Last fall I was reading the comments in my favorite parenting-plus-a-lot-of-other-stuff blogs, sfgate.com's "The Poop." Someone mentioned the Mermaid Triathlon and its distances, and it was a total "WHOA!!!" moment for me. Who hasn't heard (and felt daunted by the mere idea) of the Ironman? But I had no idea there were shorter-distance triathlons! (I guess that happens to a body when one has been spudding out on couch+car seat+office chair for 13 years.) I don't know if I'd ever become a long-distance runner, but I do love biking and swimming...so I started thinking, "Hmmm...maybe I should try a sprint triathlon sometime."
Well, you know where that kind of thinking leads a girl leading the "opposite" life: it's been the "plate of shrimp" thing in action again. I keep finding articles about triathlons: at first I was finding those sites by searching, but now I'm finding them in my random readings. For example, two bloggers I read regularly, Lori ("Finding Radiance") and Christie ("Baby Tea Leaves"), recently posted about training for triathlons. Then, today...Zen Habits had an article, "A Guide to Starting Out in Triathlon". (In other words, sprint tri's are going to be the new 5K.)
I know what some of you out there are thinking: "That's all very nice, Pubsgal. So when are you going to sign up for one?"
Hem...haw....Good question. Frankly, I'm also nervous/scared as well as excited by the idea. Not quite as nervous as I'd be at the idea of sky diving, but it's up there. But I have done a few things to move along the path:
- Ordered a brightly-colored swim cap.
- Ordered vision-correcting swim goggles. Tried them out this past weekend and they work great!
- Read enough online to whet my curiosity, and to get me a bit nervous.
- Planted the seed of the idea with my family.
What I feel like I need to do to get ready:
- Watch a triathlon. I had thought to try out a just-announced local one in June, but it's the same weekend as my kids' dance recital, and that tends to be very labor-intensive for the dancers' parents. So I might just be watching that one...or maybe, just do it and muddle through it?
- Get more information about transitioning. What goes into this phase of the triathlon?
- Figure out how to get over the swim fear factor. Even though I've always loved swimming, and I float really easily, I'm a bit apprehensive about the whole idea of open water swimming and swimming in a race context--all that thrashing about of other people makes me nervous.
- Get family buy-in. In other words, figure out how to train and race without feeling like I was abandoning my family. As being the career half of a career/at-home parent dynamic duo, I'm already absent during the weekdays at work. Evenings and weekends are the only break-time my partner gets. I think the training is probably doable, but just need to figure out a doable event.
- Modify my training. I already do my main working out in the morning or at lunch time, and I can run a 5K. So I think it would be a matter of figuring out how to best work in the swimming and biking portion of the training. Biking is doable, since the gym has spin classes and exercise bikes, and I have a bike and an exercise bike at home. Fitting in swimming is the challenge, since the gym does not have a pool. There is a pool about 3 miles from my workplace that's open year-round and has lap swimming in the morning and afternoons. I could probably fit in 1 bike/swim per week in the morning before work during the school year, and 2-3 during the summer. Doing this, I could probably be ready for a triathlon in September 2009.
Will Pubsgal "just Tri it" in 2009? I think you already know the answer to that one. Stay tuned.... (And any good links, tips, etc. greatly appreciated!)