Would you hate me if this blog changed from running chit-chat to serious, terrified discussions about running and triathlons and swimming and biking ?
Well, let’s be honest, it won’t include serious discussions. At least not all the time. I’m too ADD and silly for that. But, I’m really starting to love this triathlon training thing. It’s possible I’m becoming a runner-swimmer-biker, but it’s too early too tell. I’m not ready to totally cheat on running yet. (Running, you will ALWAYS, always be my first sweaty love.)
Besides, I have that whole Ragnar thing going on. Who has time to swim when they are busy relay-running 200 miles from Saratoga to Lake Placid with 11 awesome friends? Unless you count chicken fights in the hotel pool, although I don’t think that would prepare me for lake swimming too well.
Chicken-fighting aside, all signs point to triathlon. In August, anyway.
I officially signed up for MY FIRST TRIATHLON! Doesn’t that sound like the name of one of those children’s books that describe some little kid’s random experience with something? “My First Time Riding a Bicycle!” or “My First Trip to Disney World!” Those cartoon characters have all the fun.
Anyway, you certainly didn’t come here to talk about Disney World and learning to bike without training wheels (or DID you? I never know what you guys are thinking).
I signed up for a little, 100-ish person sprint tri in a beautiful area of my town – all parks and lakes and SHADY which is key in August! Nice and simple for a first-timer, right? No traveling, no packing millions of items….plus I’m within close proximity to my house. Driving isn’t even necessary, I can bike to the start if I’m feeling extra-ambitious.
I paid a non-refundable fee and everything, so I’m committed. No backing out, Kara.
Here’s the rundown:
¼ mile swim – “M-shaped” in a lake, so they say. Whatever that means. Waves of 50. The good people start first, so I’ll be starting second. Or third. Who knows if they’ll even let me in the lake?
10 mile bike – One big, hilly loop.
3.1 mile run – Two 1.5 mile loops on an off-road path. Glorious 5K run which I will be anxiously awaiting.
They specifically mention “lots of areas for friends and family to come cheer you on!” Soooo…which of you would like those honors? Hmmm?
Obviously I’m full of questions:
-How do I find out if wetsuits are typically worn in this event? What’s the water temperature going to be?
-Do all triathlons give you swim caps?
-If I swim in a swimsuit, how do I change into my biking and running clothes? Would I have to wear a swimsuit under my clothes? What if I wear a wetsuit, I guess I need tri tops and tri bottoms? Does this mean I get to go shopping??
-If I rent a wetsuit, do I test it out in a pool? Won’t that look ridiculous? How do I even get one of those things on and off? Will my clothes underneath get wet?!
-What’s a good swim pace? Am I going to get kicked? Do I hang toward the back? What if I can’t find my bike? What if someone STEALS my beautiful new bike?!
-Transitions scare me. This isn’t a question, I just don’t know what’s going on.
OH SO MANY CONCERNS!
I’ve already stalked the race results from last year, found the organizers Facebook page (the actual race website is very vague), and Googled pictures to see what participants wear/look like…AKA if they look intimidating.
I feel exactly like I did when I began running longer distances. The whole terrified “what’s going on I feel lost and vulnerable” feeling. I hate it and love it at the same time. As Brendan said to me last night, “You’re doing it! It’s happening!”
YIKES. Change is a’coming.
I’ve always brushed off triathlons as a viable fitness/race option because they seem so confusing; so many terms and accessories and weird training plans. I started as a runner. I’m a runner through and through! But once I was motivated by someone who made me consider that, “Hey, maybe I CAN do that”, and took the time to actually read and Google the crap out of all variations of “triathlon training for beginners” and “tips for triathlons” and “how the heck do I find a wetsuit, “what’s the opposite of a mountain bike”, “every pool in the tri-state area”, and “do people really pee on their bikes in triathlons” (have you heard about that?!) I’ve finally scratched the surface of tri knowledge. Just a bit, but enough to feel like I can do it.
I completed my first official BRICK workout yesterday, (see how I’m learning the lingo?) not counting my random post-FlyWheel runs. I biked on a spin bike (does that count?) for 10.1 miles, which took me 26:48. I then ran for 2 miles on a treadmill in 20:30. Not bad for me, I’d say. My legs felt a little tired but warmed up.
I know, I know. I should probably avoid indoor workouts. But if you were in NYC yesterday, you are aware that there was a monsoon outside. I did what I had to do. I felt AMAZING!
So, I’m feeling motivated. Anxious. Pumped the F up.
To add more fuel to my fire, the day before my inaugural triathlon I’m volunteering at the NYC Ironman U.S. Championship. I plan to be super inspired. (You should join me! Philanthropy is FUN!)