Friday, November 30, 2007

Baby Steps - in other words, I think a lot...

I swear to god I'm actually going to start writing this blog for myself one of these days...

I think it's interesting to watch the way my mind works. Once I realized I could ride, I started thinking about running. I was curious if I would be able do it now that I was fit. Then last winter, after thinking about it for about 4 months, I actually went out there and tried it. Wow. I realized I could run too. Who knew? Certainly not I. It's funny how a 47 year old woman who has never been "athletic" can become fit and actually think about competing. In June, I decided to do a 5k race for fun. Whoo hoo, I came in 5th in my age bracket and 23rd overall!! My goal had quite honestly been "not to come last." I thought that was realistic.

And so I began to wonder if maybe I could swim. Now let's get things straight right at the start. I hate getting wet. I hate being cold. I hate feeling like I'm drowning. I hated swimming lessons. I haven't put my face in the water for over 25 years because I can't see without my glasses. I have mastered getting on my air mattress without getting wet and I cry if someone pushes me off. I can barely survive swimming in a pool let alone a cold lake with 100's of other thrashing bodies. So why would I even CONSIDER doing a triathlon???

Good question. I guess it's because I never believed I could ride or run before and I learned that I can. Maybe I just haven't given it a serious try. So I've been thinking about it since last spring. I had decided to work towards doing a duathlon next spring and then perhaps tackling the swimming the following season when the new pool opens. But I'm kind of impatient. I mean, I think winter might be a great time to do a little cross training and start swimming.

I thought about it and started reading about it and asking my tri friends a lot of questions. It seems that prescription goggles aren't all that expensive. I can wear a swim cap. I can wear nose plugs if I want. And in an OWS, I can wear a wetsuit which is supposedly more bouyant and might actually help me swim. Hmmm. Sounds like some of my reasons are starting to sound more like excuses.

I kept looking at the winter swim programs and noticed the schedules for private lessons. I learned a bit about the Masters swim program and found out that my friend's hubby who coaches, might be able to help me out. I found goggles online and ordered them! So I think I have finally decided - sign up for swim lessons in January. Just do it. Once I do it, I know I'll go. And if I listen to the instructions and try really hard, maybe I can learn to swim as well. Right? Gulp. I hope so.

So I've been reading my Triathlete's Training Bible and it's funny how unbalanced I am. I mean, it's not like I'm a competitive cyclist, but I'm not far off. And I could certainly compete in my age group. But running? I am a novice at best - a novice with potential perhaps, but still a novice. And coming off an injury and starting over again. Well, let's just say I will have to work hard and smart to be able to do the duathlon or the triathlon. And my swimming? - yikes. I am at the "can you put your face in the water and blow bubbles" stage. Friel doesn't mention anything about that in his book at all. I don't know if I can even swim an entire length of the pool at this point. Well I could if I could do the dog paddle but probably not front crawl. Although it sounds like they don't even call it that anymore - it's freestyle now.

I went to the Beginner Triathlete site to look through their freebie training plans but none of them fit me. The basic one assumes you are a beginner in everything. 12 minutes of running, 24 minutes of riding? Huh? 24 minutes? That's just a warm up for me. Then swim 10 laps? AACK, I don't think so. So I am off to devise my own personal plan using Friel's book as my guide.

Step 1 - Sign up for swimming lessons next weekend when the new guide comes out. Find out where I'm at and make some plans on how to improve.

Step 2 - Try to figure out when the best swim time would be for me. Right now I can't visualize swimming in the early mornings before work. I don't know how Carmelle does it. I think I'll try evenings and see how that works for me. I would be nice to have the new pool open but I guess I'll have to wait another year for that. In the meantime, it'll be a 20+ minute drive each way, 30 if I go to Athans. Hmmm. More thinking necessary....

Step 3 - Sign up at the CNC for Dec-Feb to use the gym, cardio, spinning classes, indoor track

I KNOW I can do this. I am so excited. Here's what I'd like to accomplish next season if possible.

May - Bare Bones Duathlon
June - 5-10k Women's Run
August - Apple Sprint Triathlon (or the try-a-tri if I suck)
October - Half marathon

Other possibilites
• Duathlon in Kamloops in June
• 8km run in Kelowna in July

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