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!
Well done you.
I look forward to hearing how you will get on 😉
Thanks so much!!! It’s not an Ironman or anything but still pretty excited and anxious about it. Keep your fingers crossed. Just want to avoid bonking. Cheers, Lexi
It might not be a full Ironman but still pretty gutsy, I could not do that!
I’m sure you will do fine but I will keep my fingers crossed anyway 😉
What an amazing goal. Training in the winter for a June 1 Tri- has to be a grueling process. Maybe they will make a movie out of your experience. Good luck and we will all have our fingers crossed. However, I think your training work ethic will have more to do with it than luck. You were talking about your goal of winning your age group. I think the only way I could win my age group is if I told people I was 100 years old or I entered a statistics contest.
Hi Ed … Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. I’m pretty sure that will be the only way I could ever win as well but sometimes my imagination gets the better of me 🙂 The statistics contest way would never work for me.
Kindred spirits we are… this is the best type of triathlon to do and tri ; ). It’s well within your capabilities and you’ll feel really good that you did it.
I had the same feeling about training when Jacqui and I did our first Olympic distance triathlon in 1998. Since then, I’ve completed a few sprint tri’s or half-tri’s, which is still pretty cool. I don’t like the regimented training aspect — especially when you’re working (making a living, ya know). It feels like ALL your extra time is taken up training and preparing your body for this physical endeavor (as it should). Just not for me. I have way too many interests in life to be pinned down by triathlon training. Instead, i select the activities I enjoy and make them happen. Indoor swimming, outdoor open water swim, yoga, walking. Twenty years ago, I’d have felt guilty about the perceived lack of exercise, but not anymore.. This is my life bus and I’m driving it. Oh yeah, and there’s wine, books, sex, and spirituality on my bus!