Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's all down hill from here.

Or uphill I guess, depending on your vantage point.

Either way you gotta keep moving to take in all the scenery.

It was one year ago this week that I followed the little itch in my brain to start training for a triathlon. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I wandered into my local bike shop and posed a few questions to the extremely nice sales guy. He was upbeat and positive, so I thought I might as well pursue this a little further. I met up with a friend to try swimming-neither of us could travel more than 3 or 4 lengths without stopping-I had no idea how to breathe and had to do one length of backstroke for each 25 freestyle. To my credit I sought help from the mom of one of Buck Naked Boy's friends. She swam for Standford's NCAA championship teams and was able to teach me how to relax and feel confident in the water. By the end of February I was swimming 12-15 lengths at a time without stopping.

We took The Tribe to Florida's Gulf coast in February, not terribly far from the staging grounds for Ironman. At the time the idea of completing a sprint tri was daunting, little did I know what road lay before me. My profile pic was taken with Hyphen Girl as we watched the sunset on the beach. Someday I'll get around to changing the pic, but for now it inspires me.

"You're crazy."

Was my hubby's response as he watched the Ebay and Performance Bike packages arrive in the mail. They knew I'd totally lost it when my wet suit arrived and I tried it on for Hubby and Hyphen Girl to see. No one I knew could say for certain what a triathlon was, much less that you needed to buy a wet suit. I still didn't know what I was doing, but, I read everything I could in trying to train well. What truly baffles me is that from the beginning I planned to have a triathlon season. I spent hours researching races and settled on competing in one race each month of the summer, starting in May. The May tri had a pool swim, so that sounded like the perfect intro to the sport. All through the spring I was doing bricks at the Y. You can imagine the looks I'd encounter as I transitioned in the locker room (got it down to 2:15-my fastest to date) and biked away on a stationary, still dripping from the pool.

I had my hybrid mountain bike fully rigged with clipless pedals and aero bars, thanks to my local bike shop, and I was ready to ride. Then Hubby surprised me on my birthday with a new bike. To demonstrate what novices we were, we dinked around with whether to go mountain or road bike for tri's. Of course you can ride a mountain bike in a tri race, but if you want to make a hobby of it, you're eventually going to go road/tri bike. It's just too frustrating getting passed by the 80 year old on the road bike while you are pedalling furiously on a mountain bike. And, it's easier to think about training seriously when you've invested in the part.

Needless to say that first tri hooked us both.

By this time we had discovered TriGeekDreams and therefore all of you wonderful people, and there was just no turning back. The enthusiasm of the blogosphere and amongst our fellow athletes was simply too contagious.

So, the training goes on, and now thanks to some inspiration provided by your training schedules and The Nancinator I purchased a full year wall calender today at the office supply store. I brought it home and nailed it to the wall leading to our lower level. Black is for my training schedule. Red is single event races like running a 10K race. Blue is for my pending tri races this year.

Liberty Tri 06.10.06.........70.3
Pigman Tri.08.20.06........70.3
Florida Tri 11.04.06.......140.6

That's it. That's really all I should afford both in time and money.

That makes #7 Ironman.

In the immortal words of Waylon Jennings

"I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane"


Bridget said...

What an inspiring post! It made me feel less scared about just starting triathlons and already dreaming about Ironman. Thank you.

TriDaddy said...

Been there on the mountain bike! And it's so tru about starting to train seriously when you've finally invested in it! Great post!

Kewl Nitrox said...

#7 Ironman.... How many people can say that? You rock!

I went thru that mountain bike / road bike debate as well... for about 2 days! :)

Nancy Toby said...

Woo hoo!!! You go! It's going to be an awesome year!

I was looking at your list and thinking, gosh, isn't 2 half IMs and a full a bit ... MUCH? Then I realized, duh, I'm signed up for that much too. *sheepish grin*

Florida is going to be SO FUN!!

Phil said...

Since we're all coming out of the closet... I too did my first 2 tris on a hybrid, and was the only one in a weekly duathlon training group without a road bike. They say, it's not about the bike.. ...c'mon who are they kidding!

Cliff said...

Crazy. I was there in the community pool doing my transition. I would swim, quikcly get out and go to my car, unpack my bike and start blazing.

Oh those are the good times. I look forward to this season.

Sixteen Chickens said...

Loved reading this post! It's very inspiring! You are very inspiring!

Trisaratops said...

Awesome post! You should be very proud--I'm excited to see what the future holds! :) We'll stay tuned and support you through your trip!

Tracy said...

I LOVE that last quote! That logic is on...

Chris said...

Aaahhhh that picture of the grand canyon is bringing up bad memories! :)

Thanks for sharing your post. It's always nice to hear how people got started in this sport. You've certainly come a long way!

(I haven't made it out to Jennie's yet. I wasn't aware that there were spins over a GW, though?)

Nancy Toby said...

I wanted to also mention - if you're looking for just a simple lightweight fleece half-zip, has good ones ("Butterfleece zip-T") for $19.50 - I have 2 and wear them a LOT!

Fe-lady said...

I really never wanted to be "normal"- it's too boring!
Great post! Keep it up!
And LOVE the canyon shots....have done two crossings(runs) a double and a raft trip(long time ago...back when I was around your age!)
Next time you are out here, make sure you get to hike it...but not BEFORE your race! :-)

Bolder said...

like it, you get your 'A' and 'B' races all lined up... you're gonna sooooo make it happen!

look forward to witnessing your success.