Monday, July 03, 2006

Swimming, biking, running and all that jazz

Went out for a solo ride the other morning. I declined on a 140k group ride because I didn't want my legs to be overly tired for my long run the next day. With no one around to keep my pace reasonable, my easy 40k quickly turned into an interval/race pace ride. Lance Armstrong says he loves rides that are just suffering contests so I thought I'd try one on for size. I wanted to see how badly I could make my legs burn and how long I could bear it. The funny thing is, I'm not really training for anything.

On the way back, I saw a friend of mine out for her long run. I rode alongside and discovered that I was not alone in my plight. We both had the 1/2 ironman (2 weeks ago) as our goal race and now she was wrestling with the same question that had been on my mind:

What now?

For her, it's the Calgary Marathon (next week) and for me it's the Victoria Marathon (October) with a few Olympic distace tri's in between and maybe a swim out to Saltspring. My friends have been giving me a hard time because I'd promised to slow down on training and see them more after the 1/2 ironman. I tried but after a week of recovery, I'm back at it. Why is it so hard to slow down?

I guess I counter with, why would I want to? I love everything about this sport! On a hot sunny day like today, I just want to take my wetsuit down to the lake and do a long swim. The big thrill for tomorrow will be heading out to Mt. Work (after work) for a hill run. Given the number of triathletes you see doing the same thing, I don't think I'm alone. We may never win any money, get sponsered or even see our pictures in the paper but we'll still be out there doing what we do simply for the love of doing it.

Maybe those of us in the semi-competitive racing category (read: non-elite but more than weekend warrior) sign up for races so that we can give our friends and families a tangible reason for all our hard work and hope they don't notice when we keep training after our goal races are finished. Could it be that "what now?" is really just short for "what do I tell people I'm training for now?"

The real reason is less obvious and unless you've been bitten, you may never know.

If you don't know what jazz is, I can't tell you.

~Louis Armstrong