Thursday, August 23, 2007

The ADC - To Do or Not To Do?

My life once upon a time used to be such that I would try to fit in exercise/physical fitness/sports in between all my other activities - and mostly only if there was nothing else better to do! Now with all this running and triathloning - I find myself trying to fit in my life in between all my training....And my old friends from school and family members are quite perplexed because this was the last thing they expected me to do while I was in school - I was a complete inactive bookworm then!! The only remotely active thing I used to do was play tennis and swim once a week - but more so because my folks made me join those classes - if given a choice, I probably would not have enrolled in those 2 either!!....

And now I am training for my 1st Marathon and have also just this morning exhanged about 20 emails with Areille contemplating doing the Austin Distance Challenge for the 2007-2008 season!!! (
http://www.runtexdistancechallenge.com/events.asp)

We've both been asking each other if we've gone completeley crazy. Have we??

I discussed it with my coach - I wanted to find out if this was ok - training for a 2nd marathon right after having finished my 1st ever marathon - and she said it was absolutely fine - only thing I will need to do is take a complete break the week after the MCM - so absolutely NO running - and then ease into the running - no more than 30 mins a day - and no more frequent than once every other day!....

My only key concern with all this is - how this will affect the rest of my life!! I am (or at least used to be!) a pretty active social person - and love to go out, hang out with my friends etc. But because of all this running madness, I've been forced to skip/miss out on a lot of hangouts, dinners, movie outings, special events etc etc with my friends - mostly because I am opting to stay in and sleep and be prepared for the next day's run or to sleep and recuperate after a long morning run! I also used to be able to just drive to Houston any weekend I chose to and hang out with my parents...Now I have to plan these trips way in advance and plan them around my so-called "Easy Weeks"....so that I don't end up missing my longer runs....It's tough to get those runs in when I'm elsewhere and have to run alone - so that's something I defnitely need to do with my run group and hence need to be in Austin for! I'm also quite certain that my friends and family are quite fed up of hearing the "I'm sorry...gotta run" excuse!! I have so many calls that I need to return to disgruntled friends! I keep promising them it will all end come October - but here I am - already planning another 4 months of running! ....

I still feel like I want to do it though - this is the one time in my life that I can do all this w/o having any other responsibilites. I see working parents with young children and other individuals with insane work schedules come for training and then rush off to take care of their kids or to work etc etc...whereas I currently have the luxury to just come home and sleep all day and recuperate!!...

Hmm....I don't know....I'm kinda confused now....I am enjoying the way things are currently - but I don't know if I am running (no pun intended) the risk of letting all this just dictate my life completely!!.....I also don't quite know what my big goal at the end of the day is for keeping on doing this - and if - I really need to even have such a goal! I had a specific goal for doing 1 marathon - it was a personal challenge - to see what I was capable of - but why do I want to do another one??

How about you guys? Have you ever felt this way about anything - something that you really want to do but takes up such a big chunk of your life - you don't quite know what it will amount to at the end of the day - but you still want to keep doing it anyway??

5 comments:

Sharanya said...

Quite frankly, woman, this is the best time in your life to do it. You'll only get busier down the road. Cest la vie. If this rings true for you, then DO IT. If something serious happens (injury, work overload etc), you can quit and try another time. But, in any event, you'll be attempting something that you can be proud of for the rest of your life, and something you can tell your kids about.. :) NOW is the best time. You have the inspiration, just DO IT.

Areille said...

Reading your blog makes me wanna do it even more now. COmpleting the Austin Distance Challenge just sounds SOOOO damn cool ... much cooler than "I partied every weekend last year" :P

I am glad I have you with me. Coz unlike you, I don't think I could do this on my own.

Ciara said...

Doing it! Doing it!!! :)

Improper Bostonian said...

I have been in similar situations in my life so far, not once but twice, with two different sports, and under two totally different environments. I had to quit one under intense peer pressure, and the other faded away in a painful fashion. But both sports were zero-sum games, where one's success is equivalent to the others' failure. So the physical and mental preparation and make-up required are totally different from those required for a marathon. Also I had special permissions to tinker with my weekend workouts, and not having to start training at 7AM on Saturdays. So my Friday and Saturday night parties/hangouts were largely unaffected, except for those weekends when we had to travel and compete in tournaments. Given that you can't tinker with your weekend workouts/longer runs, puts that option to rest.

So now you are left with two questions. Firstly, how will this affect the rest of your life, and, lastly, what does this mean wrt your long term goals, or do you need to have one? The second one probably answers the first. So your sample space is day job, professional/recreational athlete, and family/friends. That leaves you with 8 possible combinations. With family and friends being a must, reduces your sample space to 4 options. Out of which day job, prof athlete, friends/family is humanely difficult, and, no day job, recr athlete, friends/family doesn't make sense.

The remaining 2 options pretty much answers both your questions. Now I don't know how much you love your day job at slanted E, as you put it, we barely know each other. For the sake of argument, lets consider no day job, professional athlete and friends/family option. With no day job, you have roughly 10 hours of day time to work on your strengths and weakness for a career in marathon running. So you should not find it difficult to manage your life as an athlete along with your friends and family. The last option of day job, recr. athlete and friends/family is also not too difficult to manage. All you have to do to manage all three is to keep running whenever you get a chance, and pick one/two marathons a year that are evenly spaced out, and that fits into your annual calendar, as running a marathon for the Asha group is pretty cool thing to do. Assuming you continue running every week, you will be in excellent shape both physically and mentally, and so you may need only a marginal effort to run for one or maybe two marathons a year. And you will still have plenty of time for your friends/family. Also recreational passions change a lot over the life of an individual. Who knows, down few years, you might end of surfing in sunny California, or skiing in the rockies or you might take up sailing in the North-east if you settle in New York or Boston...As someone wise said, past is history, future is mystery, and so live for the present...or something like that...

Based on my experiences, I would say, "don't think too much. Just enjoy running for now. A simple arithmetic on the set of options leading to happiness would suggest that it is impossible to please everyone in this world. You have to stratify your friend/family circle according to some metric for measuring strength of your relationship with them, and try to keep the group with the strongest bonding happiest, the next group less happy and so on...Now that you have trained so far, and that you like it so far, it would be very easy for you to train for 4 more months for the ADC challenge. In the meantime you can work out a plan that can make you and others happy for the next year and beyond..."

My apologies, as I couldn't make this any shorter...

Improper Bostonian said...

ofcourse, 4th option of a day job, recr. athlete and friends/family is what I would choose if I were in your shoes...and thats what I was suggesting