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Things I Learned Today Other Than Eat Breakfast

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Triathlon.

Now that's a big scary kind of thing, isn't it? Brings to mind charley horses and barfing and the footage of those freakazoid (read: awesome) Ironman people wetting themselves and crawling across the finish line before collapsing into the arms of their loved ones (who are decidedly too calm as they catch their loved one IMHO).

Well, not so much. I mean, it isn't easy, and I couldn't have done it this time last year, but I didn't puke. I didn't even ponder puking. In fact, until I sat down to write this blog entry I hadn't even thought the word puke all day long. It was a puke-free beginning to the holiday weekend.

I'm not ready for a traditional olympic distance, but I'm certainly ready and willing to do this again and to try to get a whole lot faster. Quite frankly, I enjoyed the sprint triathlon experience, even if it was in a gym while watching the snow fall outside.

As much as I hate admitting it, dang it, Cannie50 was right... I really dig this. A lot. A lot lot. Like maybe I should save up for one of those obscenely expensive road bikes and reread Slow Fat Triathlete and seriously ponder being last in a real honest to god organized triathlon this summer.

I prepared last night by going through an extensive preparation ritual that included all of the following: eating some rice.

Clockwise from top:
Avocado, tempeh, long grain and wild rice, raspberries



I forgot to eat breakfast. Seriously. I'm not sure how I managed that, but the first thing I learned today was EAT. Had I remembered, I would have had some almonds or raspberries or blackberries. The local store has blackberries for 50 cents per pint and raspberries 4 pints for $5, so my fridge looks like a fruit hoarder has moved in.



Maybe this is a sign of progress? I've always envied those people who say things like "oh, I forgot to eat today, no wonder I'm starving" and when they say it they don't even look like they are lying through their teeth.

Here are more things I learned today:

*I'm slow, but I don't quit.
I believe this is the trait that my husband probably secretly refers to as "pain in the a$$" when I'm not around. Also known as stubborn.

*I may be the only person on earth whose least favorite leg is the bike.
Maybe it was because I was on a recumbent cycle, but it was entirely lacking in fun and I couldn't seem to adjust it in a way that made my hips quit hurting. I'd rather ride on a spinning cycle with the Lance seat trying to give me what feels like a banana enema.

*There is lots of room for improvement.
Starting with the run. Largely because I ran for a total of two minutes and walked the rest. Actually running during the run will dramatically improve the run portion. Shocking, I know. I wonder if that is why it is called the running portion, because people run? Hmmm. Something to ponder there.

*If you want to take a really challenging yoga class, take one 45 minutes after you finish your first sprint tri.
It was pure force of will that prevented me from spending the entire class hiding in the corner from the big mean (tiny, petite, sweet, blonde) ogre of a yoga instructor.

*The transition from bike to run (ahem, walk) is sucktaculacious.
It's like trying to run (walk) on spaghetti. Overcooked, icky, healthy whole wheat spaghetti. This will take some practice. Maybe I will start doing some time on the treadmill post spinning class for the sole intent and purpose of practicing transitioning.

*Having the tummy growls while running (ahem, walking) is distracting.

*Watching Will & Grace on the fancy treadmill while doing the... run makes it go faster.
It will be interesting to do the same outdoors without tv. I wonder if it will mean a faster time or a slower one to have to set my own pace and have trees for entertainment.

*The fear of the tri is worse than the tri itself.
Seriously, if you can do all of the components separately, the conglomeration of the three isn't totally horrific. Now if you can't swim, then it might be pretty horrible to contemplate 750 meters, but in general, your body naturally slows down to accomodate the additional exercise.

*Peer pressure is a good thing if you aren't 14.
Peer pressure is a commonly underestimated tool. Well, if she can do it, I can do it should be running through your head right now because I'm not in very good shape.

*Not peeing before the next leg because you have a delusion that people don't do that during real triathlons means that you will be in danger of having your bladder rupture as you waddle to the potty when you are done.

*Yes, you deserve a nap after a triathlon, even a shorty like a sprint.
However, you will be too hopped up to do so. Even if you lay there for an hour trying.

So, how slow was I? Well, I have to guess about how long I was on the treadmill because I was so eager to snap my proof photo and get off the thing that I took one that showed I finished but managed to not get my overall time. Doh.

My Times:
Bike: 54:40

Walk: 49 (estimate, probably within 30-60 seconds)

Swim 20:01

So, no Wonderwoman or even a Wonder Twin by any stretch, but I know I can do better next time and this is a great benchmark.


If I can do it, you can do it. Here's why:

I'm probably heavier than you, my last weigh in was over 280 pounds.
I'm probably slower than you on at least one of the legs and probably slower on all 3.
I haven't been an athlete in 20 years.
I'm not fast, I'm just stubborn.
I can't run for more than a minute. Two tops.

I plan to make this a monthly thing.

