One weekday about 3 months ago, my sister and I were talking on the phone about how we were trying to do better on our eating and exercising. She had run a half-marathon a couple years before and her husband was training for a marathon (they ROCK!) and she was talking about how training for a race helped her stick with her exercising. The next words out of her mouth were unexpected, “So…, I was thinking about doing a triathlon. My hope is that if I have to train for it I will definitely stick with it because I won’t want to not finish the triathlon.” My response? “That’s totally awesome!! You’ll have to make sure I know when and where because the boys and I will make signs and cheer you on!” The next words out of her mouth? “Ummm…wanna do it with me?” Wait – what’d she just say?! I must have heard her wrong! “Yeah, right! I couldn’t do that! I can’t even run!” Now, for those who don’t know me, I am (well, let me rephrase that – WAS) fairly athletic. I played softball and volleyball in high school, so exercise isn’t totally a foreign language to me. However, not only am I not anywhere near being 18 anymore, I also have never been a runner. I really don’t like running much and about 1 mile is the most I had ever been required to run.
“It’s not just running. It’s swimming and biking,” was her reply. Yeah, okay, that makes me want to do it more! NOT! I haven’t been the best at exercising since I had the boys, so…like 5ish plus years. Not to mention the exercise restrictions I’d had over the last year with all of the surgeries. Needless to say, I am not really in the best shape. But the more I thought about it and the more we talked about it, the more I thought maybe this would be a good idea. If I paid for the entry fee into the triathlon, I wouldn’t want to waste my money. And I am kinda competitive, so if I was doing a triathlon, I would definitely finish the race. Of course, this meant that in order to be able to finish the race, I would have to train (i.e. exercise) and follow a strict training schedule because failure is not an option. So, I told her maybe and I’d talk to my husband and see if he wanted to do it too. After talking later that same night, my husband and I decided we were in and we downloaded a beginner triathlon training schedule and started training the next day.
I have thought about writing a blog about this since we started mid-April, but to be honest, I was so worried about not being able to complete a triathlon or actually be able to keep up with the necessary training. However, now it has been 3 months and our first sprint Triathlon is next Sunday morning. You read that right – we trained, we signed up and now it is already here next week!
The great thing about this has been that we have stuck with it. It’s been difficult and extremely time consuming, especially with both my husband and I working full-time. Our boys have been so sweet and understanding – fortunately they really enjoy the gym childcare and on weekends we train with my sister while my dad watches the boys during those sessions. It has gone by really fast and the three of us still have a ton to learn, but the time has come.
I am so amazed with my body and how much it has been through this last year. Even after three major surgeries in less than a year, I was able to push it through rigorous daily training (usually 6 days a week). As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t training I have done before where it was just a matter of “bouncing” back. I honestly don’t think I have ever had to run more than a mile my whole life and the sprint triathlon is 3 miles. And preceding that 3 mile run is 9 miles of biking and preceding that is a ¼ mile swim in the ocean! It is amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it! I never would have thought I could train for a triathlon in my lifetime, let alone start 1 month following my revision surgery. I know I am not going to “win” this race, but for me just finishing the triathlon is going to be the best feeling. Of course, if I’m being honest, I’d really like to not finish last! I know I am not technically going to be “competing”, just competing against myself to push beyond my own limits.
I will follow-up soon with a post describing some of the training…specifically swimming in open water (i.e. ocean!). That was a challenge, and no, not because I was worried about sharks! More on that later.
Until next time, here’s to pushing yourself, trying something out of your comfort zone, and silicone, which is apparently pretty resilient! :)