Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Try a Tri, Do or Die?

So a very good friend of mine went mad recently. He became a triathlete. He did his first sprint triathlon, or "tri", not too long ago and apparently had a really good time with it, because he's doing another one in late August. For this one though, he has invited me to do one as well.

Back in my USMC days I would have readily accepted. A sprint triathlon usually consists of a swim around 500 yards, a bike ride of around 15 miles, and a run of around three miles. Back then I could do all of those things. Especially since a Marine Physical Fitness test (or PFT) finished with a three mile run.

As I posted not to long ago I am nearing 40 and have done little to none of the training I once did as a Marine, lo those dozen years ago. But you know what I did? I took my friend up on his offer to join in this adventure.

After all, back in high school I swam the 500 yard freestyle competitively, I've always liked riding a bike (at least I did back in Jr. High) and I could run three miles as a Marine in a decent time. How hard could it be to get back in shape for a sprint triathlon?

Guess What? It's HARD! Today I strapped on the old running shoes again (actually they are new, as the old ones were pretty ratty after twelve years of being used for everything BUT running - see gardening and mowing and other muddy scut work) and I headed out on a run/walk that ended up being some run with a LOT of walk. I went one whole mile. The first mile on this journey to a Tri. It took just under 18 minutes. That's right. For those of you keeping track at home... that's an 18 minute mile. Or a 54 minute three mile. I have a good, long way to go, and oh boy do my feet HURT!

Today I am scouting a local public beach to practice my open water swimming in. The benefits to this are thus... 1) Triathalon swims usually take place in open water, and open water swimming is quite different from pool swimming. 2) It's free!

I'm still pondering the whole 'bike' issue. I have a recumbent trainer to pedal for now. At least it will get my legs used to pumping for a time. But I'll have to transition to a road or hybrid bike pretty soon to get ready for the Tri.

People who know me might ponder the wisdom of someone my size and shape deciding to do a Tri. My wife sums it up best. She tells me that of all of the things I've ever done, I've succeeded quite well at the things that I am really dedicated to. Things I get motivated for. Well. I'm remarkably motivated by this idea! I'll write more about that later. For now though, I'm letting the world know out loud that I am training for the Triathlon.

Holy crap, what have I gotten myself into?

More Later

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