Saturday, April 2, 2011

Laying it out on the table. Or pavement.

About 3 months ago, I decided I was going to become a triathlete. About a week ago, I learned that the word "triathlon" was NOT spelled "triathAlon". Apparently I've got a lot to learn. And I only have until September 11, 2011 to do it.

It really wasn't my idea to do a triathlon. I'm a member of and heard about it through one of the groups on there, "The Discovery Group". I don't know who would want to "discover" a triathlon, but for some reason, I was feeling frisky and I signed up. It took me about 3 minutes total to decide to do this, register myself and pay $94.10 to torture myself with exercise.

Let me make one thing clear. This is not a regular triathlon. It's a sprint. Normally, the only thing I sprint to is the Doritos aisle in the grocery store, but a "sprint triathlon" is actually the shortest version of a triathlon. It's 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 5K run. Not that it will be any easier for someone who can't even run to the end of the driveway without getting winded, but it's a start. And I'm actually excited about it.

After I signed up, I spent 3 days talking excitedly about it, researching gyms, fitness centers, swim and racquet clubs, and Jewish community centers to find the cheapest place I could swim, bike and
run walk fast. I finally signed up at the YMCA on a senior citizen discount using my mother as bait.

I then spent many hours surfing the web for newbie info on triathlons. Max Performance has lots of great links for newbies, which I, of course, dived right into.

Man, if only I applied myself like this in high school!

I found a 22-week program on and painstakingly put each daily workout into my Google calendar, which synced with my cell phone. This of course meant, I had absolutely no way of forgetting when I was working out and what I would be doing.

For my first scheduled "workout", I walked for 20 minutes and swam 2 laps. I thought, "this is so easy. I am SO ready for a triathlon".

Unfortunately, a non-brisk 20-minute walk and a float in the pool isn't exactly triathlon material.

Since then, I've worked my way up to swimming 600 yards (about 1/3 mile), biking 10 miles and running for 2 minute intervals. It may not seem like much, but I'm pretty impressed with myself.

I already feel confident in the swimming and biking. It's the running that's killing me. In order to keep myself on pace with the running I've signed up for three 5K's in April and May. I'm an idiot.

After "training" too hard, too fast (6 days a week for the first 3 weeks), I slowed down fast. I felt tired and sluggish all the time. But I didn't want to give up. I actually felt bad about missing the workouts. But I didn't do them. I kept researching workout routines, but it didn't get me moving. In fact, I didn't get back on the horse again until I went on vacation to Florida and was able to swim outside. I worked out five days that week. I realized that training for this triathlon inside a gym was what was hindering me.

Once I get some training outside and not in a gym, I'll have a better feel of where I am and what I need to work on more (running, running, running, ew).

I will do this. I have a big goal in front of me and I'm way too competitive to let myself fail. My new motto is: I'm not in it to compete, I'm in it to complete. And not be last doing it.

I also bought a new bike today. But that's a story for another day.


  1. I'm not gonna lie. I giggled. :) But I don't think your mom is going to giggle when she sees you totally sold her ass out to the entire blogosphere!! Hahahaha!!!!! Godspeed, young grasshopper.

  2. Being confident in 2 out of 3 is good, I one day hope to get a bike and enter some cycling events but after a few miles on the bike I am done. The running will come I remember when I couldn't get through a mile without walking half of it and I also remember the week before my first 1/2 marathon when I did 12 consecutive miles, they weren't fast at all I think 12 min mile pace but that feeling of having done it when months earlier I thought I was crazy for signing up and there was no way I was going to be able to finish 13.1 miles was almost as exciting as finishing my half marathon. My advice would be to focus on the little improvements (which by Sept. will be the big ones) read lots of blogs (I found a lot of motivation reading other blog and seeing the growth as well as the struggles helps), and when your ready get outside for a run the change of treadmill to road makes a difference not only physically but mentally.


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