Written by Ben Price
I crossed the line at the end of the European Elite Middle Distance Duathlon Champs in May in a lot of pain: my quads were seizing up, my calves were twitching with cramp, I was overheating and my upper body ached. If you have any masochistic tendencies you’ll enjoy reading the race report! Anyway, a few minutes after I’d finished, the pain began to subside enough for me to start evaluating the race: did I get my nutrition and hydration right? Could I have stayed in aero more? Was my training effective enough? Ultimately, how could I improve for next time?
I think most of us endurance types are like that: always striving to improve, looking ahead and seldom living in the moment. However, on this occasion, I stopped my critical performance evaluation, put thoughts of future events to one side and consciously savoured the moment. After all, I’d just completed by first ever middle-distance duathlon and placed 15th in the elite race – so should be pleased with myself! I stood in the sun and took in the scene around me: hundreds of athletes full of endorphins and the satisfaction of completing a significant challenge. I chatted to plenty of other athletes and soaked it up as long as I could. You never know, you can be injured on the next run/ride and never compete again – so it’s important not to always be on a quest for the future. I now realise that a good race – or if you’re lucky a PB – must never be taken lightly. It should be enjoyed to the full at the time.
This was brought home to me on a few Saturday’s ago when I missed my 5k PB by 1.2 seconds. I was expecting to beat it, given the shape I am in, but tired legs and windy conditions were my undoing. It’s been more than 17 months since I ran that 5k PB (15.23 for you statos out there) and at the time I didn’t even celebrate it. I thought, ‘awesome, in a year or so I’ll be running sub 15’. How wrong I was. I should have enjoyed that moment much more, after all, you never know, your next PB could end up being a life time best!
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