Like spinning class, the fear of the tri was worse than the tri itself. Honest. I'm totally telling the truth. Scout's honor. (Humor me and pretend I was a Boy Scout, will ya?)

I know DogLady13 --happy birthday!--and my cohort in crime SOUTHPONDCAMP both did the entire thing, so they get a much deserved WOOT WOOT!

I can't wait to hear how everyone else does on their own leg(s) this weekend. Yippee!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYBUTLER10 1/16/2012 7:53PM

    Thanks for sharing! So inspirational.... actually makes me want to exercise again!!!! :)

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TARABEAR 1/16/2012 7:32PM

    Congrats!!! Here's to many more!

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REBECCA431 1/16/2012 5:52PM

    emoticon I would love to run but am very aware of the pain it will and has caused my knees so I'll get my weight down first (I would have walked too) Great Job!You are an inspiration!! Keep it up!! emoticon

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TOTALFOCUS 1/16/2012 5:13PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that inspiring blog!

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TIFFY0906 1/16/2012 4:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRRARRGH 1/16/2012 4:14PM

    Congrats on finishing - that's awesome!

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BMCKEOW1 1/16/2012 4:01PM

    That is amazing. It's the running that gets me. I don't really like to run to begin with, so that makes it hard and then I can only do it for maybe two minutes straight. I have to agree totally inspiring, maybe this is something I could try to. emoticon

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JP5214 1/16/2012 3:43PM

    emoticon

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LIONINTHESKY 1/16/2012 3:30PM

  you're awesome!

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JAGRIF 1/16/2012 3:04PM

    emoticon

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DIRTYBUNNY 1/16/2012 3:01PM

    Oh honey, you're a hoot! Can't wait for the next installment!

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BRITTHORT9 1/16/2012 2:43PM

  Awesome!!! Keep it up!!

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KAREN_NY 1/16/2012 2:37PM

    First -- HOLY AWESOME, BATGIRL!

Second -- I absolutely need to consider moving to wherever you live that has such great prices on fresh berries, lol.

Cheers,
K:)

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GUITARWOMAN 1/16/2012 1:11PM

    Fabulous blog!

I have never "competed" with my walking, and thanks to you and others spreading the Spark I am considering it!


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FATINVT 1/16/2012 12:49PM

    Nice job!! You're not alone about liking the bike portion least, I'm right there with you. In fact, this is one of the zillion reasons I've used to NOT to a tri before (I don't own a bike at all, let alone a "good" one that I wouldn't be embarassed to bring to a tri). I love that you're going to keep doing this monthly, I am too, and I think it will be a really fun way to measure our progress!

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KKINNEA 1/16/2012 11:49AM

    I ran my 5K with a friend in a night-time race. Other than sliding on inconvenient ice, we managed 29:34 on a brisk, Christmas light-lit double loop. Not a bad bit of running!

I love your idea of doing this monthly. I think around May (when we in Minnesota that are afraid of ice biking know we won't die), I can pick up the bike leg too. Still working on my fear of swimming...

There's nothing wrong with being last provided they don't take the snacks away. Everyone knows you need snacks at the end! And if there's any danger of it, I'll come and have snacks at the end for you!

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DOG_MOM 1/16/2012 11:35AM

    Congrats on completing the Sprint Tri! That's awesome and it seems like a great way to escape the boredom of the gym machines. This was really inspiring as I'm trying to re-find my spark.

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GOLOPTIOUS 1/16/2012 10:55AM

    I can't even begin to tell you how awesome you are! I did the 5K portion but I cheated a bit. My time was 34 minutes 30 seconds, but instead of walking I paused the machine to drink. Of course, that means that the entire 34 1/2 minutes was me running....Yoda says it counts as cheating, though. I told him that if he didn't want me to do it that way, maybe he should get his little trainer behind to the gym and run it with me! ;)

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WILDFIREKRISTIN 1/16/2012 10:52AM

    You never cease to amaze me how awesome you are at putting everything together and learning lessons. You always have such detailed and inspirational blogs!

Keep up the superb work and always take super good care of you my friend!

Hugs,

K

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/16/2012 10:39AM

    Nice!

Definitely get out and do a sprint outside!

I did a half-iron aquabike (1 mile swim, 56 miles on the bike and no run - my knee arthritis won't allow it) as my first "tri" two years ago. (Yeah, some people just don't have the sense to try smaller stuff first. Doh.)

The event itself was fine. I held back and took a more leisurely pace than a racing one and came in 18 minutes past the deadline.

I forgot to eat something between the swim and the bike and bonked at the beginning of the second leg. Once I figured out what was going on and had an energy bar I picked up a lot of speed on the bike and even passed people.

I hated training for it, specifically the swim. It was just so booooooooring, doing laps, even with my underwater SwiMP3.

I was getting into the kayaking at the same time as training and found myself just running rivers in a little plastic boat instead. It was more fun. LOL

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 10:40:39 AM

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BKBROILER52 1/16/2012 10:31AM

    Thanks for inspiring us to challenge ourselves!!!

