The Luxurious Race Lifestyle

I am trying to reduce the amount I race this year.  The main reason for the reduction is that I don’t want racing to feel like the norm.  I want to build up the excitement and develop focus for the quest.

I don’t want a race to feel like a training event.  And, I don’t want to over-train by way of racing too much.

Another aspect of trying not to race (this statement must sound ridiculous to anyone not in the “know” of the endurance sports scene) is avoiding race fees.  Thankfully, this isn’t my main reason for not racing.

This weekend I spectated consumerism, at a running race.

It looked so funny, from the other side.  The side that hasn’t prepared a taper.  The side that hasn’t put time into studying the course maps and elevation profiles, the competition, and all the pre-race registration instructions.

I showed up to the race site an hour before the start, to see people rushing around, wishing they showed up 15 minutes earlier.  The ubiquitous port-a-potty line.  Dudes warming up.  Nervous chatter.  All the normal stuff.

It’s funny that people are paying for this experience.  Paying to be placed into an over-crowded area.  Paying for the registration overhead.  Paying for the porta-potties.  Paying to have park permit fees and/or roads closed.  Paying for sports drinks, along the course.  Paying to have the distanced timed.  The race shirt!!! Paying for a medal of completion.  Paying for race insurance.  (All of these things are usually included as part of the race fees.)  All of this to exercise, like a prima donna.

To me, a prima donna lifestyle in general is a life of luxury.

It justifies my race reductions more.  Not because I am a counter culture disruptor, but in hopes that I savor the luxury more.

I should note that instead of helping to reduce fees (by volunteering), I did the opposite by living off the fat of the land of all the vendors. . . so, I maintain my room for self-improvement.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    adam said,

    It’s funny – I’ve also reduce the number of races I’m going to do. We seem to share a wavelength! I dropped out of vineman and focused exclusively on IM AZ. I’m the same way, I can’t just do a race for training. I need to race it. That inevitably hurts future training because it takes longer to recover. You’re comparison to a life of luxury is something I’ve never thought of before and very spot on. It’s very different than Baz’s trail races, right? Maybe that’s why your so fond of trail running?

    For me, I realize that the race feels like an end, and I’m not in this for the end but for the means. I realized that at Oceanside this past weekend. The race was great and it felt good to have the feeling of accomplishment, but I missed the training during the week. I also didn’t like being on someone else’s schedule for a day. I like my own schedule. I also realized that this is about the journey. The race means the journey is temporarily over, and I don’t really like that feeling. I’m still struggling with this!

    Great post! I love how you’re so introspective!

  2. 2

    Pete said,

    Good point about Baz’s races. Those are low-key and seem to be more about community than the dog and pony show.

    Thanks for the positive feedback!

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