Monday, September 19, 2011

Triathlon Backstory

First, a bit of backstory. Last July my friend and I watched our husbands compete in Vineman 70.3. As they were on their swim, we both looked at each other and said we wanted to do this. Perhaps not a half Ironman (we're not crazy, after all!) but some sort of triathlon. So, within a few weeks I joined the gym she is a member of and we started to work out together. I was very intimidated by the gym, but she was a great guide and I rediscovered (after the second week) that I enjoyed swimming. There's something about the silence that is calming to me. Anyways, I swam for a few months and didn't do much else, but later on tried to incorporate walking/running. I hate running and dislike it even more because I find it impossible to go even a few steps without stopping. It doesn't help that I have asthma, but it's not the asthma that causes me to stop, it is the fact that I don't like it. It doesn't feel good and I'm lazy.

Then, right after Thanksgiving, I started to attend a group spin class. This was a HUGE thing for me because I had never attended any group exercise class and, well, I'm not in shape, I'm not an athlete, and I couldn't decide if knowing the spin instructor was a negative or a positive. It turned out to be a positive, although initially I was pretty scared, as he has the reputation for having the most challenging spin class, but the reality is, spin class is very much a go-at-your-own-pace thing. I discovered that spinning isn't all that hard. Unlike Zumba or something, there's really only one thing you must do: keep your legs moving. To do it well, with proper form, challenging tension, etc, is a different story but I do think that spinning is something anyone and everyone can do. Eventually I surrounded myself with spin buddy friends, including my (very good) cyclist/triathlete husband and it made the class even more enjoyable. When i finally purchased my bike and rode it in January, I was more prepared than I or even my husband expected, and I attributed it to my challenging go-at-your-own-pace spin class. (It may've been go at your own pace but trust me, I tried really hard! There were days I thought I was going to either throw up or pass out). (

I initially had a June Triathlon date but my tri buddy wasn't in town. Not wanting to do it without her, I didn't do it either. She was at her husband's tri.... her husband that happens to be the spin instructor who also happens to be my friend and pastor! I didn't mention that fact, did I? Besides, I was looking for an excuse not to do it. But then a few weeks later, always a sucker for a good deal, I saw a discount on a Tri-California race and signed up.

I still don't know what I was thinking! With or without my tri buddy, I had committed to this race. A short little sprint triathlon at Pacific Grove. At the time, I was swimming, walking (because in my mind I can't run) and riding my bike, as well as continuing with spin classes.

So, that's the backstory.

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