Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How I Got Here - Part 2

Now on to how I ended up in the world of triathlon.

I started running 3 years ago. I'd started eating healthier a year before, gone backpacking with Jeff over the summers and begun to exercise a bit. I decided we should enter a new 5K race our city was having on Thanksgiving - well I'd never run before and it hurt! Fortunately it made me mad enough to see everyone else cruising along that I vowed I would get even with those 3 miles and train until I could run them. Poor Jeff...he should have known then that it wouldn't stop there. Within a month I was looking to 10Ks and within 2 months I was training for my first half-marathon, which I completed 5 months after that first 5K race. Half-marathons, marathon, rinse, repeat.

Summer 2007 rolled around - Jeff and I were getting married in June, going on a road trip, and then coming home for our reception. I heard about a triathlon that would be taking place just down the road the morning of our reception day and thought - what better way to celebrate that I just got married? (Bear in mind, I'm the same person who thought running the Big Sur International Marathon was a brilliant way to celebrate my 30th birthday) Oh and better yet, I convinced my 57-year-old father to do this with me!

Now let's review the schedule I had going before that race...
June 8th - Drive a couple hundred miles
June 9th - Get married
June 10th-13th - Drive 3000+ miles cross-country (with 3 dogs in a rented minivan)
June 14th-18th - Visit Jeff's family and friends
June 18th-21st - Drive 3000+ miles back across the country
June 22nd - Run around town trying to prepare for the party
June 23rd - Triathlon, wedding reception

And I thought it was a GOOD IDEA to do my first triathlon in the midst of all this?

Maybe this is also a good time to point out that when I decided to enter this race:
(a) I had a mountain bike, 2 sizes too large for me
(b) I didn't know how to swim

But who am I to let a few little obstacles get in my way?

I did manage to survive the race, though I seem to recall thinking at some point during the swim "DROWNING would be easier than finishing right now." During the bike I'm pretty sure I said I'd never do one of these again. And by the end of the run I was ready to sign up for another!

Clearly it didn't ruin my fun at all that night either.

After that first race, I found as many more as I could to do that fall. Each had their own set of challenges...

The swim around the cement ship at the Mermaid

The crowded pool swim at Merced (see how it's always about the swim for me?)

The blazing heat at SOMA (Not a swim item, but...I did try to quit 10 yards into the swim at that race and the lifeguard talked me into sticking it out)

I learned a lot from those early races that helped me to race more solidly this past year. And obviously I got hooked on triathlon. I love that I have to work at skill in multiple sports, I love being able to eat even more because of all the training I'm doing, I love all the positive changes I've seen in my body, and I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end!


Kirstin said...

I somehow stumbled across your blog, then realized we went to school together and had not seen you since high school.

Congrats on marriage, dogs and the triathalons. A very impressive last few years! Completely inspirational.

Molly said...

How funny is that? You'll have to tell me what you've been up to since then! I haven't talked to anyone from Pres in ages.

SWTrigal said...

What a great story..and your picture of Soma brought back bad memories of some HOT WEATHER!! Oh man..but you did it!

21stCenturyMom said...

OMG - I was at SOMA, too. Can you believe that??!!! I died on the run. That race took me almost 4 hours. Never.again....

salmonmoose said...

ha! I remember that party! ;0) Isn't it funny how much we can accomplish if we get pissed off enough? Look out, here comes Sept. 27th!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! You've totally inspired me. After my first 1/2 marathon last year I was so excited to train for a tri. One problem, after that race I'd developed tendonitis in both feet from not wearing appropriate arch supports.

Well, after getting custom orthotics I am ready to train again, only I can't swim and have my dad's race bike to use.... Heck, that's the same boat you were in and are now planning on doing an IM next year! It is one of my life goals! Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

This is great!!! Thanks for pointing me to this post. I love to hear how everyone got started. Sounds like we had the same first race swim experience... at one point I really did think I was going to drown! Here's to forward progress :-)