Monday, February 18, 2008

What now?

Whenever I am in the middle of the all consuming training for an endurance event like a marathon or a triathlon, I can't wait for it to be over so I can return to more normal, singular daily workouts in which I can seek pure fitness and fun. And then the minute I finish the race and am working out without a specific goal, I start to feel aimless. This Catch 22 situation is compounded by three other factors.

1) It is really hard for me to peak for a specific race because I have an addictive and insecure personality. If I workout for less than 45 minutes, I feel anxious, bloated and lethargic. Miss one workout and I feel like my whole "endurance guy" persona is a fraud, my abs soft and my will to get up at 5:00 am damaged. With this baggage to deal with, I am not particularly good at tapering before a race or resting when sick or injured. I know this hurts my race performance but my psyche is willing to concede a few minutes for the emotional fix of the daily workout.

2) In the last year, I have learned that doing a race a second or third time, particularly if I did well the first time, is not fun. Vineman 2007 and the 2007 New York Marathon were nowhere near as fun as the first time I did them. I am not sure if I am bored of doing the same distances (half ironman, half marathon, marathon) as well or if I need to do completely new races. Whatever it is, there is currently no race out there that has me excited.

3) I am getting old and am probably about to start slowing down. I am not sure if it is the residual affects of the January flu, running in the winter morning or the December hamstring problem but my habitual 8 mile run has gotten slower by a minute or two. I will give it a month to see if I recover before panicking.

So I am searching for the next endurance fix.