Thursday, June 14, 2007
I Do Triathlons, I'm not a Triathlete . . . Anymore
It's an ugly thing to realize something you've become always held in disdain and that you've drifted from something that brings you joy because of it. Tri-geek was always a dirty word around the shop. The negative side I saw was that people trained at the expense of the ride. Almost always. For example, not mountain biking because the ride profile spent too much time in HR Zones 4-5 on the climbs and then all the way back to below HR Zones 1-2 when I really need that time to be in zones 2-3. If you know what I'm talking about, you may already be headed down the wrong path. Not that some structured training might not help you out, but it was killing my soul. In order to stay in the right HR zones I found myself riding my trainer. A lot. Mind numbing and spirit crushing. I'd become an automaton. My wife and I recently completed the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 together. Our youngest turned 4 mos. old the day of the race. That race was worth it to run down the finishing chute with my wife. But that was when the triathlete that I'd become died and I got back to being me. I finished the swim a couple of minutes ahead of my wife and built a lead of around half an hour after the bike. Foot cramps and shin splints had me hobbling on the first part of the run until I sat down and worked them out. I could have pushed on and finished thirty minutes or so faster than I did. But why? I started racing to spend more time with my wife. Why not finish this thing with her, since she's stated this will be her only 1/2 for quite a while? I did and it was great. Last year my mountain biking season was cut short when I took a flier into a tree on Joy. This year, I'm determined to have a full mountain bike season and to not let training get in the way of enjoying the outdoors. A funny thing has happened since I made that determination. I've enjoyed my time outdoors, which so happens to be while I'm exercising. Runs are enjoyable. Swimming isn't monotonous. The mountain biking is lovely. With the Spudman grudge match pending, I should be doing some very focused training this Saturday. I've decided on a long mountain bike ride to Tibble with some of my very favorite ridding buddies - Dan, Brently Bob, B and we'll see if Ben can make it. I've got high hopes that this will be one of those memorable rides. After all, is there really such a thing as a really great trainer ride?