Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Realization

Yesterday was our first 20 miler of this training cycle. If you are friends with us on DailyMile you might have seen that it did not go well for either of us. It was extremely humid here yesterday, but I don't like to make excuses. It just didn't go well.

Mike said something that made me laugh, but also made me think, yesterday. He admitted in his DailyMile post about the run that running has not been going well for him lately, something that I also wrote about on here a little while ago (though it has gotten better for me since then). While we were talking about running he said, "do you think that we are having so many issues with running because it is impossible to be full-time triathletes and full-time runners?"

It made me laugh just because when I hear the words "full-time" I think of a job, but I guess we do take running/triathlons as, if not more, seriously than our actual jobs.

Then it made me think, well yea of course we can't be full-time triathletes AND runners. Though that is what we have been trying to do ever since we started training for our first sprint triathlon last year. We don't stop running road races while training for triathlons, and this year we haven't stopped swimming and biking just because we are training for a marathon.

 We trained for the Cleveland Marathon and Musselman 70.3 at the same time

In the end, I think we are eventually going to have to make a decision. Not that we can't do both, but for now I think we identify more as triathletes than as runners. Even though running isn't going that well for us, I felt great during the run leg of our recent sprint triathlon. I look forward to getting in the pool or lake for a swim and getting in the saddle for a ride.

Smiling during each leg of the triathlon last weekend

Next year we are going to be training for an Ironman, for about six months or so, which isn't going to allow for a lot of road racing. At least not in the RACING racing sense, we can use them as training runs if we want and we probably will.

If you take a look at our upcoming races calendar for next year, the majority of races we have planned are triathlons (we have the Boilermaker on there but I'm 99% sure I want to do the Double Mussel and do both the sprint and 70.3 again next year).

Mike and I love road racing, and we always will, but I think that trying to TRAIN for both triathlons and road racing is going to have to take a back seat after this year.  We'll still have to get out there and run 20 milers next year, since we'll be running (or crawling) a marathon at the end of our Ironman, but it will have a different purpose. We won't be running for a PR, we'll be running to survive a 140.6.

Triathletes, through and through

I am a triathlete, and I think the time has come to primarily train for and race triathlons. At least for a few years.

18 comments:

  1. I think this is really smart of both of you. You have to pick a primary goal and then go for it--and nothing can get in the way of that primary goal, which for you guys seems to be the Ironman. I know from running it's really hard to focus on 2 things at once--better to work on 1 thing at a time, give it your all, and crush it. Which you guys will!

    That being said, I think it's really hard to run a race as a "training run"--especially for natural competitors like you guys. :)

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  2. That make sense. And you have a lot of biking and swimming ahead of you for that ironman!!

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  3. I totally agree and think you two are making the right choice. Last summer, I struggled to adequately train for my tris and a half-marathon; instead of giving 100 percent to triathloning or road racing, I was split 50-50, and in hindsight, I really should've focused on one. That being said, though, I think road races can be training runs. Most recently, I used a local 4th of July 5-K as a tempo run, and if I do a half-marathon this fall, I will definitely "train through" it.

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  4. This is a good realization, and he's absolutely right. I'm starting myself to find that I'm going to have to pick that as well. I've got my 70.3 in November and then am hoping to do a marathon at the end of December, and I'm wondering how I'm going to do it all and when I'm going to have to prioritize. I'm sorry your 20 milers didn't go well. I think the thing about those 20 milers though is that just getting them done is such a great feat in itself. Do you think that if you commit yourself fully to triathlon training and give up road racing you'd miss it, or do you think that you love triathlon so much that you don't necessarily need to keep doing the road races? I'm sure it would be hard since the running is what got you to where you are today.

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    1. I think we'd miss it, but we aren't going to completely stop doing them haha. We just probably won't be training for them or doing a stand alone marathon for a little while. We can do half marathons without really training for them now.

      I do want 2015 to be the year of 70.3s though, so we'd primarily be doing those that year.

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  5. Great post. Assessing is good. I wish you both the best in your future races.

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  6. So hard. I had to make the decision between being a rugby player and a marathon runner. With rugby practice 2X a week and traveling all day for games Saturday it was so hard to train for my first marathon. I had to pick and it was really rough, but now that I did I feel things are much easier. I hope you find a decision you can live with.

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  7. I am glad you are already signed up for MDI, so that you will be doing that! But the plan was always to make that one a big 26.2 mile party! I think it is a smart plan for you all to focus more in on tris.

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  8. I think it's even hard to train for different distance races. (running only!) So I totally agree that this sounds like a huge challenge. You guys are doing awesome though, and are clearly great all around athletes!

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  9. I am in the same boat, am I a triathlete who runs or a runner who does triathlons or a swimmer who does triathlons and runs, I am so confused. I am trying to do my running races in the fall and winter when there are no triathlons and stick to triathlons in the summer. I am doing Goofy in Jan and ATB in March and a half marathon in May. Then Tremblant and Muskoka 70.3 in the summer. We will see how that works out and re-adjust if needed. We did the boilermaker this summer, it was a great race, hot but the crowd support is so great. Do it if you can, so worth it.

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    1. We did the Boilermaker last summer (2012) and it was a lot of fun! I would like to do it again sometime, I just think that doing the Double Mussel would be a great training weekend for our Ironman. We'll see!

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  10. I think this makes total sense! It seems (from what I read) that your passion is with the triathlons, and if that's what excites and motivates you, then I can see wanting to focus on it!

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  11. You're young. Focus on what feels right at the moment and then re-focus as you need to. Enjoy the journey along the way.

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  12. Jamie, This is funny. I just had the same conversation with a Tri team member. When I look back on my season I have neglected running at times to focus on the other 2. It is something I am going to try to do a better job with next year. It is funny I have a friend that says he is a Triathlete and the running races are long training runs. I like that.

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  13. Love this. I feel like it is way to easy to try to do it all and burn yourself out. You have been doing SO MUCH, and I think your body will give you a big thank you for giving it a little break. And the best part is, like you said, you will still get to run!

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  14. Now that I'm through my first OLY, I am seriously tempted to tackle a 70.3 next summer but I have similar thoughts...can I seriously train for that and still do 2 marathons a year. I don't think so...at least not well. So big decision. Hmmmmmmm.....

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  15. That's a great realization. Maybe this will help make training feel "easier" by not worrying about both!

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  16. I don't know how I didn't comment on this already as I have thought about it a lot lately. ha! Janell and I even discussed it and how you and Mikey are both such amazing athletes. I think it's smart and good of you to focus your energy on becoming stronger triathletes. You amaze me with your determination and dedication to the sport(s). You are bound for greatness. I love you. Keep working hard and kicking ass, as I know you will.

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