Monday, July 8, 2013

Triathlons by any other name

Lately, I've been keeping my running between 20 and 30 miles each week.  I almost never run races, and had been doing 30-40+ miles regularly.  But since I have years of running as a base, coupled with an interest in other sports (swimming, biking, disc golf, etc), I don't think that the decrease will affect my overall ability to quickly ramp up for a marathon or some other distance should I choose to undertake one this year (I'm actually looking at the Big Bend Ultra in January if they ever open registration).

This past weekend, there were simply too many athletic opportunities available.  On Saturday, I got up early and hit the trails with my running buddy, Chris.  Except we weren't running.  We took our bikes for a change - mine, a new Specialized RockHopper, and his, my former Cannondale 400 which he had just decided to buy.  We cruised through the course pretty quickly.  I actually had to work to keep up with him on his more nimble, yet less boulder-happy Cannondale.  We finished the course satisfied with our new velos, and with the odd sensation always felt when you have biked a route that you normally run.  For me, biking always seems longer.  Not so much in time, as in distance.  While biking the trails, for instance, I continuously think about how long the route is, and how I can't believe I can run it.  When running it, however, it doesn't seem particularly long.  I think your mind simply goes into different states of time/distance awareness and calculations depending on the type of sport being undertaken.  That is the only explanation I have for the phenomenon.

Later on Sat, I played a round of disc golf with my buddy, Mathew.  While the round itself was unremarkable, I had putts of 30 and 50 feet that went in - not a usual occurrence (at least for me).

Sunday found me back on the trails - running them at 7 am, and then biking them at 3 pm.  Both times the humidity was a force to be reckoned with.  And both times I did so with aplomb.  I planned for the two jaunts to be my workouts for the day.  On the way home from the ride, however, I received a text asking me to throw another round of golf.  I threw on a new shirt and hit the links.  While a lot of my game held together, a lot of it, namely putting, faltered due to fatigue.

As I reclined on my couch last night, watching a few episodes of the wonderful BBC series Coupling on Netflix, I felt that great type of exhaustion and muscle fatigue that you only get when you overdo it a bit.  I always enjoy the weariness that comes as the result of going full-on athletically over the course of an extended period of time.  I usually just get the feeling from running and occasionally from swimming.  But the weekend's odd triathlons of running, biking, and disc golf, had served up the same feeling.

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