To help hold my feet to the fire, I posted it on Facebook!
|Logo from the River Valley Athletic Club|
I reached out so some of the people that I knew were most accomplished and listened intently to what they had to say.
The most important message was not to get caught up in the stuff! I didn't need one of everything "tri" to get started.
All I really needed was a two-piece tri suit and sports bra, a bike, helmet and running shoes with lock laces and the "best $10 I'd ever spend" race belt. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to gear up for approximately $100.
A two-piece tri suit is basically shorts, that are similar to bike shorts with a little padding to protect the girl bits, and a top. The top is a little tight to prevent chaffing, the sports bra (without padding) was necessary to hold the girls in place.
The helmet was required. Get on the bike before buckling the helmet and it's an automatic DQ! Running shoes are pretty self-explanatory and lock laces are elastic laces that you adjust once and then leave alone. They allow the runner to slip their foot into the shoe without have to tie a bow and they don't come untied.
The race belt is the schizz! Without the belt the competitor has to pin on their race number. One doesn't swim with their number on so when they get to the transition area they have to put on a shirt that has four little tiny safety pins on it and hope that none of the pins pops open in the process. The belt I chose is elastic, has a buckle and takes about 2 seconds to clip on. Definitely a worthy expenditure.
The first triathlon I did was at Lum's Pond in Bear, DE. Lum's Pond might be one of the dirtiest bodies of water I've ever been in.
Imagine a large puddle filled with goose poop and yeah, that's Lum's.
Having done no open water swim prior to the race I ended up on my back multiple times and did breast stroke more times than I can count. I've never been so happy to touch the bottom in my life! This is a big deal since I have a fear of my feet touch the bottom when I can't see through the water.
The bike on that course was only 10 miles and was pretty flat. But, I still huffed and puffed like the wolf in the Three Little Pigs!
|My "Why the heck did I think|
this would be fun?" face.
Making matters worse, I also battle exercise induced asthma and guess what kicked in on the run?
I'd been having to use my inhaler during every workout so I was prepared with it tucked into the pocket in the back of my shorts.
All the difficulty aside I finished the race, was not last in my age group and substantially beat my practice time!
To say that I was hooked was an understatement.
The first two races I did on a borrowed hybrid bike with road tires on it. It was lots of work to get up hill on a bike that was not designed for racing!
But guess what? That second race I placed third in my age group and made the podium!
|Not me :)|
Through a multitude of online sales websites I found a used road bike in great condition at a price that I could afford. I named him Antonio.
Because, who wouldn't want to ride Antonio all the time? Ha!
This winter I plan to have him tuned up and new handlebar tape put on.
My most recent acquisition is a set of clip on aero bars. These bars allow a rider to be in a more aerodynamic position and it's more comfortable.
There are lots of different triathlon distances. Don't ask me what they are. I do Sprints. A sprint is basically a "half triathlon." There is nothing about this that feels like "half" of anything to me.
The swim is generally 750 meters, and the bike distance has varied from 10 to 15 miles. The run has pretty much been a 5k or 3.1 miles.
I don't run...yet. I'm more of a jogger.
I'm working on it but I'm just not there yet. The fastest I've been able to go is 10:16 a mile and that was on a treadmill. By the spring I want to be below a 10 minute mile.
My run today was not my best.
|After the EMTs cleaned me up.|
Now that my season is over I can just swim and bike and let my toes heal.
I am really loving this sport and the people that I've met.
From the seasoned athletes to the novice who barely knows how to swim everyone is willing to jump in and lend a hand.
All one has to do is ask.
A month ago I posted on a triathlon page that I needed a wetsuit for the race today and a woman I have never met offered to let me borrow hers. She actually owns three and allowed me to borrow all of them to see which one fit the best.
Having never put on a wetsuit before I opened You Tube to see how to do this. After watching about three videos I decided that I would give it a shot and headed up to the bedroom with the three wetsuits in tow.
I did it wrong.
I managed to get about a 1/3 of the way into it, got stuck while sitting on the floor. It was on enough that I couldn't get up and was flopping around on the bedroom floor like a dying seal on the beach.
I was stuck.
I started to giggle.
The giggling turned to hysterical laughter.
Hubby hollered upstairs to see if I was ok.
I replied, "No" which brought him up to the bedroom.
Standing in the doorway he asked me what I was doing. Between giggles I told him that I was trying to try on the wetsuit. He replied, "That's not how you do it."
I hadn't noticed.
He let me flop around for a moment (I would have done the same) before rescuing me and helped me into and out of all three suits. I can get that sucker on in record time now!
I'll be returning the wetsuits this week and going back to just doing laps in the pool at the health club.
Yeah, so now I need a wetsuit.
I have just finished my fourth, and final triathlon, for the season.
So much for just being a "bucket list" item, huh?
I finished fourth out of a class of nine. Totally rocked the swim! My time on the swim was 14:28 which put me at 2 for my age group. Bested my bike time by 40 seconds a mile and, despite the pain in my foot, finished the run at 12 minutes a mile.
I am days away from turning 51, am the mom of twin four-year-olds and, like lots of busy moms had let myself go since the kids were born. When I started this I couldn't run a mile, had to stop and catch my breath after two laps in the pool and it took more than an hour to ride 10 miles...in the spin spinroom. My breathing was completely out of control and I was over-weight.
I am not a young mom with lots of time to raise children. Who knows how long I'll be around. All I know is that I'm giving it my best shot while trying to set a good example for my kids. Hopefully, a couple of years from now the boys will be able to join me on the course!
Until then, I'm going to keep "tri-ing!"
|After my third triathlon. I finished the race and then asked the EMTs|
to clean out my cuts so they wouldn't get infected.