Over the course of 2 years, I picked up a little hobby called running. When my best friend and exercise partner Kristin and I decided to get back to walking, we thought we would start incorporating some running into our daily regiment. We only made it about 10 yards the first few times around. Winded, sweating to death and shin splint-filled, we never thought we would be running 5k races just 2 years later. In February of 2010, we participated in the infamous Gasparilla 5k race, and despite the rain and freezing cold, we earned a heck of a respectable finish time.
We were hooked.
4 short months later, we participated in a 5k benefit run, once again finishing with a great time, which happened to be faster than our Gasparilla time!
We were toner, stronger, and more motivated than ever.
Around the same time as the benefit run, I purchased a bike. I had been toiling with the idea for quite some time. I found an awesome deal on a mountain bike, and off I went. I was surprised when I realized I would need to build a whole new set of muscles for biking! I joined a few biking clubs online at Meetup.com, including a few off-road/mountain biking groups with the intentions on leaning towards mountain biking as a new sport endeavor in the near future.
In July of 2010, I stumbled upon a newly formed group on Meetup called “New Triathlete”. My father and I had talked about doing a Duathlon (run, bike, run) the following year. He had purchased a Trek hybrid and wanted to start getting into serious biking. I already had the running down pat, so a duathlon seemed like something we could relay. I figured that the Tri group could help me prepare for the duathlon. I had absolutely NO intentions on participating in a Tri.
1. I didn’t think I would be able to ever conquer my fear of deep water. I’m an excellent swimmer, but depths and I have never been best friends.
2. I had a false idea of what a Triathlon was. I had “Kona Ironman” in my mind, not realizing the variety of Tri types there were (mini, sprint, etc.)
I decided to email the group organizer and another group member, just to get a little more information on the group, and what the actual training consisted of. That’s when I found out about a little thing called the “Sprint Triathlon”, in which they both proceeded to convince me was totally “doable” and encouraged me to give the training a shot… including the swimming part.(eek).
Within minutes, I mustered up the courage to RSVP for the training session. What’s the worst that could happen?… I don’t get in the water? I knew I could handle any biking or running. But the swimming? That was my kryptonite.
The very next morning I found myself standing wide-eyed at an 8 foot wall of goggles, swim caps and other swim accessories I had never heard of at Sports Authority. I didn’t want to buy the cheapest product, nor the most expensive (in case this endeavor was all a crazy idea in my head) so I grabbed a pair of blue tinted Speedos and a blue Speedo swim cap to match. For $17.80, you can be a swimmer too.
The evening before my first meetup, I did some online reading, found some blogs on “do it yourself tri”, and even a plus sized tri blog that I found very useful! (Plusrunner). Completing a triathlon was something I felt I could do (in my head). The proof of course would be in the proverbial puddin’. Was I able to physically do it was my greatest worry.