Monday, July 18, 2011

Endurance Snobbery

I've been working out with a bunch of different people lately - ranging from newbies to Ironman or multiple-marathon finishers.  Its fun to share the excitement and nervous energy of the newbies but its also fun being the jaded "its not worth my time for X distance".  My swim-snobbery is well documented.  I have a hard time getting in the pool if the workout is less than 2,000 yards.  I once had a recovery-week swim workout of 1200 yards, and I really debated if the 20 minutes of swimming was worth my time (and a second shower for the day).  Lately, I'm becoming more that way for running and biking.  I've been really bad in getting in the shorter runs.  For some reason, its not worth the hassle if I'm not running for at least 45 minutes.  Four miles is now my short run.  I was running with a multi-marathoner on Saturday and she said that she won't even get out of bed for 2 miles.

Funny how far I've come from being a beginner.  I remember the first time I was training for a 5k - and the first time my plan called for 5 miles.  It was intimidating.  For the 5k, I made Will show up to cheer me on and it was the. biggest. deal. ever.  Really.  Until until I discovered endurance events.

My first triathlon was a HUGE deal.  I was so nervous but excited.  I made Will get up at 5 AM so he could document the grande event.  Finishing was the biggest thing ever.

Until I did a Quarter IM 5 months later (and made Will stay overnight with me in Galveston - "I don't know if I'll be able to drive home, I'll be soooo tired").  And a year later, same thing with a HIM.  Then a full IM.

Funny thing - I think I was more nervous for my first sprint triathlon than I was for IMTX.  I think it was because for IMTX, I've done this sort of thing before.  Sure it was my first IM, but I'd trained for it and I knew I would finish.  I had an idea of how much it would hurt (or not hurt, depending on what part of the race I was in).  For my first sprint - and all other distances leading up to IMTX - I was in unchartered territory and I wasn't sure quite what to expect.  That sprint was full of the unknown and "what-ifs", where IMTX was more like a celebration of the past 8 months of hard work.

In my post-IM life, I'm now having to motivate myself for these shorter sessions.  Its so easy to ditch my short mid-week run (especially when I'm not really training for anything).  Short mid-week bike rides are easily excused away.  Long rides and runs - no problem getting those in though.  But even those "long" outings aren't that long.  8 mile runs and 30-40 mile rides.  I get done with the run/ride and feel like I've got a lot more left in the tank.  The focus on these longer rides aren't on the training - they're on the social aspect and meeting new people. The Boulder Peak Oly last week took me nearly 3.5 hours, and THAT didn't even feel very long.  I remember getting to the finish chute going "ummmm, this really isn't that big of a deal.  Should I raise my arms anyways, because that's what you do in a finish line photo?"  How sad/funny is that?  What was once a HUGE deal even a year ago is just ho-hum, no big deal.  Its cool but also really weird.

I suppose I'd better get a training plan set up for the Denver RnR half marathon in October to keep me focused (at least a little bit).  Or at least a bit more accountable for when I feel like skipping my mid-week runs.

No comments: