I have another friend who I would classify as obsessed these days. She started out as a pretty typical exerciser doing a few miles of running at a time just a year ago. Lately she has been running close to forty miles a week in addition to all the other workouts she does throughout the week.
As I was thinking about these two people and many of my other running friends' craziness when it comes to our exercise routines, it occurred to me that when I think of their practice as crazy, there may be people who think the same thing about me. Yesterday I got the funniest Facebook post from one of my high school buddies in response to the fact that by 7:30am I had already completed running a little over 10 miles..."Hey...I just woke up! Michelle - you both inspire and make me feel totally lame at the same time!!!" I am always happy to inspire, but never want to discourage, so let me explain my crazy.
First, when it comes to the early times I choose to do my workouts, this is not actually a choice. To justify time spent away from my children I try to be home before they wake up. So when I start my training before the sun rises, it is not because I want to but more because I need to. Working out is not a choice, so I have to do early.
I admit, in the beginning my running workouts had only one purpose...allowing me to finally lose those pounds that had been weighing me down for years. As I became a stronger runner, and as I moved into a more reasonable weight range, I needed to increase my workouts to challenge myself. A two mile run no longer gave me the same good feeling that it had in the beginning. Not to mention that a two mile run was taking me less than twenty minutes to complete, which was not long enough for me.
That is why I decided to take on the 13.1 mile length of craziness. For a person that honestly thought that a 5K was as long as I would ever be able to accomplish, a half marathon was a stretch. And then after I had accomplished not only the one half-marathon at Disney but an average of about one similar length race a month, that too became less of a challenge than I wanted. This is when I let Karrie talk me into the ultimate crazy--completing Ironman!
Now I realize that the kind of exercise I did during my Vineman training was crazy at its craziest, but you have to know that it would have been even crazier not to train for it. Once I committed to doing the full Ironman race, I had to also commit to running, biking, and swimming ridiculous amounts in order to be prepared for race day. There was no way I was going into that day without knowing that I had done everything I could to make sure I crossed that finish line.
With that Ironman level of training in mind, what I do now seems more reasonable:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays I do 5 mile runs
- Wednesdays and Fridays I swim or do a spin class
- Saturdays are long runs of about 8-10 miles
- Sundays we usually bike at least 30 miles
- Mondays I rest--and I take my off days seriously
And do you want to know what I feel is absolutely the craziest part of my workouts? It is not the number of workouts I do each week. It is not the number of miles or time I spend working out. What is truly crazy to me is that I love every second I spend running, biking, and swimming, and that kind of crazy is something I am perfectly happy with. I am a crazy runner, biker, and swimmer, and I am proud of it!