Tri, as in triathlon.
Don’t panic. I haven’t taken leave of my senses. Okay, maybe a little bit. Yes, I am officially signed up for a triathlon, but it’s not what you think.
For the past three years, my sister and sister-in-law have been doing the same Iron Girl sprint triathlon. Sprint distances are: 1) a .62 mile swim, 2) a 17.5 mile bike, and a 3.3 mile run. They’ve been encouraging me to join them in their madness, but I have always demurred. There’s that swimming part of the whole deal and, really, I’d hate to put a damper on the the day’s events by drowning or getting eaten by a shark in an enclosed lake.
Finally, my sister-in-law got crafty and suggested that she do the tri as a relay with Graceful and me — sister-in-law would do the swimming part, I would do the biking part, and Graceful would do the running part. We’ve been talking about it for months, dithering over whether or not Graceful and I wanted to commit to doing this thing. It’s next August, but the sign-ups were yesterday, so we had to decide.
We committed. We signed up. We’re in.
Graceful has been working on her running and I feel confident she’ll be running 3.3 miles by next August. And if for some reason she can’t run the whole thing, then she can just walk parts of the race. She’s run/walked two four-milers and a 5K already, so I know she can do the distance. And if it’s allowed, either my sister-in-law, sister, or I will run with her and help her keep pace and her spirits high.
That leaves me and the bike training. For now, I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing, which is running a few days a week and biking or walking on the off days. I’ve found that cycling and running complement each other and that whatever I do in one activity benefits the other one too. I am a better cyclist because of running and vice versa.
The tri’s bike course is pretty hilly, so I’m going to start focusing on doing some longer hilly rides around town. I’ll be riding on Bubbles, who is, as we all know, a Schwinn-like cruiser and NOT a sleek racing bike. I looked into renting a racing bike and when I saw the cost, I laughed. I also considered buying a bike off Craigslist, but again, I’m not really interested in investing money for what could be a one-time race. So Bubbles and I shall train together and I’m not going to obsess over my ride because that bike and I already attack the hills around here like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, maybe Bubbles and I shall prove that you don’t need no stinkin’ fancy road bikes in order to race.
I am also going to re-read Slow Fat Triathlete by Jayne Williams at some point. That’s where I learned the wonderful expression Self-consciousness is the enemy of fun (and since applied it to my own life), along with all sorts of other bits of wisdom and I’ll be taking plenty of notes as I read.
If any of you have any triathlon wisdom*, I’d love to hear it.
* But if you have any horror stories, please don’t tell me because Graceful and I don’t need to hear them at this point.