Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Much is in the Tank?

I sometimes find it amazing how my mind works. I don't look for analogies, comparisons, metaphors or parallelisms between everyday life and my training/racing. They just kind of fall into my head. Case in knew I was going SOMEWHERE with this.

Yesterday I decided to cut the grass. Being a hot July the grass has pretty much gone dormant and brown. But it still needed a trim. I got dressed in grubby clothes and proceeded into the garage. I stood there before the lawn mower remembering that I had not refilled the gas can sitting next to it. I shook the can and heard the sloshing of a small amount of gasoline. I opened the tank of the lawn mower and saw the remnants from the previous cutting.

Of course if I had a lawn mower like this I wouldn't have to worry about gasoline.

I drained the last of the fuel from the can into the tank and set about my task. I cut the front yard first just in case I ran out of gas. Better to have a half cut yard in the back and not the front. Of course we live on a corner lot and nothing is hidden.

If I did run out of gas I would finish the job the next day. I tried to be efficient as possible making sure I didn't waste time going over areas that were already cut. I had to strategerize my cutting path.

I was on the last section of grass thinking, "I'm going to get this entire yard cut." I kept waiting for the engine to begin sputtering as it sucked the last drops of fuel from the tank. With the last two short strips of grass to cut that is exactly what happened.

I finished the chore and I shut down the engine as it sat there sputtering on the last fumes of gas.

You know where I am headed with this, Right? My readers are a smart bunch.

Each time we step up to the start line of a 5k, marathon, triathlon, criterium, starting block...we think,

"Do I have enough in me to finish?"

"How much do I burn and at what points during the race."

These are never easy questions to answer, especially when you are the one holding the answer. Sometimes the only way to answer the questions is through trial and error.

Push to hard at the wrong times during a race and you pay the price with an empty tank before reaching the finish line.

Hold back too much with plenty of reserve left in the tank and you beat yourself up saying, "Why didn't I go harder?"



How much do you have left in your tank at the end of a race?

Game On.

1 comment:

Ben Miralia said...

Awesome post Eric. Right on the money.