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Friday, May 11, 2012


My endurance event this fall is not going to be a marathon.

In fact there is a very good chance that I may not find cause to run one of those again.

I find hard work, sweat and sometimes even tears deeply gratifying.  Because of this recurring leg injury when I run distance, I have decided that the amount of time needed to train for and complete an event I no longer love when it hurts me is unwise.  I think marathoning and I may have irreconcilable differences.  We are working on an amicable split. 

The real news there is that I am okay with that. It took Sandi, the voice of reason in my life, to say,"Hey, you wanted to run a marathon in your life.  You ran two.  What would be the harm if you didn't run anymore?" 

She has a way of saying things that initially might annoy me ("Umm. there would be a lot of harm- TO MY EGO")  and then I try on her perspective for size and after a few weeks or months or years, the moderation of her thinking fits.  In the way that those old jeans you love fit because you can button them even if you can't bend over and god help you if you try to sit down.

What can I say?  I'm making progress.

So I have turned my attention away from running far to biking far.  And let me tell you, biking far is like a dream compared to running far.  Twenty six miles! No problem!  Three hours, 45 miles, on a bike is hard work and I feel spent and it's hard to walk after, but it is a different kind of hard than running.  Biking gives you some breaks where you can coast and get your breath, versus running which is all you, all legs, all the time. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that biking is the softer or less  hard-core, but simply that it is more enjoyable.  Biking 40 miles is a treat compared to running 20.  And likely that is party my body type- I am no gazelle at a muscley (and maybe even stocky) 5'3" and running probably takes more effort for me than someone of a more lithe build.

Everything I can find says that in the running v. biking fitness debate, the two come out equal.  (And surprisingly, regarding the holy grail of weight loss/management- calories burned- they are very comparable.)  In the end it doesn't matter to me as long is I work harder than most people would want to on a weekday morning while her kids are at school and I continue to improve my fitness.

And seriously, there are enough hills around my house that my cardiac threshold is being significantly challenged.  And since I fall off my bike (thanks to the toe clips and too many abrupt stops) nearly every time I ride, I get the added toughness factor of scrapes and bumps. 

To combine my love of biking with my desire for my youngest daughter to breathe well, I am gearing up to do the Trek Across Maine and raise money for the American Lung Association in June.  The Trek is a 180 mile, 3 day bike ride across the state of Maine- from the mountains to the sea they say. 

I am still fundraising and if anyone who enjoys breathing would like to donate to the American Lung Association (no amount is too small!) you can do so on my  online fundraising page. Any support is greatly appreciated!

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