Tuesday, September 24, 2013

21 Miles. Not so epic.

Did you hear about Ironman Lake Tahoe last weekend? Apparently, it was epic. With almost freezing temperatures, it was much more than the altitude these athletes had bargained for. While other sport fans were watching football and baseball on Sunday, I was glued to my computer most of the day, watching results for my colleagues in the the Silicon Valley Triathlon Club. I just can't care about million-dollar professional athletes, when I have been training with these epic people all year long. Wow.

How many more times can I say "epic" in this post? We shall see.

I wish I could have been there to support them. But, I did a swim relay on Saturday, and my last 20+ mile training run for Chicago on Sunday (between computer-stalking on the IMLT website). 

During the run, I tried to harness some inner strength from those in Tahoe. Solidarity. Or, as my Sass-girls like to call it, "Sass-idarity." Those brave souls risking the hypothermia to be an "Iron person" is just - wow! I tried to stifle my complaints, but damn. . . I really hate these long training runs. To epic proportions.

"If you hate it, then why do you do it?" 

Let's get a few things straight: 

1.)  I really enjoy triathlon training: it's challenging, I love the camaraderie, and seeing how it is making incremental improvements in my performance, mood, etc.

3.) The Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon last year was an awesome event. I am talking about the race itself, race day, running with a bunch of people, accepting water and electrolyte supplements from strangers, being in the finishing shoot with my friend, Christine. It was amazing! I wouldn't do Chicago if my first experience wasn't so awesome.

2.) I enjoy a good long training run. Give me 15 to 18 miles, and it's a good day. But, there is something about 20 that really sucks.

3.) Running for three hours or more is not the same as biking for 3 hours. Not even close. I even prefer swimming to these long training runs. I know. It's amazing, right? Who knew I'd be such a happy little fish.

Back to Sunday: my training goal was met - 21 miles. The first 8 felt terrible. But, then, I got lose, got funky, maybe focused a bit more, and finished. It wasn't that bad, and definitely not epic. I just is what it is. After a a few days of sitting on the good ole' tennis ball, my legs will be like new. Plus, I get to take it easy--ahem, easier for a couple of weeks. That is delightful.

This year, I am again reminded that training for a marathon is hard. Really hard. I can totally see why people put this on a bucket list, check it off, and never do it again. I keep saying this is my last marathon.

But, who knows? It could be completely epic! (I really hope it doesn't snow.)

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