Monday, May 20, 2013

Why Tri?

Well, it is official. I registered for my very first triathlon in Boulder, CO on 8/31. It is a sprint distance, so I will swim a half mile in the Boulder Reservoir, hop on my bike for a 17.3 mile bike ride over some hills, and end it with a 5k. If all goes well, it shouldn't take too long to complete. But, whether or not everything goes well is resting (for the most part) on my shoulders. 

So, Why Tri?

A few different reasons...

1. Asher's teacher this year is an Ironman. Yes, she has raced in FULL Ironman races (140 miles between swim/bike/run in one day). Talking to her one day stirred something inside of me. I started researching and wondering what it would be like to one day be able to do an Ironman (a half - 70.3 miles). She told me I should try to do a Sprint Triathlon this summer - so I am. Easy enough, right? Err.... 

2. I need goals. As far as exercise goes, although I like to ride my bike,  unless I am working towards a goal, I will not be consistent. I want to be consistent. I need the carrots dangling in front of me. 

3. My kids. They LOVED it when I did the 5k last year. I think it inspires them to see mom and dad active and setting big goals for themselves. I want them to see through me that they can anything they set their minds to. No matter what your age or ability is - you CAN achieve any goal. 

4. I found a triathlon that will allow me to raise money for a cause. My cause will be Heartwork - You can read about them in a previous post. Everything I raise will go to help feed orphans around the world. You can view my fundraising page here Traci Early Sprint Tri  

I have 15 weeks....

Preparation Matters...
Because if I attempted to do a sprint tri this weekend, I would fail. Miserably. Last weekend I logged 17 miles on my bike - over the course of two days- 10 miles Saturday and 7 on Sunday. I am still getting the feel for my road bike, as well as trying to get comfortable riding around other cyclists on bike paths. I get a little freaked out when a group of cyclists come towards me or come up behind me quickly saying "on your left". My first reaction is to pull my brake and slow down, and tell myself NOT to swerve. Sounds easy enough, but for me it isn't. Yet. There's also the whole taking a drink of water while you ride. And whats the deal with turning/leaning into those hard turns? Yeah... got some work ahead of me. 

The 5k should be the easiest part, SHOULD being key, except for the fact I will have to run it with bricks for legs by this point in the race. I ran a 5k last year and had a lot of fun. So much fun that I decided to always stay "5k ready" after the race so I could sign up for more of them. I didn't do it. Summer happened, then school started back up, and here I am. Not 5k ready almost a year later. 

But first, before the bike or the run, is the open water swim. Having grown up on the coast spending many, many days in the Atlantic ocean, having a pool in my backyard growing up, being on swim team, and being part fish... open water swims do not scare me. However, open water swims with people who are freaked out by open water swims and are potentially grabbing onto me while I'm in the water DO scare me a little. You know how as you get older your brain fully recalls how to perform a task that you did often when you were younger, such as flips on a trampoline or a roundoff? Age is a funny thing in that regard - our minds know the drill and tells our body what to do, but the old body just can't perform. This is me with swimming. In my mind, I am still able to swim a 400m free with ease (the tri is 750m), so I don't have far to go... in my mind. Reality is that I am going to struggle BIG TIME to swim my 200m in training this week.

Training is Key...
It is also the thing that scares me the most. I have a VERY strict training plan that I have to be diligent with and stick to in order to complete the race in August. How well I stick to the plan rests on me, not anyone else. It is going to mean early mornings - of which I am NOT a fan, and when I feel like sitting around and hanging out some evenings, I will have to make the choice to train each day. The last thing I want to do is get to the race in August and not be prepared. I know that even if I do this training plan to the best of my ability, it will be just enough to get me across the finish line as the terrain there is much different than the terrain and trails around my house.   

It is all on me. Will I do it? I better...

You can follow my training journey here. I will blog about it each week and talk about progress and setbacks... and probably learn quite a bit about myself along the way. 

Have you ever set out to something that terrified you? How did you feel after you completed the task?

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