Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swimming in negative waters...

I bounced the triathlon idea off a few people who are ordinarily very encouraging and was scared off a bit when all of them (with the exception of one mental person) said it was a really bad idea. The feedback has been completely consistent - the swimming part is supposed to be really difficult. Most of the folks I have asked however are runners, and it would seem that runners particularly dislike swimming for some reason? Now I'm a horrible swimmer and have never been able to do anything beyond breaststroke but I did used to swim a half a mile three times a week in college so how hard can swimming a quarter of a mile really be? Yes I know it's outside with hundreds of people who are thrashing around in the water, but there won't be many people trying to hold me under the water at the very back where I will be:). Here's the thing - when you do a 5K (or any run for that matter), people always ask "what was your time?" My logic is this - when you do a triathlon - the response is more like "you're a rock star," so all I have to do really is finish...:)

So, I did my first step towards training for a triathlon (just a baby-sized one) and made a plan. First I needed to find out where I am at with each of the components in a 'controlled' setting. I know the running part will take about half an hour so as an experiment I did the stationary bike for 40 mins at the gym. I only managed to cover 7.7 miles so the bike bit will take about 1 and a half hours - CRAP! Then I prepared myself for the dreaded swim. I was very nervous about this since I haven't swam laps in 20 years and felt sure that it would be a stark reminder on how much I've aged :(. Also (similarly to the whole bike deal) my idea of an outfit to swim in is more like this...

Than this...

(Incidently: every single image that I pulled online to find this photo looks exactly the same - like they are all either literally dying to catch a breath or screaming for help which is also very discouraging).

Anyway, I bought an appropriate bathing suit (on sale of course - I may only need it once) and hit the pool. I was really delighted to find out that I can swim 24 laps (or three quarters of a mile nearly) in 40 minutes without having to stop at all! It felt exactly like it did all those years ago and afterwards I had a really nice all-over ache and slept really well. It was also nice to get away from the ipod, TV or gym noise and just be really quiet for a change.

So if I can master the transitions and start adding the pieces together it should take under 2 and a half hours to do a sprint triathlon. Next step is to try the bike outside - wish me luck...:)

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