A few months ago, I was in need of a physical goal to keep me from sliding into full winter hibernation mode. I had always wanted to participate in a triathlon but always struggled with the biking portion. As a 17 year old, I had a literal run in with a vehicle while riding my bike. I know what you’re thinking but the accident was in no way due to any operator error on my part. The accident left me with a broken left arm, and, needless to say, a healthy fear of road riding.
About four years ago I took up mountain biking. I figured if I were going to bike, I’d like to choose my hazards instead of having the hazards choose me. The potential of someone choking on a french fry, texting, or putting on mascara and plowing into me seemed pretty slim on the trails. In my four years I have made some decent headway with my skills in this sport. I still struggled to find a triathlon because most of these trail triathlons usually have long, technical mountain biking segments. Even though I’m proud of the advancements I’ve made in riding singletrack, I’m pretty sure I have no business sighing up for anything that involves long, technical biking.
A few months ago, while I was on a business trip, I found myself struggling to sleep and surfing the internet into the wee hours of the night. It was then that I found the perfect triathlon for me, the Lory Xterra Tri – 1/2 mile swim, 12.2 reasonable singletrack, and 4.8 trail run. The fact that this event was scheduled for June 1st didn’t really seem of significance at the time. Given that I have had to swim outdoors in snowy, 29 degree temperatures, run in deep, hard packed snow, and bike in cold, windy weather, I definitely have a healthy respect for early season training now. The water temperature on June 1st is expected to be around 50 degrees.
At first I was just thinking, ah heck, I can at least finish the race. Then the competitive person in me reared her head and I started thinking big, really big. I started thinking things like, if I’ve signed up for this I should try to win my age group. Todd always laughs when I talk about winning my age group but I figure you have to have dreams …. right.
I hired a coach to give me a plan and as of February first have been truly dedicating myself to training for this event. For the most part, I have loved the process of training. I love that it makes me get out every day and do something healthy for myself. I love the fact that I have made some real headway in improving my body composition … muffin tops be gone. I love that I can see improvements in my swimming and biking skills. I
have, however, struggled a bit with the rigidity of training for a tri. Every day is dedicated to some specific activity. I am by nature a very spontaneous person and the routine of a triathlon plan can stifle spontaneity a bit. So, the jury is still out if I will become an avid triathlon participant. Some days I find myself wanting to sign up for all of the Xterra triathlons. Other days I can’t wait for the event to be over. Either way, I am happy to finally be accomplishing one of my bucket list goals. Another positive, I have also been able to feed my habit for athletic gear a bit.
Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well on June 1st. This triathlete will be running on Life Bus power!