Sunday, July 27, 2008

Starting from scratch...

People do this sport for a number of different reasons. Some get into triathlon as a means to deal with a mid-life crisis, under the impression that it's cheaper than buying a Porsche. It isn't. Some grow tired of the fact that they haven't seen their feet in years because of the "muffin top" obscuring their view. Hell, I've even heard of triathletes who buy a bike just to have an excuse to ride alongside a girl they've been after for a while. Others, like me, start down the road to multisport addiction because of some unquantifiable competitive drive. We're the types with that "if you're gonna do something, do it all out" mentality.

I grew up as a swimmer and for about a decade it was all that mattered. I transferred that same drive to triathlon and I've fared pretty well in six years of doing this sport. In 2006 I race three Ironman events and I would've done more had I had more time (and money). Two years later, the thought of doing an Ironman makes me cringe. It's not so much the race itself, but the preparation. I have no desire to slog through a six-hour ride every Saturday and then follow it up with a mind-numbing three hour run on Sunday. Quite honestly, I'd rather just spend a few hours jumping creeks on my mountain bike and then spend the rest of the day lounging around with my girlfriend and drinking beers with my friends. And I'm not ashamed of that. I think a more balanced approach to sport will ultimately make me a better triathlete.

With that in mind, I'm starting over. The mammoth drops in my triathlon times have plateaued and I know that the only way to get faster is to change my approach. There's something seriously wrong when your bike and run splits at Ironman are nearly equal. Because of that, it's time to become a runner for the next year (give or take a few months). There's no doubt that I'll miss racing. I love the nerves of race morning, the meticulous race prep and the way that a shitty beer can taste great at the finish line. But I know that it'll all pay off -- be it one year down the road or ten. And if not -- at least I gave it a go. Time to go for a run.


Jay Prasuhn said...

Why didn't you use the shot of you pushing the bike? Those were way neater. You looked like you were having fun, pushing the bike up the hill instead of riding it.

I know you've found a leaf to turn over and are looking at the sport from a different, fresher, but maybe...maybe you should stay retired and keep enjoying the beers and Ding-Dongs.

I know... you hate me.

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