have easier obstacles but he’d like to see that change. And if you’ve listened to Sara explain her Crossfit Open efforts on the podcast, then you know there’s a whole Crossfit universe too. Every sport has a thing and has a group. If there are other people interested in doing the thing you’re doing, then you have to assume there are people interested in the things you’re not interested in too.

The Lake San Antonio Tri?

A friend sent me this the other day: There is evidently a grassroots “Lake San Antonio Triathlon” happening in the place of Wildflower — same time and day. It appears to be a real thing from a real race director who has put on other races, but it also will be pretty small and ad hoc. Just trying to put something on in the place of the canceled race. There seem to be more and more of these grassroots random tiny spit-into-the-wind events. (Though most of the others, not this one, are unsanctioned.) If there *is* a growth of these small, ‘let’s just have a race’ races, will they eventually grow to fill the medium-sized void?

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Comments & thoughts

Some thoughts, emails, messages and notes from listeners and readers this week.

Laura wants to know about our thoughts on TUEs. I think they should be public via a list and potentially only available through certified doctors. What do you think?

After listening to last week’s podcast, Alexis says, “We should all start our days with some wisdom from Kelly’s mom.” Which we agree with.

Also. There is an agreement we should have named last week’s episdode ‘Don’t Pee Your Pants.’

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