Trying a Tri

I have always wanted am going to complete a triathlon.

When I share my intentions with friends or family, the response I receive most often is a raised eyebrow of disbelief. I understand that it’s hard to believe that I – a girl who just 2 years ago was severely overweight and couldn’t run up a flight of stairs without feeling winded – would compete in an event usually reserved for “athletes.” And it’s true that I’m a novice runner at best, not much of a swimmer, and don’t even own a bicycle. But that just means I have to get moving!

I truly believe that the first step to doing anything challenging in life – losing weight, changing jobs, and yes, even a triathlon – is to make the decision to do it and to fully commit to it. Part of that commitment, for me at least, is telling others of my intentions. It’s harder to back out of something when you know people are going to ask you about your progress; no one wants to admit to quitting.

So here it is, for the whole world (or at least my 3 readers!) to see and hold me accountable to: I am going to complete a triathlon.

As I mentioned, I’m not adept at any of the three sports that comprise a triathlon: swimming, biking and running. That means this will require some serious training. I’ve been working on the running a bit already. I can run about two miles before needing to walk (but not consistently, and not fast). The swimming and biking have a long way to go. I’ve recently joined a gym that has a swimming pool and I intend to invest in a bicycle soon, so that’s a start. My plan is to keep a sort of online training journal so my hoards of readers (Hi Mom!) can keep tabs on me and track my progress. I will be posting plenty of other things here as well – healthy recipes, tips, product reviews, etc – but if you notice a distinct lack of training updates, please ask! Gotta keep me on my toes!

I hope this inspires some of you to do what others think impossible – or at least unlikely – of you, as well. Respond to those raised eyebrows of disbelief with confidence! Show them what you can do!

In fact, is anyone else interested in trying a tri? Or maybe you’ve already completed one! I’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips you have for me. Leave me your thoughts in the comments section – and wish me luck!

3 Responses to “Trying a Tri”

  1. heidi pierce Says:

    me again!
    woo hoo for triathlons! a few years ago, clinton thought it would be fun if we did a triathlon together. i went along with it because i didn’t want to disappoint him, but it turns out it was A LOT of fun. (i even came in third place for my age group!) it was a special tri designed for first timers called “my first tri.” it was a 200 meter swim, 8 mile bike, 2.5 mile run. we were living in fort walton beach, florida, at the time so i trained for the swim in a calm inlet of the gulf of mexico. i’ve never been a swimmer, so that was the scariest part to me, and i stressed about it a lot. turns out the swim was the easiest part. granted, the distance was not long, but i found that (depending on how your tri is set up) you can run several meters into the water and several meters out of the water, so your actual swim is much shorter than they calculate. additionally, it’s usually the first of the three events, so you have all sorts of adrenaline and you aren’t winded or tired yet. since i was expecting to struggle with the swim, i positioned myself toward the rear of the pack, but that was a big mistake. i felt like being behind everyone else made it much harder to swim, and i could have gone a lot faster if i had gotten in the front.

    other than that, you can save a lot of time by organizing your things before the race starts. many people did the whole thing in their swim suit, without putting on shorts or anything else. i was not comfortable with that, so i made sure to lay out a pair of shorts by my sneakers and bike. if your hair will bother you after you take off the swim cap, make sure you have something to tie it up quickly. (i didn’t expect a swim cap, but it turns out that it was mandatory because the event organizers separated us into heats based on our age and gave us color coded swim caps.) oh, and don’t bother with drying off after the swim, because you’re going to get sweaty anyway.

    after the race, i felt fantastic. and i was surprised to find out that it’s like a whole subculture of awesome people who do these races and see each other at different events. they had free food and sports massages, too! always a plus.

    man, now i’m thinking that i want to do another one! i wonder if they have them anywhere near me in germany?

  2. Kimberly Says:

    Tons of good tips and thoughts in there, Heidi. Thanks so much!

    I also love that you really enjoyed doing it and want to do it again. You should! They MUST have triathlons in Germany… they have everything (right?)!

    Oh, and congrats on the great finish! Third in your age group?! Yee haw!

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