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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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