Part one... the training up to the event... Part two...Race recap.
About 3 months ago, I thought it would be fun to do a Sprint Triathlon. I know most of you are saying what makes this "fun"? Lately I find that getting outside of my comfort zone is fun. Because in my head, I want to try a Half Iron man...and then if that went well ... a Full Iron Man. This will take several years of work... so step 1.. a sprint Tri... or Baby Tri as I call it. I can re-evaluate after that.
This particular one consisted of 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run. A half Iron man is a 1 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run... so you can see a sprint is just a taste of what the real thing is like. But heck you have to start somewhere. Besides this was a woman's only event, so it felt less intimidating.
12 weeks before the event..training begins.... I knew I would be okay on the run. I run 2-3 times a week at least and I never do less than 3 miles, so I really didn't worry about that. I knew that would take care of itself.
Bike.. I had been taking a spin class 1-2 times a week for over 9 months. I know.. spinning is not really road cycling. But it does get your legs in decent shape and more importantly.. your butt used to being in a bike saddle for an hour. So, in late May I thought, I could start throwing in once a week ride on the road through out the summer and that would be enough. Enter Mother Nature.....
June was the wettest on record, July the hottest on record... and I did not head outside on a bike either month. I am a pussy so the result..in August I was feeling a little panicky. My road work consisted of one 14 mile trip on the Loveland bike trail, and one 8 mile trip to the local Farmers' market on a Saturday morning. Not exactly what I was looking for...
And then there was the swim. I started off swimming laps at LA Fitness. First time out, I could only do 8 without pausing... Okay... that is a problem. 1/2 mile swim is equal to 33-34 laps of LA's pool.. I had some work to do here. So I worked in 2 swims a week , most weeks, working on building my endurance. 2 weeks prior to the actual event, I could do the laps in about 20 minutes time. I was feeling better about the endurance, but swimming in a pool is a whole different thing to swimming in a lake... with 200 + other people. I did manage to make it up to Hueston Woods for a training swim hosted by the MOJO tri group here in the city. That proved to be invaluable. I learned about how to site so you swim straight, and how to enter and exit the water. Silly sounding, but there are reasons why you do things a certain way, and once you practice a few times, it makes sense. That one trip to a lake made me feel a little more confident and really doing one of these events is more mental than anything else.
Because at the end of the day, I knew I had enough energy, and physical fitness to effectively work out for 2 hours , but would I let the little "you can't do this..." demons get in my head. They were there.. dancing on my shoulder and chanting in my ear... but I am learning more and more to ignore them. Which is sometimes the hardest part of achieving anything at all.