Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What's your time?

I hate when people ask how fast you are. Why do they think this is okay? It's like asking someone's salary. Very tacky. If I talk about a great track workout I had or a great race I had, and I don't mention my time, don't ask me! I consider it private. Even if I won, I would have the same opinion. My speed (or lack thereof) is NOT a measure of my worth. After CA 70.3 this year, people asked, "How did you do?" My response?
"Great! I stuck to my race strategy, had a lot of fun, and earned myself a 25 minute PR."
"What was your bike split?"
Are you freakin' kidding me? People are OBSESSED with speed. I guess I do triathlon to escape from time. I am an experiential triathlete. I love how I forget about space and time when I race. All I care about is the moment. I don't know what my heart-rate, speed, or power output was. I can tell you, however, great detail about how the wind sounded when it blew through the trees that day, or the great blue heron that flew over my head, or the smell of the jasmine blooming on the side of the road. No, I may not be very fast. But I always have fun. My typical response to the time-obsessed inquisitors is:
"I don't remember."
Which is actually the honest-to-God truth, although no one believes me. I focus too much on what kind of experience I had to remember my splits. I'd have to look it up, just like those guys probably do. Hey, it's all on Athlinks. So don't ask me. If you really want to know, you'll find out on your own anyway.

How do you answer this question?

17 comments:

Renee said...

Well, for me, the answer is always "I am slow, but I am happy with what I did!". Now obviously, you are not slow so you can't use that but it works well for me!

Jayson said...

I think that sometimes people just want to hear something they understand. Times, rankings, those are hard and fast numbers. It gives them something to relate to, even if they don't know the distance. (and how far was the marathon?)

I wish us Americans would try to be less competitive, but that's just how it goes I guess.

Fizzgig said...

eek, i didnt know that was rude to ask! lol. then again i only have asked a circle of people i know...not strangers..

Diana said...

Thank God it's not wrong to NOT care about my times! I haven't gotta Garmin or the such just for that reason....the other being they are too damn hard to figure out how to work!
You are right about the other senses during a race. I love to hear everyone's footsteps during a race, just for about a mile, then I need my music! But the sounds and smells of animals and nature-nothing can touch that stuff! This morning on my bike ride, I rode through so much cow shit on the road from all the farmers getting their fields ready for a summer of crops that I smelt like I cleaned a barn when I got home! It doesn't get any better than that!

Kelli said...

Key quote to that post "But I always have fun" - Love It!!! Fun is the whole point of why we do this, right!!

Wes said...

I tell'em :-) What they think about it, or me, is not important....

Leah said...

Heh. As you know, this is something I've struggled with lately! I would always find myself prefacing any race conversation with "I'm slow, but..." and it started to really bother me. Now I'm working on "owning" my results, or being proud of them no matter what they are because I did the work.

LG said...

I am so with you on this...and what is a time anyway? It can vary for so many different reasons -- the course, the weather..so many things that really what do those numbers mean to anyone else? especially people who weren't out on that course. i have always judged my success at a race according to how i felt after - did i do the best I could and did I enjoy the experience and more importantly rather than How Did I Do? I like to answer the question What Did I Learn leading up to the start line and throughout the course to the finish.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

The thing is, when people ask that, they really don't care what your time was, they just want an excuse to tell you what their time was. Stay true to your own reasons for racing and don't let others set the rules for what a 'good' race is for you. This is supposed to be fun afterall.

RoadBunner said...

I find that non-runners tend to ask me way more than runners what my time was. Which is sort of strange to me because they have no clue what the time actually means! Maybe it is their way to seem interested and extend the conversation? I usually answer truthfully. I'm not fast by any means, but I'm not ashamed of it, either.

teacherwoman said...

It's one thing to be asked this by other runners or triathletes, but when a non-athletic person asks me this, I get annoyed because it usually really doesn't mean much to them. But, are they asking because they really don't know any better and don't know of any other way to converse about a race? Hmm..

Kevin said...

If it is someone I am friends with, I would probably tell them. Otherwise Id say its not important

Grey Beard said...

I am loving my Garmin. It lets me ride in the moment and I can dig through the telemetry when I get home to figure out what's going on in an analytical way. That means I don't have to try to remember or record all that junk when on the ride. Doing so takes all the fun out of riding for me. The ride feeds my right brain, and the Garmin my left.

I like speed because it's hard for me to attain. I hate when it puts people off, but don't enjoy habitually getting my ass kicked by lesser riders either. I can always slow down, and I like the option of speeding up.

I try to ride as smart as I can, understand how technology, nutrition, and peroidization can help, but at my age trying to compete against riders 20 yrs younger who are taking their game seriously is a recipe for disappointment. If I can beat someone who has many advantages, but poor resource management, that's an accomplishment, whatever the speed.

More speed creates more range, ride diversity, and different and potentially more compatible company. I enjoy my recovery rides with my club riders the most. "Slow" is fun for me. I get to talk to my friends, take pictures, and get my grin on.

Bob D said...

"How do you answer this question?"

I carry a printout with color coded lognormal graphs. On the other hand, if a unicorn passed me I wouldn't know because I'd be trying to calculate the percent grade of the hill we were on from the angle of my shadow.

Which probably explains why I train alone.

Paul said...

Hey Rachel,

Different strokes for different folks right? Everyone has their own agenda and this sport comes with plenty of number centric people. But I usually ask a "how did you do?" question. It's gets away from the numbers and allows someone to respond with their choice of perspective. I usually answer "I finished!"

Marcy said...

I'm with Wes, I just tell because I don't give a rat's A. If you're faster than me, good for you LOL. Most of the time (like Stacy as already said) the people who are asking are people who have NO clue.

Rainmaker said...

Not only that, but then there's the whole issue of 'how far'. Saying how fast without quantifying it is meaningless. People always 'how fast can you run', and it's like...well...how far do I have to go? 100 yards...?.. perfect!