JUST is a four letter word

1 Feb


I have been gearing up for my triathlon by…buying more gear.  A new pair of shoes here, a hand-held water bottle there, and fuel everywhere!  Inevitably the conversation turn to what race I am training for.  The conversation goes like this…

Other person: “So, what race are you training for?”

Me: “A triathlon”

Other person: “Oh, which one?”

Me: “Ironman Texas…” (at this point the other person will have a look of suprise and being very impressed before I say)  70.3.  It is JUST a half.

At this point, I will get one of three reactions;

1) WOW!  Still, that is amazing!  Now, how far is that? (this is the person who isn’t into tris)

2) That is great!  A huge accomplishment! (the person who does tri and knows that it is still a challenging distance)

3)  That is a great race.  My friend ____ did that race in ___.  I am currently traing for ___(which is longer or more challenging that what I am racing).

I have been know to get after women who gave me the JUST preface.  At expos I always hear, “I am JUST running the half (marathon)” or “I am JUST racing a sprint (triathlon)”.  But now I catch myself saying it ALL.THE.TIME.  I am JUST doing a half.  Or I am ONLY doing the half.

This is crazy talk! A race is a race is a RACE.  From a mile to ultra, they are all races and shouldn’t be discounted!  We all (well most of us) started with a shorter distance race and at that point, it seemed HUGE!  It might not feel as big of a deal to you now, but we know how it is.

I don’t know why I keep discounting a half-freaking-ironman!  I feel like I live in some crazy endurance bubble where marathons and ironman distance triathlons are the norm.  I can name several women who have completetd both, so it starts to feel like it isn’t that big of a deal.  I guess I feel like if I discount the distance then whoever I am talking to will think that I can do more?  Or maybe they will think that I don’t think it is a big deal, therefor I am cool?  I am not sure why I am doing it and I really have contemplated this issue for awhile.  I am going to make an effort to stop and be proud!

Do you use “JUST” or “ONLY”?


10 Responses to “JUST is a four letter word”

  1. Lisa Runs for Cupcakes February 1, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    In the past, I always felt like I had to justify myself by saying it was “just” or “only” a half marathon. Now, I am damn proud to say, I’m racing a half! It’s an accomplishment to strive to reach personal records out there and more of us should not feel like we have to keep up with the distance Jones.

  2. Michelle Bouchard (@ltlindian) February 1, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    all the time. I don’t know why either. Maybe because it’s called a half marathon or a half ironman. Maybe instead of saying “it’s just the half”, we should say “I’m racing the half distance”. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet on the 70.3, but that’s my plan this summer and I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the training. There’s nothing “just” about it.

  3. TriFemme February 1, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    I use “just” or “only” for just the sprint distance. Oh its just ____ distance for each one. I think we has women sometimes discount what we are capable of. My finace called me on it. We were talking to someone and they asked what I did for fun and I said triathlons. Person (can’t remember who) said how far and my response was above. He asked me why I would belittle it. I said well it isn’t a lot. He reminded me that it is a lot and I train a lot. I should take credit for what I do.

    The other thing I think it is that the triathlon community is still somewhat small and we surround ourselves by them. Which is great, but like you said I know this person and that person who has done more. So we forget how far we ourselves have come. Each race is our own race. We have to remember that we earned those miles and hard work.

    I commend you for recognizing that you do it. You are doing fantastic. And to me who hasn’t gone any farther than a sprint, thinks it is amazing that you are training your body to go that distance.

  4. Pam February 1, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    ALL THE TIME. It really does a disservice to myself too. Like I’m scared to be proud of myself for once. You are a rock star and I hope you know it!

  5. Sara - Kabekona Tri Girl February 1, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    NEITHER! I am racing a half ironman. Not Just or Only. That’s awesome. Something I aspire to do someday but as starting with an Olympic Distance this summer. You rock, don’t say just or only.

  6. jnkmiles.org February 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Guilty…..maybe it’s the word “half”…..sorta indicates not doing the whole???!! I dunno, but I got a huge lecture from my mom after my 70.3 because I just kinnda shrugged it off the night after…like, “ehh, no big deal…it’s done…wasn’t so bad.” She was chasing me around her house screaming at me, “you just completed over 70 miles….do you have any idea what you accomplished??” I think, like you said we become immune to the signifigance sine we’re surrounded by it and by people who do ti every day….it all seems so damn “normal”!

  7. Run with Jess February 2, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Ugh, I do that to myself all the time!! And yet I’m always catching others doing it & correcting it. Be proud of any and all distances! We’re out there getting it done and that’s all that counts.
    P.S. I’m totally scared of the Half Ironman distances… much less the full! I think I’d drown…

  8. Darcy February 4, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I have been running since June of last year. This is a major milestone for me! Yet, I’m ashamed to say that I have run only 5K races (at least once a month since last October). The 10K is coming. The half is coming. The full is coming. But I want to be proud of me right now.

    • toughchik February 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Good for you! That is the right attitude

  9. hemingwayrun February 7, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    When I said I was signed up for a half marathon I got:
    ‘Oh, why not a full one?’
    The gits.

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