So it all started with getting the RaceCenter NW magazine in the mail in January. I went through the mag, all excited to start picking out my runs for the year but reluctant to commit to anything, and then in (I think?) early February I injured my knee by coming down hard on it after falling in a pothole in a parking lot. This totally derailed my running, and all exercise. I have a really hard time exercising if I fall out of my routine even a little bit. So, I was not surprised to find myself a month later, having only exercised a handful of times, with no direction and gaining back a couple of lbs!!
Last weekend was my daughter's 8th birthday party and my marathon-running sister was down from Seattle to celebrate. She is always trying to get to me to sign up for races, but since we hadn't seen each other in person since Christmas, time got away with me and I have felt like a pinball, just bouncing around from random exercise, to bars, to eating too much, back to random exercise and half-hearted attempts at running.
On Saturday evening as my sister was leaving (because she had a 5k in the morning in Seattle!), I took out all my race flyers and found out she had signed up for one of the races I was already seriously considering! She's doing the duathlon at Hagg Lake, which is near where I live, and it was on her birthday, so what choice did I have?!
I was excited and signed up immediately.
I decided to sign up for the "novice" triathlon, it's not even a full sprint triathlon, the flyer says it's non-competitive but timed. Sounds good to me for a first try! In reality, though, the only difference between the novice tri and the sprint is that the swimming distance is cut in half. I kind of wish I had just signed up for the regular sprint tri now, but oh well. I have a feeling there will be others. I love riding my bike and now have a real reason to need to do it, and I used to be on the swim team in high school, and am a real fish and water baby at heart, so I have no worries about those two events!! Running is my main weakness!
Anyway, so the triathlon is .25 mile swim (piece o cake), 12.5 mile bike ride (definitely need more training), and 5k run. How does my current fitness stack up for these three events?
I will be assessing my swimming ability today. The swimming I've done in the last 10 years has basically consisted of playing in the pool during the summer, and not having done any real laps for awhile. When I was in high school, I was a sprinter, I got many ribbons in the 50-meter freestyle and was also pretty good at 100-meter freestyle. I was fast, but I don't have a lot of endurance so that's what I need to work on. The race is only 400 meters, so shouldn't be too bad as a start to the tri.
I love my bicycle. It's a Trek mountain or hybrid bike (I haven't actually researched it) I bought used on craigslist and fits me perfectly. I feel like I can go really fast on it, but I have no idea what it's like compared to a road bike because I've never had one! I also have no idea how my riding compares to others! I'm probably a major slowpoke and just don't know it, lol! 12.5 miles is really going to test my legs and lungs during this race. Also, I haven't actually ridden my bike except maybe 3 times in the last 5 years. Yowza. I have a lot of work to do here. Last time I rode my bike, I totally choked on a gradual hill and had to get off and walk!
Also a lot of work needed here! I am doing short walk/run intervals still and am going to need to start upping my mileage and ability to continue running for longer than 5 minutes at a time! I have to admit, running scares me because of the terrible shin splints I had last year. This has really held me back from trying to push it, and every time I feel those little twinges that signal the onset of shin pain, I back off and start walking or stop altogether, and never seem to get beyond a certain threshold of running for a total time of 15 minutes with walking in between for a total time of 30 to 50 minutes. I know, that sounds really pathetic, but I think with 16 weeks until the tri, I can make some major progress. This is the event I am most worried about, and the fact that it comes last doesn't help one little bit!
I have done a few workouts this week to see where I'm at with all of this, and will post a new blog probably tomorrow with my observations, training plan, and how my first few days of getting ready for the tri went!!
Wish me luck, guys, and PLEASE if any of you have advice on training, or anything else you might think is helpful for a first triathlon, I can use any and all advice, help, etc!!!!