When I first took a running break (to heal my plantar fasciitis) I bought a bicycle.
Not really knowing what I was doing (25 years plus since I’d owned one) or what I was looking for, I picked out a bike that would handle road and light trail riding. It didn’t take me long to get comfortable with it, and I was up to riding it for an hour at least once a week. My husband and I have enjoyed some leisurely rides around town together, exploring different neighborhoods and even through a trail at a local park. With all that, my interest with the bicycle was piqued.
I have some friends who have done triathlons, but have not been able to wrap my brain around how you balance training with three sports when I can barely handle one. So I looked around and found a duathlon (run, bike, run) I thought about registering for. I figured I would just ease in and maybe, just maybe, I would try a sprint triathlon next summer after some time in the pool, and after I had secured my comfort zone on the bike.
Then my Ironman friend said, “You can do one this summer. No need to wait.” She told me people use all kinds of bikes, and the swim wouldn’t be a problem because there are people who “run” the pool.
Sometimes, someone just needs to wipe out all your excuses and tell you that you can do it.
So guess what, I’m going to “tri.” This is a great time for me to do something new before I start marathon training again late August. I’m also hoping to see some fitness gains come about as well.
I picked out a sprint triathlon that would give me about six weeks to train. With summertime, I have the luxury of not waking kids up for school so the lap swim times fit my schedule. Oh, and I’m dragging my running friend along too. We’re both newbies to this world. I’ve ramped down some of the running mileage, just as I was starting to build back up. Even though it’s summer and my schedule is a little more relaxed, I don’t want to miss out on my kids by constantly training.
The swim is my weak link. I can get myself down to the end of the pool and back, but not with my face in the water the whole way. The rotating and breathing, and remembering to use both arms is all a lot of coordination for me. I have this going through my mind every time I want to stop:
I had one day at the pool that involved some tears. Thank goodness for goggles to hide them! My husband called me right after and could tell I was upset. He said something to me that meant a lot. He said, “I would tell you not to quit, but I don’t have to. You don’t give up. So keep at it.”
Then last weekend, I picked up my new road bike that I got a great deal on (from someone who used to run with our group). Now, I get to really face my fears because this one is just a tad faster than my other bike. I’ve got some more riding to do.
I’m way outside of my comfort zone here, but hopefully this will continue to move me out of the running rut I was sitting in for the past year. I have one more longer distance race this summer – a 15k – on Sunday. After that, I’ll cut my long run down and build up some more on the bike.
Swim. Bike. Run.
For a little while at least.
Have you ever done a triathlon? What was your experience like?