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snail_male's picture
Joined: Jul 21 2009
Posts: 631
IM training & skipped opportunities

Had an interesting dilemma recently, when the dean of the college I teach at (part-time) invited me to oversee a three-week film project in Beijing, working with students at a university there as part of an annual exchange program. It would be in July; I'm tackling IMMT as my first full distance event in Aug. - clearly it would destroy my race experience based on the planning to get to this point.

Much as I'd've liked to get my foot further in the door at my place of employment - not to mention pull in a good chunk of pay, being a "freelancer" - I told her thanks but no thanks/not this time/keep me in mind for next year (she then mentioned giving a master class there in October during an animation festival... much more palatable to me & it sounded like I'm still in her good books) Speaking of palatable: before you go thinking this is some exotic experience peppered with glamorous day trips, previous participants said it is not much more than relentless 12-14 hour work days, cafeteria food, and short sleeps.

This would fall right at the height of my schedule's peak, just before the taper begins. I felt sufficiently committed to the IM that declining the offer wasn't all that hard, so I'm not asking your opinions of "did I just shoot myself in the foot?" (though it might be funny to hear your perspectives) but it did make me wonder if you've experienced any [b]external[/b] "tests" of your training resolve in your IM journeys.

Edit: BTW, It came after I relented to attend a family function across the country in late-July by juggling my week; will now call one of my travel days a rest day(!) and the entire flight/visit/return has been trimmed to about 40 hours! Perhaps I was punch-drunk from this compromise, and felt I had to draw a line in the sand.

This is starting to remind me of the trials and struggles detailed in Joseph Campbell's writings (the Hero's Journey)

hamlet_cat's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2010
Posts: 1068
snail_male wrote: so I'm not

[quote=snail_male] so I'm not asking your opinions of "did I just shoot myself in the foot?"
[/quote]
Ok.

Looking forward to your RR on IMMT!

dkhartung's picture
Joined: Jan 7 2009
Posts: 1174
snail_male wrote:it did make

[quote=snail_male]it did make me wonder if you've experienced any [b]external[/b] "tests" of your training resolve in your IM journeys.
[/quote]

I haven't ever missed a set of training sessions in exchange for a life experience and regretted the decision. I guess I've just gone through the whole Type A tri guy thing and am coming out the back side... I don't get fit in a month, I don't lose fitness in a month, family is very understanding, but I just don't miss things like kids soccer games because "my training plan says I HAVE to ride five hours today". I ride 3-4, catch the game, and go on from there.

Just different strokes...

snail_male's picture
Joined: Jul 21 2009
Posts: 631
hamlet_cat wrote: ...

[quote=hamlet_cat]
... Looking forward to your RR on IMMT![/quote]

Me too! I'd better KQ after all this...

[quote=dkhartung]
...I just don't miss things like kids soccer games because "my training plan says I HAVE to ride five hours today". I ride 3-4, catch the game, and go on from there... [/quote]

+1, for sure. Family first... to the extent that another undeniable factor in my decision to take a pass on Beijing was not wanting to be away from my sons for 3 weeks :)

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TriSooner's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2007
Posts: 3376
snail_male wrote:it did make

[quote=snail_male]it did make me wonder if you've experienced any [b]external[/b] "tests" of your training resolve in your IM journeys.[/quote]

First, there is "training resolve": Faithfully going through the daily grind of work, training, and personal commitments; sticking to a schedule when the couch is oh so tempting; going to bed early when everyone else is going out; eating strategically instead of eating seconds; etc etc etc. Sure, my training resolve is tested every day. It's hard to get out of bed in the AM and at night, I'd rather go watch football at a bar and eat hot wings. I see your point: Those are internal 'tests' of my motivation. But what about external?

[quote=dkhartung]I just don't miss things like kids soccer games because "my training plan says I HAVE to ride five hours today".[/quote]

... and then there is perspective. "I just don't miss [insert intrinsic experience] because 'my training plan says I HAVE to ride five hours today'." I realize you're not interested in feedback on your decision, and who am I to judge your own motivations, [i]but[/i] there are two dozen Ironmans ever year, so probably 50,000 a year finish those events. How many people get to lead a three-week film project in Beijing? The longer I do this "thing," the less important it becomes when weighed against meaningful experiences with other people.

dkhartung's picture
Joined: Jan 7 2009
Posts: 1174
TriSooner wrote: The longer

[quote=TriSooner] The longer I do this "thing," the less important it becomes...[/quote]
+1M
funny how that happens

Anton's picture
Joined: Mar 4 2005
Posts: 5350
"meaningful experiences with

"meaningful experiences with other people."
Well said!

StephenPDennis's picture
Joined: May 18 2008
Posts: 493
I'm bookmarking this thread!

I'm bookmarking this thread! Some wonderful insights above.

I'm not really a 'Type A' kind of guy, I don't think I've ever stuck to a training schedule for longer than 2 weeks for all the reasons listed above. The thing that keeps me coming back, though, is simply my love for the sport and the pride and relaxation that I derive from it. That being said I don't I'll ever turn down hotwings for a ride.

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265
Hey, I've been to China. I

Hey, I've been to China. I worked there (teaching) for a year. The air pollution is enough to destroy an IM prep - fill your lungs with nasty stuff. They have no EPA.

You did a good thing not going there for more reasons than you know.

Actually, I can't understand how any Chinese person can train there and compete at IM, or marathon, or any endurance event.

[img]http://cnreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/beijing-pollution.jpg[/img]
PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

Warrior's picture
Joined: Dec 5 2007
Posts: 1566
There are 5 million bicycles

There are 5 million bicycles in Bejing... Man... this is a great dilema. I used to be a film student, and worked a little in the industry before real life took over :-) what I would not give to be in your shoes to do both of the things the boss offered. But I totally get the commitment to your training. You are not even making a choice, you made it already when you took on the race. This is a great showing of discipline and how to live life. Yes you might miss some fantastic 3 week film project that will change your life, ...or it might not. These are the roads we travel when they diverge in the woods. Well done. But I would not call a full days travel a rest day.

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