Watching the end of today’s 19th stage of the Giro, the third-from-the-end and last one to finish on a mountain (Mount Vesuvius in this case), it was clear that the only chance that second-place Danilo Di Luca had was to attack race leader Denis Menchov and get some time, given that Menchov is the superior time trialer, with the final-day, short time trial being the last chance for changes at the top.

In the end, Di Luca couldn’t shake Menchov off his wheel, try as he might. He picked up 8 seconds via a time bonus for finishing third to Menchov’s fourth on the stage, and stands 18 seconds back.

One of my favorite blogger, Julie of RacesLikeAGirl is racing the Newport Marathon in Oregon tomorrow. She’s been working extremely hard under the tutelage of Kevin Beck, and is poised, I think, to blow the roof off the joint. But whatever happens, she posted some pre-race thoughts that are typically insightful and worth storing somewhere for the next time I get ready to run a marathon.

Putting these two things together, it dawned on me that the point of this whole racing business is to go All In. We put everything on the line, everything that we’ve trained for and all the effort that has been put into that training for the shot of winning the brass ring of reaching the goal. And that can be really scary.

As I’ve made clear, my elitist view is that the goal of “finishing” is not what we’re talking about. It’s that perhaps artificial running/racing dichotomy. One of the revelations of this blogging business is seeing so many others with this same mind-set. That pretty well applies to all the bloggers I list.

As Ryan Hall says in the “The Competitors” podcast to which I recently linked, there’s no point if you don’t enjoy the journey (or something like that). I’m sure he’d admit, the end of that journey is best done quickly.