It has been a thought I’ve had for quite some time. Last year I became a triathlete. I came to the sport from running. I have been a runner for almost 5 years now. I just don’t ever describe myself as a runner anymore.
6 years ago I signed up for the Princess half marathon because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to do something healthy. I wanted to accomplish something before I turned 25. So I registered without thinking about it. I had a fairly good race. Then I found this great group of runners and before I knew it I was getting better. I was also active and enjoying life. Now 5 years and countless races later, I don’t call myself a runner.
Believe it or not, running has gotten harder over the last 3 years. When I started I was part of a club that really pushed you. There were hill workouts, track workouts, and speed workouts. Apparently, on my own, I don’t have the ability to push myself to do that. So instead, I put on weight and plateaued in running. I haven’t been able to gain any time or speed in a while.
Enter triathlons. I actually started because the husband’s doc recommended he do it because of a knee issue. Since triathlons are easier on the knee joint. Since I had a lot of shin splint pain I decided to give it a try also. Believe it or not my shin pains are actually gone. I have also seen my time increase. I’ve actually gotten so much faster on the bike. Last night I did 8 miles in 30 minutes which is an average of a 16mph. I was so jazzed. However, when I had to get off the bike and run I dreaded it.
Now, I’ve signed up for my first half ironman and will once again have to do 13.1 miles at the end. That scares me. I’m not a fast runner and will constantly worry about time cutoffs. So now, I once again have to figure out how to do speed workouts and track workouts.
I didn’t question pulling the trigger to sign up for my first half. I have 9 months to prepare. I have a super supportive husband and triathlete buddies (even if they all aren’t nearby). Now, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone. With sprints and olympics you can get through the run. Hell, I could craw if I wanted. But with a half iron there is a time cutoff. There is a need to be better than you already are. Which means I have to run. I have to find that place again where I want to run. It has been a while since I have actually wanted to run and now my goal race it may all come down to running.
However, when it comes down to it. I don’t think I’ll ever be “just” a runner again. I enjoy being a triathlete far more!
How do you handle the sport you don’t like?