Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lance Armstrong suffers through the marathon

This past Sunday, Everyone's Favorite Cyclist ran his first marathon. He had this to say about it:
“That was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done,” said Armstrong, who finished 856th in the New York City Marathon. “It was really a gradual progression of fatigue and soreness.

“I didn't train enough for a marathon,” he said, his right shin heavily taped as he shuffled into a post-race news conference. “In 20 years of pro sports and endurance sports, even the worst days on the Tour, nothing felt like that or left me the way I feel now.”
I ran the Boulder Backroads marathon in 2002, and it too was the hardest thing I've ever done. I even trained for it, but it was my first and last marathon. I just don't feel driven to run that far. It is too much pain with not enough distance covered. And you know, there's just too much injury involved in running. For me, anyway.

Between the suffering that takes place in a century and the suffering that takes place in a marathon, I'd choose the century any day. I see more sites. I get to go 40mph at times. I can eat and drink while I'm riding. I can stare at the beautiful details of my bike while I wonder why I'm putting myself through the pain.

Armstrong's final words really struck a chord with me. When asked if he'd be back to do it again, he quipped, "Now's not the time to ask that question. The answer now is no, I'll never be back. But I reserve the right to change my mind," he said. "I don't know how these guys do it."

Ha! That's how I feel EVERY time I do some long-distance event. It sucks, it hurts, and I hate it. I think I told Jeff those same words, more or less, after finishing my first century. But here we are a couple months later, and I'm planning on doing at least two centuries in 2007. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.


Johnny GoFast said...

I used to do triathlons. After the WildFlower one year, I swore on the finish line that that would never happen again. Later, after a few beers, I was already at work trying how to drop my time for the next one. Sick.

Gino Zahnd said...

Weird, ain't it? After the marathon though, that was it for me.

I used to do a lot of tris as well; I did mostly sprints and olympic distance, and mostly off-road on top of that. I simply don't have that kind of time to train these days. One of these days, though, I'll get back into that groove... I like the triathlons, especially the dirty ones.

Thomas Zahnd said...

Always after reaching the finish line, I think "I did it! And in fact it wasn't that hard, so I'll come back." But few days before the real coming back, I doubt, if I really want to suffer again, so i have to push myself to go anyway.

This year I made a biketrip, with a handfull dudes, over 165km and app. 2000m altitude difference. It took us 6.5 hrs. My legs were sore and I was happy when I got home, but few weeks later I did the same trip alone. Right after the first ride, I was already dreamin' doing it again in the same year.

That's how we are different. But running... I would never go for a long race, my legs hurt alraedy just by the thought on it. :-)

Jeff O. said...

Once I hit Clydesdale status, running distance was not in the cards. The knees would have nothing to do with it. Now that I'm back down below that classification, the 5k on Thanksgiving might be my foray back into running. Oh, the pain I forsee.......