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GEMINISUE 1/16/2012 10:27AM

    Very inspiring blog, thanks for sharing!

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RACINGSLUG 1/16/2012 10:24AM

    You are inspirational and motivating and so much awesome rolled into one person. Thanks for sharing this experience!

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DMAICON 1/16/2012 10:16AM

  you are so motivating and I know that if u can do it so can I.No excuses! Thanks for this post. U r awesome and ur a wonderwaman in my eyes!

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ACITODG 1/16/2012 9:41AM

    Great post! emoticon

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SEXYRED1 1/16/2012 9:04AM

    emoticon

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LSPIZZA 1/16/2012 8:25AM

    Well - life got in the way this weekend and I couldn't get to the gym. And it was just too cold here to cycle outside (or swim. ;)). But I ran 5k twice this weekend. Both around 30 minutes. It was really cold and windy. And I was motivated by how awesome you are!

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CTUPTON 1/16/2012 7:55AM

    emoticon

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LOSTLIME 1/16/2012 7:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ECHAVEZ2 1/16/2012 3:07AM

    emoticon

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EUPHRATES 1/16/2012 12:01AM

    Thank you - I totally needed to read this tonight (see my blog for why *sighs*).
You RAWK!!!!!!!
And dammmit, why do Di and K always pick nights I'm working for their parties? I was SO hoping to see you at the housewarming! *cries* I think the universe is conspiring against me. :(

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JEANETTE1939 1/15/2012 11:30PM

  A great inspiring post. Keep at it and we will soon see a new champion.

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YINETTV 1/15/2012 11:20PM

  I love those berries

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MARYHENNIG 1/15/2012 11:07PM

  Great job!

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MOSTMOM1 1/15/2012 11:07PM

    You go, you wicked awesome triathlete! (is that what they're called?)
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SLAWS1 1/15/2012 9:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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AKRONEWITTER1 1/15/2012 9:16PM

    emoticon

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MCFITZ2 1/15/2012 8:51PM

    Congratulations!!!! I laughed, and felt encouraged. I read it to my husband and he also enjoyed your write up. Love your tongue in cheek style. I am 271 (I hope) Weigh in is the week of the 30th. I am also 67 1/2 . Some of my team mates have walked 5 k's perhaps next time I will join them. I also am stubborn.
Again loved this. emoticon

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STRONGBY50 1/15/2012 8:42PM

    Awesome and inspiring post! Now if I can just re-learn to swim maybe I'll join you!

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MRS_PALMER 1/15/2012 8:32PM

    I did a full hour on the sled hill thought my legs were going to give out on me. But I kept walking up it then riding down, then huffing back up and sliding down I thought of you and wondered how your tri went, so good job girl, I am proud of you. emoticon

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MANILUS 1/15/2012 7:57PM

    Congratulations on completing it, keep it up!

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REENIE131 1/15/2012 7:44PM

    Great job! Can't wait to try it myself!

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SLJOHNSON 1/15/2012 7:36PM

  OK!

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ZENSTEPH 1/15/2012 6:36PM

    Wow, inspiring

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SAHARASUE 1/15/2012 5:54PM

    emoticon Awesome job!! emoticon

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VISHYT 1/15/2012 3:50PM

    Holy moly, that is one awesome fridge collection! And I laughed OUT LOUD, several times, reading your blog. Hilarious! My fave part was about peer pressure being good for your if you're not 14.. makes me giggle just typing that.

I hope you do it again:

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EMMALEIGHB 1/15/2012 3:25PM

    emoticon

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CAROLZ1967 1/15/2012 2:04PM

    Great job! They are inspiring!

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HHB4181 1/15/2012 1:55PM

    Congrats on your sprint tri!!

I agree, exercising while having to pee is just awful. And I envy your fridge emoticon

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NEWNECK 1/15/2012 12:54PM

    Congrats on a successful tri!

Now go ahead and register for an organized event. I guarantee* that you'll love it. If there's a Danskin tri near you, I strongly recommend going with that. It has a RIDICULOUSLY supportive and festive environment. I did the Seattle Danskin in 2007 and 2008 when I was 80 pounds heavier and had done absolutely no physical activity for about 6 years. I went into with a goal just to enjoy myself, which I did, and came out of it realizing that (1) it wasn't my body that was holding me back from living life, but my head; and (2) ANYONE who isn't afraid of the water and is physically capable of covering the distance can do a sprint triathlon.

As I said, I like the Danskin because it's so supportive and a big I-am-woman-hear-me-roar festival. The organizer, Sally Edwards, always comes in last so no one else does. I've heard people say that some of the smaller, local events can be less enjoyable for novices because the folks who turn out are the hard-core competitors so you have to be more on your game about getting kicked in the face during the swim or elbowed in the run. On the other hand, small local events can have their own silliness and charm.

DO IT!

* guarantee limited to cash value of this comment

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