Fitness

Participating in a Triathlon

I did something really stupid. I signed up for a triathlon.

My gym, the YWCA Minneapolis puts on a triathlon every year, and every year I think to myself– this year is the year that I am going to participate! I even wrote about it in this post about goals from 2012 (#3).  Well 4 years later, and I have yet to participate. One year my excuse was that I didn’t have the money to do it. Another year my excuse was that I didn’t have a bike. Well this year I have a bike, and a bit more money, the only thing I was lacking was a training partner. It’s an all women’s tri so I needed a lady pal that was willing to sign up. And a few months ago I found the perfect person.

Back in April this triathlon seemed like such a good idea. It’s a 500 yard swim, 15.5 mile bike ride, and a 5k run, I kept telling myself how easy it was going to be to complete. The race is August 14th, I felt like I would have so much time to train. And I had visions of myself becoming a great runner, and really loving the training process. I almost laugh as I type this. I am now a month out from the race, and I have barely trained. And when I do train, I hate every single second. I miss doing workouts that I like to do. If I attend a cardio class instead of go for a run, I feel so guilty. I find myself counting down the days until training is over.

runningI hate running. I have always hated running. I can recall two times in the entirety of my life when I would say that I enjoyed running. So if I hate running so much, why in the heck did I sign up for a triathlon? I don’t know, I guess I thought that I should challenge myself or some crap like that. I kept listening to all those people who say ‘take your weakness and make it your strength.’ Those people are dumb. I think it’s okay to have weaknesses, and mine is running. I think I was trying to be optimistic. Thinking that if I devoted enough time to properly running that maybe, just maybe I could work myself up to a 5k.

I really didn’t want to spend a ton of money on this race, but the one thing all runners preach about is buying the right shoe. So after weeks of having shin splits, I finally gave in. I went to a small business running store by my house and got properly fitted. He did all sorts of tests– figuring out my pronation, my arch height, etc. I walked out feeling really, really good about these shoes. Well my shin splints have gone away but I have so much pain in my foot that I can barely stand to run. I thought maybe they just needed to be worn in better so I wore them to step class last week, they hurt so bad that I walked out with numb feet. Side note: I will never understand why I can complete a 45 minute aerobic step class (with foot pain) but running for 5 minutes makes me feel like I am about to die.

newshoesI started out using the C25K app, but had a hard time sticking with it. Summer vacations and moving into a new apartment have gotten in the way of training. I will work up to longer running stints, and then lose it if I don’t run within a few days. You logical people are probably thinking “why isn’t she running on vacation?” Who wants to ruin vacation with a run? I mean really. So lesson learned, don’t sign up for an event that has me training over the summer.

And I was so worried about running that I didn’t even think about my swimming ability. I grew up swimming, so I felt I was a pretty strong swimmer. Wrongo. I mean, I’m not bad, I’m just not fast. And I haven’t mastered the whole keeping-my-face-in-the-water-coming-up-for-side-breaths-thing. But you can swim the race however you want to so I will be keeping my face above the water, even though it’s going to greatly tire me out. I think this will actually be okay since I will have hoards of people swimming next to me, I think I will want to be able to see what’s going on around me. Plus I am not that concerned with my finishing time.

So what do I think will be fun about the race? Biking. I love biking, and it comes after the swimming portion so I think it will be a nice way to catch my breath, and recharge. I’m also looking forward to the meal before and after the race! Carb loading the night before, and then a victory meal. Of course I’m in it for the food.

bikeSo please wish me luck! And if you have any running tips, throw them my way! I could use all the help I can get.

  • Nadine

    A triathlon? Girl!!! I could never! But I have faith in you…you can totally do this!

    • I’m not so sure! But thanks for your confidence!