All day. All freaking day something’s been bothering me. And it’s the culmination of a few things all rolled in to one.
Not mine. But other people’s. That’s right, YOURS.
(Well maybe not you personally but you get my point)
Now. Where to begin?
When I first started ‘being active’ I feared negativity. I was convinced I was the centre of everyone’s attention as I waddled down the road, Lycra clad, trying to put one foot in front of the other at a pace faster than a granny with a Zimmer frame. Of course I wasn’t – (the centre of everyone’s universe I mean but no, at that time I was also not faster than the Zimmer frame) – but I had that fear. The same fear everyone does when they start something new. But I got over it (or over ‘myself’ which is a bit more accurate – the dog chasing its tail will always be more entertaining to watch than someone running past). It’s gone. I moved on.
And I’ve never really experienced negativity at running races either. At the first few I’ve possibly thought people would wonder what I thought I was playing at attempting to run but that was my own head issues. Yes I’ve had one or two blokes clearly not happy at being beat by a 4ft midget women but I put that down to competition and the majority of us set a target person to beat anyway, it’s not that bad a thing.
But never, absolutely NEVER, have I experienced the volumes of negativity surrounding a race as much as I have of the Edinburgh Half Ironman.
Moaning about it being called ‘Edinburgh’, complaining about the disruption, bumping gums about what others call it, referring to it as just plain ridiculous.
I honesty can’t take much more. It’s 2am and this shit is keeping me up.
Let me explain.
Firstly, the ‘Edinburgh’ reference. Now if you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know my geography is probably on par with a pre-schooler however, I do recognise that the race route for Ironman Edinburgh 70.3 is not entirely in Edinburgh. I’m not sure if some people expected a new open water place to magically just appear in the centre and for almost 2000 people to cycle and then run through the centre of Edinburgh closing even more roads but come on. Doesn’t take a genius to work out where the route would likely be. So having used my pre-school map and compass before entering (along with my back pack, thank you Dora), this does not bother me. It’s Ironman Edinburgh 70.3 – says so on the uber expensive registration form.
Disruption. Ok. I get it. A big nuisance to those not involved or interested in the race. But you chose where you live. You know it’s a popular place for events. Roads are closed for both the safety of those participating in the event and everyone else. EVERYONE ELSE. Have you ever been hit by a cyclist? Has one cycled in to your car or your dog on the out-stretched lead? Has anyone ever run in to you full pelt and knocked you over? It’s not just us participating that can get hurt. But yes, I can appreciate having to work around the area you live in being closed for a few hours is a pain in the backside. Why should you have your life disrupted because some people want to have ‘a pissing contest’? (And yes, that’s an actual quote from a keyboard warrior). There is notice that goes out so you can forward plan. You’re complaining now which means you are aware of it and therefore have time to arrange alternative means. I do appreciate it’s annoying, especially if it’s something you’re not even remotely interested in – But – can you not appreciate what it does for your area? No Edinburgh doesn’t need ‘put on the map’ – pretty sure Trainspotting did that very successfully, not to mention every other blockbusting movie that likes to film in the centre – but the Ironman brand is a worldwide spectacular event. It is well known for its support, its expertise in these events and how to pull off said events in a phenomenally easy manner.
Can you not just be the same just for one day?
So many of us have put ourselves through months and months of training to do this frightening task on Sunday. No you may not be interested one bit in what we are doing or how we have trained or that we have had near death experiences along the way but surely you recognise it’s all for a good thing? That it’s not just for ourselves. That some of us are raising money and awareness for several charities (ironically my chosen charity being SAMH – mental health – this negativity does not support good mental health). That some of us are trying to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle to our children and also to our friends and families?
It’s not just those outside of the sport either. I’ve said before how I’ve not found all triathletes to be the most welcoming. And my experience of Ironman Edinburgh 70.3 has not done anything to improve that. Not just the raised eyebrows from a few weeks ago at the Loch swimming but the quick and sharp correction months ago when I mentioned on a Facebook site I was doing Edinburgh Ironman that I MUST put in the title that it was a Half Ironman. Stupid me. I had presumed any die hard Ironman fan would automatically know Edinburgh only has 70.3 and not the Full Ironman.
I should not be surprised though that keyboard warriors are out there and like to express their opinion. Fine. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion – hence this post – but I personally prefer to be supportive rather than rant and rave over something that has absolutely no effect on my life what so ever. Yup, the majority of these ‘fellow triathletes’ aren’t even taking part in Ironman Edinburgh 70.3. Maybe thats why I prefer being part of my running group. At least people will say hi rather than the equivalent ‘you can’t call yourself a runner, you’ve never ran a race’.
But let’s not get in to that debate on when you can and can not call yourself a runner or a triathlete.
It’s now after 3am. I’ve read back through some of my own blog posts to remind myself how far I’ve come. How hard this training has been – not just on me but my family too. And how much I want this. I’m doing this for me. Not for you. Not your approval or acceptance. But for ME. I know for a fact Ironman will put on a good show. I don’t doubt it in the slightest. The atmosphere will be out of this world. There will be many tears, probably a few moments of seeing my breakfast again and many, many souvenirs bought.
So, thanks for shitting on my parade, but I don’t need your negativity. I will stick with being on the positive fence and at least try to see the good in all things. If nothing else you’ve distracted me a little from my nerves. That can only be a good thing (see what I did there, not hard is it).