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 Nov. 28, 2018.

______________________________

Friday I’m headed to Arizona for the Outspoken Summit (!) and for 53 hours in Tempe. I know a number of you will be there, so come say hi. I’ll be speaking on the last panel (I think) of the weekend about the future of the sport and will be moderating another panel about entrepreneurs on Saturday. And I’ll be jamming in a hard swim one morning and a hard run the other as I cling to one more week before my last race of the season — so also hit me up if you’re down for a Tempe Town Lake bike path 70.3 pace run around 7 a.m. on Sunday.

Are we our PRs?

“Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God’s own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway!”

– Once A Runner

There’s a section in the book Once A Runner about how elite runners are defined by their PRs. Hello, this is Mr. 4:02, that guy over there is 4:03.5. (They’re milers, OK?) And because they are their PRs, they know exactly who they are and where they stand. There is no subjectivity about who is best.

I couldn’t find the quote. It is not evidently one of the more popular parts of the cult classic. Apparently, the notion isn’t particularly inspiring to most people. But it’s stuck with me over the years.

Certainly, it’s not entirely accurate. Obviously, we are not solely defined by our running. We are many things. We are not just a number, not simply how fast we cover some distance on some day.

Still. There’s a part of it that rings true. Running is not subjective. It doesn’t care what your reasons were or how you felt. What people remember later aren’t the conditions (except for Boston this spring) or what injury you were recovering from. What they want to know is your time. And so you hand over to them your resume, your PRs. You say here is what I can do.

I ran a PR this weekend at the Turkey Trot 10K. By a lot. I ran a 37:16 officially. My fastest time before today was 38:53. That is insane. Three years ago I wasn’t even a sub-40 10K runner. And part of me has trouble believing I’m a low-37 10K runner now. That doesn’t sound right.

Did who I was suddenly change on Thursday? No. I’ve had that race in me for awhile, it just kept not coming together. But running doesn’t care what I was capable of in theory or why I didn’t run faster before now. It cares what I could actually do. Did who I was suddenly change on Thursday? Of course not. Except it kind of did. Except I can’t go back to being someone who doesn’t believe they’re capable of that time. And there’s a part of me now that thinks: No one can ever take this away, no matter what happens, I will always be a 37:16 10K runner.

But there’s another part of me that thinks: I can get those extra 16 seconds. I know I can. I know where I stand and exactly who is faster, so many people are faster, but we are never happy with where we stand now. We always imagine instead what number still lives inside of us, how fast we might be able to blaze.

(P.S. That’s not me above. That’s the guy who won the elite 5K race.)

The new Kona algorithm

We’ve talked a few times about the new algorithm for allocating Kona age group slots—and how it appears Ironman adjusted its formula to essentially delegate fewer slots for the smaller (often women’s) age groups.

I promised I’d come back with an update, so here it is: It now appears the guy who figures out these things thinks he’s figured out the algorithm. You can dive into his full numbers and analysis and mess around with his Google spreadsheet, though the gist is: the smaller age groups will get slightly fewer, maybe one fewer, slots at most races. This changes some for bigger races and races in Asia. (I have zero idea why Asia allocates its slots differently.) You can also go down a Wikipedia wormhole about the D’Hondt method being used to allocate slots semi-proportionally, but the gist will still be the same.

Which brings us to: A note about proportionality.

Proportionality is not the end goal. It is the means to the goal. The goal is to have the best, roughly equivalent across age groups, competitors competing at Kona. That could achieved in any number of ways. Too often triathletes become militant about proportionality. ‘Everything must be proportional!’ But having statistically proportionally sized groups is not actually the point of the whole thing. That is simply the method we use as a shorthand for equivalency. IT IS NOT ITSELF EQUIVALENCY. There are other methods, probably better methods, to get to that same goal. Stop being militant about proportionality.

On the TV

There were three sports things I watched this weekend:

– Quest for Kona: These specials about people attempting to qualify for Kona took a huge step up this year. Much better production values, more interesting subjects. Loved that they included pros. Sarah True’s episode was compelling TV.

