Dean Karnazes is a famous ultra-marathon runner. In his book, he talks about his passion for running. He mentions, dismissively, a period of doing triathlons, but went back to running. When I read this, 3 years ago, I couldn't understand: triathlon is inherently greater than running and is surely superior in every way.
Now, I think I understand.
At the risk of writing a Dear Diary post or an outright rationalization, here are some thoughts:
- I have never had medical issues with running or swimming. All pain and medical attention has been because of that bike.
- Most bikes bring you back to being a kid. Not a tri bike: it is a finicky racehorse that has to be 'set up' correctly, with great care and non-trivial expense.
- Both in terms of my car decision and my geography, the bike is a constant concern. Runners can drive Corvettes :-)
- It pains me to think that I will never do an IronMan, but that just takes so much dedication. I don't think I can train for one _and_ play piano _and_ write blogs etc etc. I need something simpler, and with balance. To me, that means marathon. Running is still ambitious, no doubt, but it seems reasonable with respect to my other goals.
- There are many indoor triathlons. They are a cross between a joke and a parlour game but they might server as a good motivation to cross-train (e.g. for swimming).
ps. My swan song may well have been the 1/3 Iron Man in August 2007. After 38 miles, I couldn't wait to get off that bike. It was hot as blazes too: rather famously, I ended up in the ER for dehydration. However, for the record I remind the universe of this side fact: I finished.