It's Official!

It's official -- I am participating in my first triathlon at the end of August! A back-t0-back event of 500 yards of swimming, 12+ miles of biking, and 3.3 miles of running awaits me. This challenge is . . . daunting, to put it mildly. I'm inexperienced at best on a bike, and not at home in the water.

That said, I'm determined to try my best. In fact, that's my goal -- to prepare and then give the race my very best shot. I entered in the "Try a Tri" heat, which is for first-time triathlon participants, so I won't be up against the elite competitors. Still, it's going to take some faith and hard to work to get ready for.

I'm happy to report, though, that the training has already begun! I've been doing 11 to 13 mile routes on the Expresso stationary bike at the YMCA (complete with a little virtual screen where you bike with these little computerized bikers on some fairly scenic rides). I can't believe how much I sweat on the stationary bike! It far surpasses my sweat-level for elliptical workouts, although not necessarily for treadmill work. Still, I'm a gloppy mess by the end of the bike workout -- and I love it! Profuse sweating makes me feel like I've truly accomplished something, that I've really pushed myself. Gross, perhaps, but true!

I've also -- gulp! -- been hitting the pool. I figured out that ten down-and-back laps of the YMCA pool measures 500 yards, so I have been following my "land" workouts with 500-600 yards swims. I absolutely stink at swimming, though, so I complete said laps alternating between using a highly modified breast stroke and backstroke. Why modified? Because I hate getting my face in the water and having to worry about breathing and all that. That's why you won't find me doing freestyle any time soon. I pretend to be a serious swimmer, though, with my ultra nerdy swim cap and goggles that leave marks that make it look like I just got punched in the eye. (Yes, I still use goggles despite not putting my face under water because I also dislike splashes hitting my eyeballs during backstroke laps. Did I mention that I'm a finnicky swimmer?)

Although I'm most nervous in the water out of the three triathlon events, I'm glad that I'm trying this event out. I already am enjoying my swimming sessions more and more, and am eager to extend them! That's one of the reasons I like entering races --they push me to try things (tri things!) I might never have otherwise, and often I discover that I actually really like those things. I might never been an Olympian -- okay, "might" is an understatement -- but that doesn't mean I shouldn't test my physical limits every now and again.

How do you push the envelope? Is it with fitness, like adding something new to your workouts such as yoga or dance? Do tell, friends!

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