– NBC’S Kona coverage: Was not as good as usual. I say this as someone who has watched many, many years of the NBC coverage. They changed the narrator and the scripting. It was weirdly edited and boring-ly written. How do you take the fact that defending champ Daniela Ryf was insanely far behind after the swim and make her chase to the front boring? Why would you just sum up real quick the fastest conditions in Kona history? I’ll watch lots of triathlon with or without pizazz and this needed more pizazz. It felt like something that would air on NBC Sports, not NBC.

– NBC Sport’s Next Olympic Hopeful: Weirdly, this had all the pizazz! A two-episode show following the U.S. Olympic Committee’s open talent identification call for athletes. It had characters and drama and people were cut from the team. Ninety athletes were picked, put through a ringer of tests (speed, power, jumping, lifting, a cool test involving running to turn off different lights without knowing which light was going to flash next) to see what sport they might be suited for, and then cuts were made for sport-specific testing—until just eight athletes were chosen for eight spots on Olympic training teams. I have basically decided I’m going to try out for this show next year. And also that I would fail all the tests. We will discuss on the podcast.

_____________

________________

Comments & thoughts

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

– Most importantly, my mom had thoughts. Apparently saying ‘here are some numbers without comment’ *was* itself a comment. What, no.

– Also one person emailed me to say they tried to subscribe but the link didn’t work. But when I emailed them back, my email bounced. Sorry to anyone whom I failed! Here’s the subscribe link.

– And, for our podcast listeners who were a few episodes behind, I evidently posed a swearing ranting danger for their small children. Sorry/not sorry about that too. Headphones, guys. For everyone.

65 Responses

  1. hop over to these guys

    I just want to mention I am just newbie to blogs and definitely enjoyed you’re web page. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your site . You surely come with terrific well written articles. Appreciate it for revealing your blog.

    Reply
  2. chocopie

    4q01Qy I think other web site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

    Reply
  3. Arlen Boudewyns

    I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m happy to express that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most indisputably will make certain to don’t overlook this web site and provides it a look regularly.

    Reply
  4. read more

    You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren at afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

    Reply
  5. Velda Krell

    Wow! Thanks! I have wanted to enter in my webblog something similar to that. Can I reference part of your post to my site? Thanks once more for sharing this online. I certainly loved every bit of it.

    Reply
  6. Allie Haze

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

    Reply
  7. Phoebe Guisbert

    There a few intriguing points at some point here but I do not know if all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I’m going to take hold opinion until I investigate it further. Excellent post , thanks and we want a lot more! Combined with FeedBurner too

    Reply
  8. to read more

    This unique blog is really awesome and also diverting. I have discovered many useful things out of it. I ad love to visit it every once in a while. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  9. Don Aguon

    Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

    Reply
  10. eebest8 back

    “Thanks for the strategies you share through this website. In addition, numerous young women exactly who become pregnant will not even seek to get health insurance because they have anxiety they couldn’t qualify. Although a lot of states at this moment require insurers present coverage irrespective of the pre-existing conditions. Costs on these kinds of guaranteed options are usually bigger, but when taking into consideration the high cost of medical treatment it may be any safer strategy to use to protect your own financial future.”

    Reply
  11. Bobbie Acothley

    The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my choice to learn, however I actually thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might fix if you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

    Reply
  12. Avery Irby

    I wanted to draft you this tiny remark to help give many thanks once again considering the beautiful methods you’ve documented on this website. It’s simply wonderfully open-handed with you to deliver unreservedly just what most people might have marketed as an electronic book to earn some dough for their own end, mostly considering the fact that you could have tried it if you considered necessary. These smart ideas also worked as a good way to be certain that other people online have a similar interest really like my personal own to know the truth way more on the subject of this condition. I am certain there are a lot more pleasurable times ahead for folks who start reading your site.

    Reply
  13. opalivf

    I visited many blogs however the audio quality for audio songs current at this web page is in fact fabulous.

    Reply
  14. gia su

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the website is very good.

    Reply
  15. Jaquelyn

    You can certainly see your expertise in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

    Reply
  16. Madie

    There is certainly noticeably a bundle to comprehend this. I assume you might have made particular great factors in functions also.

