Triathlon

It seemed like such a great idea

Brandon and I decided two weeks ago that we might like to train for a triathlon, maybe. I’m always making up my mind to train for things, be healthier, not eat crap. Look at me! I’m doing something that requires me to wear a sports bra and results in a small amount of sweat! I’m winning! I typically make these decisions in the shower in the morning, shortly after weighing myself for the day. I seldom think through the timing and the training of these goals. I just sort of figure I’ll work out, and suddenly my body will just morph into the form I’d prefer.

When Brandon said he wanted to train for a triathlon, I just sort of jumped on board. To me, this seemed like the perfect way for me to work toward an athletic goal without the stress of training for a running-only race. In some ways, I think a triathlon will be more difficult (swimming is hard), but for me, the variety is the basis of its appeal. I don’t like running at all, but swimming and biking are actually rather enjoyable. I love riding my bicycle, so I figure if I can get the swimming part down, I can do a triathlon by the end of the year. A sprint triathlon–3.1 miles running, 750 meters swimming, 12 miles biking. Swimming is so much more challenging that I’m barely thinking about the running. And, honestly, I wanted to do it because I want to be good at things that my husband enjoys.

We decided we would do this two Thursdays ago. That Saturday, we went out in the morning and ran a couple miles. Then we rode our bikes for 12. Then we swam for 500 yards. I felt like a beast. I could do this! I swam and ran and biked ALL IN ONE DAY. Normally, after 45 minutes at the gym, I feel like I deserve a medal. Or a cookie. So, doing not one but three physical activities in one day made me feel like an Olympian. Maybe it was the endorphins.

We got very into the idea of training for a triathlon. I knew I couldn’t swim this thing in my cute retro throwback Hawaii suit, so I bought a new workout suit and a swim cap. I started reading about the process of training. I did the unthinkable and posted about it on Facebook thinking my social network would hold me accountable.

Then the devil’s heat wave of 2011 took hold of basically the entire nation, and we avoided going outside for a week. Last Sunday, we went to the pool, and something happened to my brain. Maybe I was just being a prissy woman. Maybe I was annoyed with my husband. Maybe I was hormonal. Whatever it was, swimming just wasn’t happening. Everything seemed wrong. I was tired and angry and my stupid goggles kept leaking and I couldn’t seem to turn my head the right way to allow me to breathe correctly under water. We left. We went home. And I stewed all week dreading going back to the pool.

But, here’s the thing: there is something wrong when I can barely run around the block without feeling like I’m going to die. We’re so complacent with our bodies…bodies God gave us to use and enjoy not abuse and neglect. I’ll be 29 in just a few weeks. One year from 30. And at 29 years old (almost), I can’t run two miles to save my life. I’m thankful I can bike as far as I can, but I know part of the reason I’m able to do that is just because I enjoy the sport a bit more. It’s time for something to change. If someone were chasing me, I’m pretty sure they’d catch up easily and I’d be SOL.

On Monday (day 17 of 100 degree heat), we went to the gym. Today is Thursday, and I can still feel the seldom-used muscles in my core. On Saturday, we will try the whole circuit over again…swimming, running, biking. And I hope to just finish my laps without complaining.

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