May 25, 2006

Triathlons are HARD.

In other understated news, the Kansas City Royals aren't all that good this year.

So, after seeing a good number of my co-workers run/walk the mini-marathon here in Indy, I though it'd be a swell idea to get back in shape. The gym to which Meagan and I belong (that's right, I belong to a gym and I'm still not in shape) is holding a training program for the sprint triathlon in late July.

Now, this isn't the 3-mile swim/50-mile bike/26-mile run triathlon that the crazy people do. No, no, this is the 500m swim/10-mile bike/3-mile run that fat slobs like me attempt. They call it a "sprint". I now call it a "death sentence".

My overwhelming fear going into training was the run. I've never been a good runner and three miles is about three miles longer than I've ever run before. I've swum competitively before, and I've been training on the exercise bikes for a while now, so I was pretty confident there, but I just knew that the run (esp. after going through the first two legs) would be the end of me.

Then, yesterday, I got in the pool. I had somehow failed to remember (depsite my lovely, intelligent, and all-knowing wife's reminding) that it had been 14 years and 140 lbs since I had been on a swim team. Instead of taking back to the water like a duck, I took back to it like a church, and I soon discovered that churches, contrary to Monty Python, don't float in water. After a first speedy, confident 50m, I was a sputtering, red-faced mass of humanity desperately gasping for air when not grabbing for the lane line. I had started out too fast in what was supposed to be the WARMUP, and ruined the rest of the afternoon for myself. Through the course of the day, I managed three up-downs (300m) total, though admittedly, it included breaks in each 50m and lengthy breaks between them. Meagan (who I suckered into this under the auspices that I'd do the mini-marathon next year) did well, going six up-downs and pacing herself very well.

I think what hurt me the most yesterday was realizing that I couldn't do this as well as I though I could, and knowing that there are now two phases that I really need to be prepared for (I've been doing 12 miles regularly on the exercise bikes, so I'm really not too concerned there). There was a moment in the pool where I thought I could literally feel my confidence shatter into teeny-tiny pieces, drifting away in the beginner's lane as I struggled to make it. I ended up swimming less than anyone in the program, which I'm sure is to be expected from the heaviest guy there, rounding out the 'Clydesdale' division of the triathlon at a svelt 225 (that's, um, 55 lbs over the 170lb threshold). I just didn't want to be that guy, and now I kind of am.

And to top it off, I may have a broken bone in my foot, which means I'll be walking instead the running that I desperately need to train.

So yeah, triathlons are hard. I know I'll get better, as that what training and the guilt that this was my idea in the first place are for. It's just going to take training everyday, eating better, and a lot of life changes to get there. Combined, that should make for an interesting couple of months.


At 2:14 PM, Blogger EdnaPontellierProdigy said...

YAY! i'm proud of you!

i have faith that you will train hard and perform SPLENDIDLY! because you are mike, and that's what you do!

(... not entirely sure what that last line means... but i thought it sounded encouraging...)

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Bridgette said...

I think it's awesome that you are tri-ing! I am starting my own journey into my first tri on August 19th @ Eagle Creek! You are further into training than I am - I just started 3 weeks ago. I hope I'll be ready because that lake is nasty if I have to swallow it!


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