Monday, March 1, 2010
Anyway, it occurred to me that eventually I will hit my limit. At some point (maybe at 300 watts!) I just won't be able to do what is being asked - it just won't be in me. So what are my limits? It's not something I'm comfortable even thinking about.
On a bike I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. I've yet to set a goal and not hit it, though admittedly there are some things I've pushed to the back of my mind, for now :) In other athletic endeavors my limits are much more obvious to me. I can't run a 6:00 minute mile, or a 100 mile ultra marathon. I can't swim the English channel, nor can I do a 1 minute 100 meter. But it doesn't matter to me that I cannot do those things - there's plenty of improvement to make and goals to reach without hitting those milestones. Is that just me adjusting my expectations?
What about my non-athletic limits? I've always had a quiet confidence in my own abilities, and an inner desire to expand my repertoire. I've never run into something that I genuinely didn't feel like I could do. Sure, sometimes it makes sense to just have an expert do it - but it's not because I couldn't, just that I choose not to. I could learn to change the brakes in my car - but to do it right would require a lot of training and equipment, it's just easier to hire someone. But I could do it, if it was important to me.
And that's the crux of my dilemma, what is important to me? I can do anything I want, but I cannot do everything that I want. So it's time to prioritize.
I love triathlon, and I love the Ironman distance. I'm trying to get better each season - but to what end? Am I trying to get to Kona? Sure, that would be nice - but it's not very realistic given my current abilities and my rate of improvement. So I'm doing these events for fun, it's entertainment - but with a huge cost. I spend about 15 hours a week training, though some weeks it's upwards of 20. Add on to that time all of the recovery I do, the extra naps and the nights I can't get my laundry done because all I want to do is pass out on the couch. And the expense of racing. A high end bicycle is quite an investment, and requires a lot of maintenance, and you have wetsuits, running shoes, cycling shoes, clothes, arm warmers, various hats/gloves/jackets, not to mention $550 race entry fees, travel cost (you're bike's ticket costs more than yours does), and artificially inflated hotel costs in the host cities. Plus, KT and I have spent every hour of our vacation time from work traveling to races - which has cramped our ability to visit family or go on a real vacation.
What kind of person spends a third of their income and every waking minute obsessed with a hobby? A crazy person. Luckily I have some incredible people in my life to help me out. I'm not going to give up Ironman (two to do in the next six months), but I promise to keep it in perspective. I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid - at least I don't think so :)