When Rich asked if people would like to experiment with blogging and attaching the blogs to Facebook, I decided, “SURE!”, because it sounded fun. The world truly wants to know all that I’m willing to share (note: NOT all there is to know, only my mom gets that level of access) about my training and how it impacts life, work, and the world in general. Yup, Right. Sure. Or just maybe…. Someone else does. One of the goals is to help increase visibility to the sport of triathlon, and maybe there will be increased interest somewhere, for someone, at some time, as a result of reading one of my random ramblings.
As my friends know… “speechless” is not an adjective that could typically be applied to me.
I came to triathlon through what some might call a “back door.” I was not athletic in high school. Nope…I AVOIDED sweat. Yes, I was “in” the marching band, but our band didn’t do all that vigorous stuff, and, I was a flag…not an instrument player. I took Phys. Ed. as a “new course” in high school summer school because I wouldn’t have to carry around gym clothes. We hit the bowling alley, the roller rink, and did Richard Simmons aerobics in the gym. Yep, that’s how old I am. I was an expert at being in the back row. I can’t throw, whistle, kick, or hit with any type of power or accuracy.
Then came college. The marching band at Ohio University is decidedly vigorous in their marching style. Then, on a dare…I began taking diving lessons. Eventually, I joined the diving team. Make no mistake, I was no female Greg Louganis, but I lived through 4 years of varsity diving. Post-college saw me entering the teaching profession, and embarking on my graduate school career. Then, off to my present location to begin my career in higher education. Once here, I had a checkup with the doctor who noticed that I had a slight cholesterol issue. To make a long story a bit shorter, I was told, “break a sweat for 30 minutes, every day and only eat red meat once a week.”
At that point, I started working out with my trainer, Lisa, and started swimming at my gym. This whole time, I still maintained that I was not an athlete. Because, you see…athletes get all sweaty and stuff. You don’t sweat in swimming or diving (so I thought) so that didn’t count. Somewhere in there, I mentioned that I “am one of those people who’s physiologically incapable of running.” After a good smackdown from Lisa, she said that I couldn’t run because I’d not been taught to run. So, I enrolled in her running class. She took that group of people, including my stubborn self, from a 45 minute walk to a 45 minute run in 10 weeks. I ran my first 5k that summer. Then, decided to run our local half marathon. All the while, I was still swimming. My swim coach encouraged me to enter our local US Master’s meet in order to have something to shoot for during training. What do you know? I liked it! I felt just like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercials.
After the half marathon, I felt great. I wasn’t sore. I could walk easily the next day. It was awesome. So, I figured that I should enter a marathon. Lisa helped me get ready, and I managed to muddle my way through the San Antonio marathon (before Rock ‘n Roll took it over). I was super sore, but so satisfied after that, and I knew that I’d do another one. I didn’t realize that it would take me 3 years for my second one in Richmond (on my 40thbirthday, no less). Somewhere in there, a friend suggested that since I liked to swim so much, that I might enjoy triathloning. So, I got a bike, got a coach, and started to figure out the whole multi-sport environment.
I’m beginning to embrace my inner athlete, and still doubt at times that I am one. But, I’m closer to comfort with the feeling that I am one. My dad died last Christmas, and last year was a little more difficult for my family than we’d liked it to have been. But, I was raised with the mantra, “Never quit…” so I’m keeping on, keeping on in his honor and memory. It’s interesting how the sport has allowed me to maintain a semblance of control and sanity through the first year without him, as well as during various rough patches at work.
These days, I’m targeting the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in June (followed by US Master’s long course national’s in August) and the Marine Corps Marathon in October. They’re two very different events, but there is plenty of time between the two to make training manageable. I’ll likely be doing a sprint triathlon as a relay at the end of August in memory of a friend’s son who died over the holidays, and next year return more full time to triathlon training and racing.
Swim Trek '08
You have such a wonderful story. There are so many people out there that have no idea how much fun it is to get outside and exercise. You are indeed and athlete! I look forward to reading your story over the next couple of months. I am considering doing Blalock Lakes Sprint Tri in Newnan GA in June. It isn't too far from you.
Do you have a link for that race?
I have a friend who's getting into triathlon, we just have to find one that will fit with her work/school schedule.
We're looking at Mullet Man (the nicest party post-race...............EVER!) that's in Orange Beach...
It's in April...early season fun.
Swim Trek '08
Have fun with it!
I found a guy here in our local running group who was @ OU "with" me...we overlapped by a year. His best friend was a great friend of mine from Marching Band.
He and I talked about training for the Athens Marathon some time and going back to the old stomping grounds.
Swim Trek '08