Friday, April 25, 2008
What it means to be a triathlete?
Well at this point...I'm not really sure. Because I'm not a triathlete YET...I have not completed a triathlon. However...In the past 2 weeks I have been training like one. Here is my insight!
Running......I firmly believe it is something anyone can do. It is something we do everyday....put one foot in front of the other. I believe it is a gift from God to be able to do that.....but the majority of us...get around daily by feetsies! Natural instinct when you are being attacked....is to RUN! Some people are obviously faster than others..(ahem BILL!)...I would surely get eaten by the lion or whatever...but lets face it...running is a natural instinct. (*Disclaimer- I am not trying to make running seem any easier than it is or take away anything from runners. Running is difficult sport and it challenges me daily....it has also changed my life for the better)
ON THE OTHER HAND.......Swimming and Biking.....not so much a natural instinct. As I learned at a young age, every natural instinct you have in the water is WRONG. If you are floating on your back ever so peacefully and that stupid shi*head kid splashes you in the face while doing a cannonball...your instinct is to lift your head out of the water. WHat does that do???? Makes you sink and drown! Same as swimming laps, when people first pick up the sport they carry their head high out of the water....especially during breathing. Again this makes them sink (hips)...makes it more DIFFICULT to get air....and slows them down. So swimming is basically a constant struggle fighting against natural instinct. Not to mention...with running and biking you increase your ventilation rate as your muscles need more oxygen. Swimming? not so much. It is so hard to be working your body that hard and not always delivering the oxygen it needs to your muscles.
Biking....well I just started. But it seemed easy in theory. Sit down....push these metal things round and round...and this little machine carries you all over. ALmost like a traveling personal automobile right????? WRONG! I now have so much more respect for bikers its not even funny. I also learned why they wear spandex....haha. I tried biking in the wind in a baggy tshirt and I could barely pedal and pretty much turned myself into a KITE! I couldnt go ANYWHERE because of the drag. Also try sitting crouched over for an hour while trying to lift your head up to see the road and have cars flying past you at 50 mph while your quads are on fire. Really people...its not as easy as it looks..and not quite the personal automobile i thought it was. Maybe I should try motorcycle racing instead. haha.
And lastly....the mental power it takes to get geared up for a multi sport workout is far greater than that for a single sport workout. WHen you head out for a run.....it can be brainless at times. Which is the beauty.....you know that when you go out and back...all you are waiting for is that turnaround point...and then seeing home again. Its hard to describe...but after swimming and kicking your butt in the pool for 40 minutes..to get out and then get mentally pysched to get on the bike for another 40..is very difficult. Your muscles feel akward from the strains of the previous sport. You feel tired...AT THE BEGINNING of the ride!!!!! I mean could you imagine starting every run after doing an hour or so of other hardcore workouts? How hard mentally it would be to BEGIN the run and be DRAGGING the first mile? Its tough...I promise!
Anyway...just a little insight on my new sport. NO FEAR...i am still a runner. I will always be a marathoner (ooooh man...that sounds cool). But this new direction my life has taken me is such an exhilarating challenge......and am I scared of failure? Absolutely not! BRING IT ON!