Coach has given me the green light to train for the National Marathon in March and things are going smoothly. Right now I'm running 3 days a week, mostly geared toward the marathon, and the rest of the week involves swimming, biking, and strength all for triathlon and the big iron distance race in 2011. All of my training is going great. I'm feeling focused and strong. So what's the problem? I love to run. I don't think you heard me right. I LOVE TO RUN!!!!!!! Running right now is effortless, almost poetic. The paces are swift but gentle. I'm absolutely loving every minute of it. And it makes me think, what am I doing messing around with triathlon?
For years I've dabbled in triathlon. I would tell people I'm a runner pretending to be a triathlete. But when I started to do better and place in my age group at races and having spent a year training for Ironman, I guess you can't pretend to be a triathlete anymore. I promised my coach that I would not pretend this year. I would stop saying I'm a runner and instead I would tell people and myself I'm a triathlete. But I'm having a hard time identifying.
One of my first times I did Boston I saw a girl I knew from the blogosphere, Elizabeth. At the time, Elizabeth and I were pretty similar runners. Not too slow, not too fast, but good enough. I even think we had similar experiences at Boston. Over the years I kinda lost track of her until this fall when I found out my teammate Janet and my real life friend Mandy were friends with Elizabeth. While reading Janet's race report from the Columbus Half Marathon I saw she had mentioned something about Elizabeth running the full marathon. I clicked on Elizabeth's race report only to be totally floored to see she had finished 2nd at the marathon. SECOND! What the heck happened? As Mandy puts it, she has a goal and will work for it.
So it makes me think, what is my potential at running? Since I started working with a coach I've dropped 6 minutes in the marathon (3:29), 3 minutes in the half (1:38), I've set new PRs, and have even won a race. Again it makes me think, what am I doing messing around with triathlon? If I can do that in just one year of working with a coach, what can I do in two years time? Three years? Four years? Can I qualify for NYC? Can I break my dad's PR (3:21). Can I finally run a race where I average in the 6:00s?
I know I have unfinished business at the iron distance. And don't get me wrong, I plan to get my revenge. But I just wonder if right now is the time? If the goal is just to finish, am I wasting running potential in the years that count? I just don't know.