    Reply
  17. Tuan Kantrowitz

    I just now desired to come up with a quick comment in an effort to express gratitude back for people wonderful pointers you happen to be posting at this site. My time consuming internet investigation has by the end through the day been rewarded with quality means to show to my guests. I’d personally say that many of us website visitors can be extremely endowed to result from a wonderful network with developed solid relationships . marvellous individuals with useful hints. I believe quite privileged to obtain used your webpages and search forward to really more fabulous minutes reading here. Many thanks for most things.

    Reply
  18. Buck Kneifl

    I wanted to create you a little bit of note to be able to thank you as before on your gorgeous things you have shown in this case. It was quite seriously open-handed with you in giving unreservedly just what numerous people could possibly have supplied as an electronic book to generate some profit on their own, principally considering the fact that you might have tried it if you ever considered necessary. Those inspiring ideas also acted as the easy way to realize that other people have the identical fervor just like my very own to understand lots more in terms of this condition. I think there are millions of more enjoyable opportunities up front for folks who read through your blog. click my site here – alternative medicine

    Reply
  19. Tattoo Studio

    I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You are incredible! Thanks!

    Reply
  20. www.metroclick.com

    MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick in NYC at http://www.metroclick.com/ or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

    Reply
  21. pravo

    Im no expert, but I believe you just crafted the best point. You obviously know what youre talking about, and I can truly get behind that. Thanks for being so upfront and so honest.

    Reply
  22. Google

    Google

    We came across a cool internet site that you simply may take pleasure in. Take a appear in the event you want.

    Reply
  23. Denna Kirschenmann

    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable individuals within this topic, however you sound like you know what you are speaking about! Thanks

    Reply
  24. Shameka Jebbett

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new surveys are added- checkbox now each time a comment is added I receive four emails concentrating on the same comment. Possibly there is that is it is possible to eliminate me from that service? Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Google

    Google

    Every when in a when we decide on blogs that we read. Listed beneath are the most current web sites that we opt for.

    Reply
  26. click for more

    It certainly is nearly unattainable to see well-advised individuals on this area, but you look like you understand exactly what you’re talking about! Thank You

    Reply
  27. Bertram Shoals

    You lost me, friend. I mean, I imagine I get what youre declaring. I understand what you’re saying, but you just seem to have overlooked that you will find some other persons inside the world who look at this issue for what it actually is and may perhaps not agree with you. You may perhaps be turning away a decent amount of folks who might have been supporters of your web log.

    Reply
  28. Faytech North America

    Faytech North America is a touch screen Manufacturer of both monitors and pcs. They specialize in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of Capacitive touch screen, Resistive touch screen, Industrial touch screen, IP65 touch screen, touchscreen monitors and integrated touchscreen PCs. Contact them at http://www.faytech.us, 121 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013, +1 646 205 3214

    Reply
  29. Visit SapidAgency

    Emery EPS is a Search Engine Optimization company that provides SEO Services. Their proprietary SEO strategies help struggling websites and aspiring business owners to rank their websites higher in multiple search engines like Google , Yahoo and Bing. They provide local and gmb map ranking for businesses in Coasta Rica, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, California and many other local areas. Find more at https://www.emeryeps.com.

    Reply
  30. Click on Sapid Agency

    Emery EPS is a Search Engine Optimization company that provides SEO Services. Their proprietary SEO strategies help struggling websites and aspiring business owners to rank their websites higher in multiple search engines like Google , Yahoo and Bing. They provide local and gmb map ranking for businesses in Coasta Rica, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, California and many other local areas. Find more at https://www.emeryeps.com.

    Reply
  31. try this

    It is suitable day to prepare some schedules for the longer term. I have looked over this post and if I may just, I desire to suggest you few worthwhile advice.

    Reply
  32. look at these guys

    Might be near impossible to find well-aware visitors on this area, and yet you come across as like you understand which you’re indicating! Regards

    Reply
  33. Check out Sapid Agency

    Emery EPS is a Search Engine Optimization company that provides SEO Services. Their proprietary SEO strategies help struggling websites and aspiring business owners to rank their websites higher in multiple search engines like Google , Yahoo and Bing. They provide local and gmb map ranking for businesses in Coasta Rica, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, California and many other local areas. Find more at https://www.emeryeps.com.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.