Competition

Many of my friends already know that in January I made a bet with a buddy to compete in four events this year, two triathlons, a10k trail run and an off road duathlon. We’ve made bets in the past, which was motivation for a month or two, this year we were more ambitious. We wanted the bet to encourage us to get in, and stay in shape. So far its working for me. Here’s are the events.

This has motivated me to make some pretty substantial changes in my lifestyle. I’m already reaping the benefits.

Exercise: I’m working out about three times each week. Lots of swimming, cycling and running. I’ve already made significant advances in my overall endurance, and I’m looking forward to increasing even further. Swimming is the hardest for me, by far. I’ve never done it before so I’m woefully inefficient and way uncomfortable. I can swim, I’m just not very good at getting anywhere fast. Running is work, but I can do it. Cycling is just fun. Reminds me of being a kid. I do a bit of core training and yoga every once in a while, too, but am not focused on these.

I have found that I like competing in events much more than training for them. It takes quite a bit of discipline to work out just because I know that I need to. Events are more like a game, I have a target, pass THAT guy (the person in front of me). Plus, there are a bunch of people cheering, water stations, and a clock that’s running. In each of the events that I’ve competed in so far, I’ve realized when I was done that I could have pushed myself harder, that I was too easy on myself. This is encouraging.

Diet: In February Liz & I decided to try being vegans for 30 days, following Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 diet. Once the 30 days were complete, we agreed to continue. We aren’t strict, when we eat with friends or family we eat what everyone else is having. We’re social people so this means that we “cheat” about once a week. We get some pretty dramatic reactions when we tell people about this, but the bottom line is that we like the food we’re eating, and we can definitely see results. This is worth a blog post of its own, so I’ll stay focused on how this applies to my contest.

Results: So far I’m behind in our competition by about 15 minutes. I wouldn’t consider myself out of the running though. And, the personal benefits are pretty fantastic.

  • Endurance: When I started this in January, running for 20 minutes was excruciating. Yesterday I ran 6 miles non-stop and could have kept going.
  • Health: I haven’t gotten sick once this year, in spite of being around sick/recovering friends, family & coworkers. Normally I would have caught a cold at least once by now.
  • Toughness: I can’t easily quantify this, but I’m learning that I’m too easy on myself while training and competing. I can push myself harder than I have. It is VERY difficult to keep this in mind while in the moment. I need to have this tattooed on my arm or something.
  • Weight: I’ve lost almost 35 pounds since Christmas. If shedding almost 20% of your weight isn’t freaking awesome then I don’t know what is.

Look at those results. Heck, even if I lose the bet I’ll count this year as a victory. I haven’t lost yet though, the bet isn’t over. We’ve only completed two of the four events, the shortest & easiest events at that. I’m still in this.

3 replies on “Competition”

  1. Chris – it’s been SO cool to see you embrace this crazy triathlon thing…and now a trail race, too! Win or lose the competition, it’s clear you’ve already gained a lot of really amazing “prizes”…but it’s not over yet…not by a long shot! See you out there at the Austin Tri…try not to plow me over as you go past me! ~ etg

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