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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Redefining what is "normal"

I had this recent conversation with a co-worker:

Co-worker: "Did you get to ride your bike last night?"
Me: "Yes, thanks for asking. It was a nice night to be out."
Co-worker: "How far did you go?"
Me: "I rode about 90 minutes for about 25 miles total - it was a hilly course."
Co-worker: "Seriously? If I had known, I would have had you take me home."

I've had similar conversations for my swims and runs.

Being in this lifestyle makes you lose the sense of what is "normal". I think it is nice to reminisce about the first days of being a triathlete to "keep it real". Last night, my husband and I did such a thing. I regaled him with stories of my early days.

Like the day I rode 20 miles on my hybrid bike for the first time. I was dreading the ride, but when I finished I felt like a champ (albeit a spent champ) and tentatively ready for the downtown triathlon's 16-mile course. Now, 20 miles is just part of a regular weekday ride.

Or, when I used to "swim" in my club's 20-yard pool. I would alternate between side stroke, breast stroke and back stroke. When I made it to .75 miles one day, I thought I was hot stuff. Now, every swim is 2 miles or more (and I no longer feel like hot stuff - LOL).

You get the picture. I think it is good to remember those days to realize how far you've come, especially on the days when you doubt your ability, when you are scared witless about a 140.6 mile race looming in the future, when you experience training setbacks, etc.

I did ask Matt if he remembered his first days. He said he does often. Of course, his very first 5-mile running race, he averaged around 9 minute miles, a feat that took me years to accomplish (and I'm not sure I could do it today with all this LSD training). See, even he redefines "normal" for this endurance athlete wife.


Blogger TriSaraTops said...

So true! I remember when TriShannon and I rode a whole 22 miles on our really heavy mountain bikes (on the roads--not the trails) and thought we were the coolest people alive. Ha ha!

3:16 PM

Blogger Jodi said...

There is a nice 18 mile route from my house that I used to do and I'd finish and be so wiped out!

And then there was back when a 5 mile run was "long". Oh, how I sometimes miss those days!



7:29 PM

Blogger TriShannon said...

To go along with TriSaraTop's comment... I remember our first ride. We went 9 miles on the road on our mountains bikes and I was beat. Our first swim, she took off... I made it 1 lap.

Progress and perspective is everything.

9:58 PM

Blogger Jen H said...

I'm still in the "early stages". I'm happy that I can run more than a mile (I'm up to a little better than 1.5) and that I've been able to run that little mile in less and less time--down to about 10:30 now. Woohoo!!

I've got my work cut out for me ... but I'm so inspired when I read about all that you do!! And I'm looking forward to running a 5K with you :)

11:10 PM

Blogger GP said...

I'm right with you on the 'what is normal?' question.

A few days ago, I went out for a short and leisurely run. Six miles later, I came home and started my night like it was nothing. Not more than 2-3 moths ago, that would have been the killer of a run that sprinted home to blog about. I remember when two miles was uber distance for me. Isn't it fun to make these great strides?

And we'll see you tomorrow, rain or gray skies!

10:30 AM


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