Friday, May 13, 2011

Reflection and cycling.

As I was lamenting in my gimpyness lately, I had a lot of time to reflect on why I do what I do, what do I like about it, and what I don't like about it. I thought I'd share a few of the tidbits that have been rattling around my brain.

I realized that not being able to run well nor fast is not the end of the world for me. Although this would crush others emotionally, running isn't something that I live for. I run because I have to, not really because I want to. It is hard. My body complains. I am not instantly going to become a fast runner. If I spend a ton of time at running, it STILL won't be a strength for me. Could it be possible that I will run the marathon leg of Ironman under 5:00? No. Is is possible that it will be under 6:00? Maybe but not likely. I think that between 6:00 and 7:00 is the most likely range but over 7:00 is possible too. So the upside of investing a lot of time in running isn't that great for me. Yes, I'll gain some time but it won't be significant. The downside is that more running will keep me on injury road. Injury road prevents me from cycling and swimming. That's the base of my success.

Swimming is more of a hobby for me. I used to think this is my weakest link but I've improved over time to the point where I consider myself average. Yes there are people that swim like fish and that isn't me but I hold my own now. I view the swim stage of a triathlon as a prelude to the bike ride.

But cycling, ahhh cycling. I realized cycling is what ignites my passion. Since I couldn't run, we mixed in more cycling on the weekends lately. The more I rode, the more I wanted to ride. I realized if I couldn't ride, like last summer after my broken wrist and before that after I broke my ribs (and bike), it impacts me on a bunch of levels beyond the physical.

So I had a conversation about this with my coach, The net of this is that we are going to bias more of my training towards cycling and use cycling to drive my fitness. I'm going to cut back (not completely cut out) on the run and let my legs heal. On the rare times when I find some extra time, it will be in the saddle. I'll be riding both days on each weekend and at least one and probably two additional times during the week where some of the hard stuff will be.

I've decided to opt out of the Half Rev at Quassy and do the AquaBike instead. I'm probably not doing the Brooklyn Half Mary but will ride instead and I'm OK with that.

Time to go for a ride. There are some hills taunting me as only hills can.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

We are twins after reading this

TRI714 said...

me , I like to ride :-)

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Yep, the riding is where it's at. It is painful at times (read: lactic acid build up) but not the same painful (joint pain!) that comes from running. Two different hurts and I know which one i prefer. That being said, i should be getting in around 7-8 hours in the saddle btw Sat and Sun. Yay! Have a great weekend of riding too.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

You guys who can ride a bike have my full respect. Like I always tell BBD - call me when they get a bike seat that looks like a couch cushion! Until then, I'm out.

Mark said...

I am right with you homeslice. I am suffering from a terribly painful left knee. I love biking, but I worry about my run fitness.

Yikes! Here's to you convalescing quickly!

Michael said...

I think we all have to find that magic formula that works for us. I still haven't found my sport yet....I'm a slow swimmer, biker, and runner. I keep hoping one of them will jump to the forefront. If I could get past the lungs feeling like they are going to explode I think I would love the swim, but I have alot of work to do. I definitely like the bike more than the run. I am so SLOW at running.

Unknown said...

I get it. I actually love running too, but I didn't realize how magical it could seem to ride my bike. I live for those rides.

Big Clyde said...

I am so glad to have read this. I love that I started running last year, thanks to a lot of coaching and encouragement from you. (Do you remember that it was who you told me to just keep running past the three minute mark? Eventually, I was running for 65 minutes at a time!).

Yet, I rarely looked forward to a run, but almost always look forward to my rides. I also dread some of the knee pain that kicks in with running for me. I think that I will stick with some 5K's just to keep it alive, but otherwise focus on the bike.