Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm doing a triathlon!!!

So, ladies and gentleman of blog world, I have something that I am pretty excited to share with you.  This summer I am officially going to be doing something that I have ALWAYS wanted to and have ALWAYS dreamed of accomplishing but always felt it was out of my reach.  Today I registered to race in a Sprint Triathlon in August!  That's right, .5 miles of swimming, 14.5 miles of biking, and 3.1 miles of running.  Back to back.  All by me :)  I am so excited for this upcoming challenge and really excited to push myself as the race gets closer and I begin to train. 

I have officially registered!!!!
As I break this race down and think about the different components, I think that they will each represent something different and something special to me.  To start, the swim portion.  I grew up nearby to the ocean and with parents and grandparents who were both into boating.  Family vacations, gatherings and summer days always involved water and swimming.  I joined my first swim team when I was six years old and swam competitively year round on various teams starting from the age of eight.  In high school I swam for my high school team and also began life guarding, where I also spent time teaching swim lessons.  When I went to college I left the world of competitive swimming but continued to keep the pool a part of my life by swimming laps in the Syracuse University pool and working part time teaching swim lessons at the local YMCA. 

The years since I have graduated have been the first time in my life that I haven't been in the pool regularly.  Ironically, after this past year of working out intensely, I think it is fair to say that I am currently in the best physical shape of my life.  I am really looking forward to breaking back out the cholorine-removing shampoo, getting back in the water and seeing just what this body of mine can do.  The picture below is of me and one of my closest friends who I swam with for years and years, this summer at my grandmother's pool.  I don't have any of my old swimming pictures scanned and on my computer!

Biking is also something that has been a part of my life for a long time.  As with most kids, pre-license days were filled with bike rides with my friends.  I often used my bike to get to the pool for swim practices or to just go out for a sandwich with friends.  I also had some earlier experience with more hardcore riding, attending two years of a biking summer camp that took me miles and miles over both Newport and Martha's Vineyard.  Last summer I bought a hybrid bike for the first time in my adult life and have spent the past 2 summers incorporating long rides into my weekly exercise routine.  I feel comfortable and confident with what I can do on a bike with some training.  Again, the picture below I know is not sporty, but it is the only picture of me on a bike that I have on my computer!  It was me during a bike tour of Munich in 2009 :)

Running is what has always been a challenge to me.  Never in my life have I ever considered myself to be a runner.  In elementary school, I was the founder of what I called the "Slow Poke's Club" for the days during Gym class when we were required to run.  You could find me in the back of the pack strolling along with whoever was feeling ill that day or who I could convince that the "Slow Poke's Club" was a really exclusive group that they wanted to be a part of.  My aversion to running continued with me through middle school, high school, and college.  Running a mile was a challenge for me.  Wait, let me revise that, even running a HALF mile was a challenge.  And I tried.  I remember distinctly going for runs with friends in college, trying to push myself, signing up for a 5K with my mom and walk-running my way through, etc.  I just could not seem to keep myself moving. 

I don't know what got into me the day 3 years ago that I decided not to settle for "not being a runner" and downloading a Couch to 5K program and committing to running a 3.5 mile road race.  Although I struggled a bit at first with some knee pain, I attended physical therapy to strengthened my knee, and kept at it. Even though that very first race, I wasn't able to complete it running the whole thing, I didn't give up.  I signed up for another race.  And THAT one I finished.  With friends watching and cheering and celebrating with me at the finish line.  It was an amazing feeling. 

Celebrating with another running friend the evening of my very first 5K!

Here I am years later, with multiple 5Ks and two 10Ks under my belt -- I am running at a pace more than 2 minutes faster than where I started and on the verge of breaking a 30 minute 5K time.

A pic my Dad snapped of me at the Thanksgiving Gobble Wobble 2011

Tackling the giant that running had been to me, I feel like I can accomplish anything.  While that delusion is still in my brain, I plan to exploit it for all it is worth.  So on August 4th I will be bringing all of these different portions of my life and forms of exercise together to participate in my first triathalon, the Fronhofer Tool Triathlon.  A half mile of swimming, 14.5 miles of biking, and 3.1 miles of running... you've got nothing on me.  Here I come!

For those of you in the Upstate NY region, if you'd like to race with me, you can register here!


  1. Wow way to go on signing up for the triathlon...sounds like you are super motivated, which I'm sure will translate into favorable training :)!

  2. Awesome! All the best with the Triathlon.