I’ve written a lot on this blog about setting new goals, going after new distances and sometimes achieving these goals and sometimes not (Failure to Launch). While my largest goal is looming at just 300 days away-Ironman Lake Placid, I have decided that one activity, running a marathon (just running, no tri-ing), is really not a goal of mine.
Sure I’m going to run a marathon as part of my Ironman but somehow, in my confused and twisted triathlete brain of mine, it seems different. Running always seems different to me during tri training and racing. I enjoy running…to a certain distance. I like seeing how far I can go and keep a certain pace but after awhile I ask myself, do I really need to run 18 miles (not in a race) to show myself I have endurance? Questions like this one have been circulating in my brain for quite some time. Every time someone asked me if I was going to do a marathon I would say “I honestly have no burning desire to run one, although I would like to do an Ironman”.
Seriously this response has been given 100s of times over the years so this is nothing new. As I started to actually train for my first marathon a couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the workouts and different types of workouts but really started to question why I was doing “this” marathon rather than having my first one during my Ironman. It wasn’t because I thought you had to run one before Ironman, you certainly don’t, but rather was a good “goal” to keep me training throughout the winter and hey, because everyone in Vero is doing a marathon this winter!
That’s what it came down to, what everyone else was doing, not what I really wanted to do. I landed on this thought during my 6 mile run after arriving back from Vegas. While in Vegas at the Interbike industry show, I saw so many different “types” of bike guys (and gals) there. Sure, they all love bikes but they like different bikes for different reasons and therefore different courses and distances. As runners, sometimes we get lumped together-as you do a 5k, you then move up to 10k, then to 13.1 and then to 26.2 and then in some cases an ultra.
It sounds like a natural progression but really, its not for everyone and that is ok! We don’t have to do Ultras and full marathons to train and race competitively. I really like the 5k and 10k distances where as a lot of marathoners hate them.
What I also determined about myself is that I’m a triathlete, first and foremost. I like the three sports of swim, bike and run grouped together but separate one from the other for too long and I’m not as happy. Can’t really explain this other than I get bored??
So long story short, I’m saving my marathon and Ironman cherries for Lake Placid (sorry mom). I have several half marathons I’m eyeing for this upcoming running season where I’m looking to increase my speed and endurance. My coach, Justin, is on board and totally understood when I explained my thoughts to him- “you have to have a passion for what you are doing. You can’t go into marathons or marathon training lightly.”
I couldn’t agree more and the same certainly holds true for Ironman training so I’m saving my brain cells for Ironman training when the real work begins.
As Bart Yasso, infamous running coach and guru, has said “running isn’t about how far you go but how far you have come.”
With this decision and the thought process behind it, I’ve come a long way. I’m going to follow my own path, the one less traveled.