Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Wait?

I'm not a pro. It's on my list of things to be when I grow up, but I'm not there yet. However, that hasn't stopped me from following the pros, reading their blogs (some of my faves are Bree Wee, Linsey Corbin, and Hillary Biscay), and generally following their careers. These three women are favorites of mine for all different reasons:
  • Bree didn't grow up in the swim/bike/run world. She's turned her passion for surfing into great triathlon potential. Not to mention I've met her, she's super nice, and she gets to train with my parents in Hawaii. She lives where I vacation now (Kona) and lived where I vacationed when I was a kid (Siesta Key). How could I not like her?
  • Linsey has persevered over the last couple years; she has a great enthusiasm for improvement—it has paid off, and she recently won her first IM! Tho I don't know her personally, I rejoiced with her when I read about her win.
  • Hillary is an Ironman force. She has a couple IM wins under her belt, but what she's best known for is how many IMs she can do in a single year—or even better, in a single month.
For the pros this year, a new rule was instituted, and here are the basics: 1. Win and you'll get paid. 2. If you don't win, you must finish within 5% (or 8% in some races) of the winner's time in order to get paid.

This has generated tons of debate, controversy, strange behaviors, you name it. The athletes have spoken, and USAT has listened and is reneging the rule starting in September, but until them, if you finish outside the time limit, you don't get your money. Lately some athletes have been speaking with their feet. Yesterday, Julie Dibens won the Boulder 70.3 but paused at the line to give her competitors more time to finish. Last weekend, Kelly Williamson won the Steelhead 70.3 but stopped at the finish line to give the 3 other pro women a chance to finish within the allotted time.

Here's the scenario: Julie wins a 70.3 (half-Ironman). If she beats her opponents by more than 5% of her overall time (i.e. she finishes in 4:20; then the other women have 12.5 minutes to finish), the other women don't get paid. Instead, Julie and any other woman who comes in within that amount of time (and is in the prize money) split the unallocated money. So the faster you go, the more money you make because you blow away the competition. In yesterday's race, Julie stood at the line before crossing it to give her OPPONENTS a chance to finish within the prize money by making her finish time slower than it should have been.

This doesn't make any sense to me, an outside observer to the pros but a competitor nonetheless. Both Kelly and Julie stood at the line before crossing it so that their fellow competitors could finish within the 12.5 minutes and get paid. Kelly said something like, "There were only 4 women in the pro field and no one was going to walk away without a payday." If you ask me (which no one did :-), that's so stupid. If your competitors can't keep up with you, can't win the race, why should they get paid? This should motivate them to work that much harder!

As a side note, the same rule is in effect for the pro men, but I haven't read or heard anything about men standing at the line.

Some people have wondered, "Why couldn't you just win, and then square up with the other pros later if they've landed outside the allotted time?" But think about that: You make (earn) the money, it's your income, you pay taxes on it, all of it, then you give it away post-tax to people who aren't your employees? You can't very well give them all W2s or other similar forms, so they get gift money that they didn't earn and you're out more than you made because you paid taxes. So not only are they not as good as you physically, now they're taking advantage of you monetarily. Go all out, take what you earn, and be ready for them to be breathing down your back (or steps in front of you) during the next race!

Anyway, off my soapbox now, I still had to do a little training today. My plan for the week is 5-minute lunges R (2:55
maybe a new record, but still not 5 minutes), L (2:20) and 5-minute standing ham plus running a 10K loop at MFY (or DHY when I have to stay north). Isos: done. Run: done. It was not a pretty run; so much for thinking I was fully recovered. The first mile started out OK, and when I finally made it back to MFY 58 minutes and 2 bathroom breaks later, I was feeling good about only the fact that I'd finished. This was slowa few minutes less than it took Bree to finish 10 MILES recently. I wanted to do really well to have a benchmark time for the rest of the week, but my body said, "I'm not going to give you that luxury." Thank you, Granny White Park and Chick-fil-A, for open bathrooms. It can only go up from here!

The stats are sad; I almost don't want to record them except that then I can look at the end of the week and see how much better I've gotten.
  • 58:25, 6.20 miles, 9:25 pace (6:50 best), 167 HR (187 max), 738 cal
  • Mile 1: 7:58
  • Mile 2: 8:25
  • Mile 3: 10:23
  • Mile 4: 8:24
  • Mile 5: 8:55
  • Mile 6: 12:45
  • Mile 6.2: 1:31

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