Thursday, May 1, 2008

Beyond common sense

I was running past a couple of people on a trail the other day and I just caught an audio glimpse of their conversation. I believe that the guy was explaining to the girl why running was actually bad for you. And he was making sure I heard him. I chuckled inside. He had no idea. That morning, I had swam for 30 minutes and then ridden my bike for 45 minutes. Now, I was running 5 miles to top off the day.

What would he think? Funning thing is that I started this whole multisport/triathlon thing because I was training too much. I was running 6/7 times a week. Now I have 9/10 workouts a week. What happened? The only logical explanation, which seems to be shared by Brett from "Zen and the Art of Triathlon" is that I'm crazy, same as all other tri-athletes. Swimmers make fun of our lack of technique ("what do you mean, you have to look up, there's no line at the bottom?"), roadies don't want to ride with us ("aerobars are forbidden on this group ride") and runners, well they don't know we exist.

Yet here we are, considered by most people (sometimes by our own flesh and blood) to be crazy and/or addicted to training. I don't really have a deep answer to this. If all I wanted was to be in good physical shape, running 3/4 times a week would be enough. For some reason I don't understand, the allure of running a 10k, a marathon, an triathlon or even an Ironman or an Ultra-marathon seem to be irresistible. It's not about winning, because I know I won't, but I do care about doing those things well. We all have our limitations and I do want to try to do well within those boundaries. By including multiple sports in my training, I feel like I'm becoming a more complete athlete, even at the cost of losing a bit of my "runner" identity.

I don't mind. I will soon be a triathlete (after my first tri in June), a reject from other sports with a weird bike, running with wet shorts, barefoot in my running shoes and swimming in a wetsuit. Can't wait.

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