Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Triathlon! Are you CRAZY!??!!?

Here I found myself agreeing to do a 1/2 Iron Man Triathlon, and I don't even own a pair of tennis shoes! I MUST be crazy!!

For those of you are not aware a 1/2 Iron Man Tri consists of 56 miles biking, 13 miles running, and 1.2 miles swimming. I feel I have the biking part in hand, but it's the running and swimming parts I need to work on.

Now I also want to say that this is not an official Iron Man Tri put on by any organization. This is just a group of friends loosely putting on the event together to see if some of us can just do it. It's not a race or a competition. It's just a test of endurance. The challenge is to finish. (Photo above: My new running shoes!)

So thus I entered the Salt Lake Running Store on a Saturday afternoon and tried on new running shoes while a salesman was giving me suspicious and questioning looks. Yep, I made the mistake of telling him I was training for a 1/2 Iron Man Tri and that I haven't ran in 20 years. I KNOW he thought I was a nut case! He seemed to calm down a little bit when I mentioned that I bike about 150 miles a week. But as I was talking with other friends who have done these, they said that most people most often take anywhere from 6 months to a year to train for this event. Gee, and here I am planning on doing it in 3 months! Yeah, maybe I am NUTS!

I found myself on Saturday night, trying out the new shoes. Hey, I gotta take these new babies out for a test spin. Boy! Could I tell that it had been 20 years! I huffed and puffed my way through 1 and a half miles. First running 1/2 mile,and then I speed walking the rest. My time was 19 min. OUCH! At that rate it would take me three and a half hours to do the 13 miles; if I can even manage it. (Above Photo: Some of the Tri Contenders on a training bike ride this last Sunday morning. We did 5o+ miles on our bikes.)

The reason that I stopped running 20 years ago? A combination of things-- my shins didn't like it, I moved away from the track that I used, and well, I'll admit it, I got LAZY! But I really did missed the track. It was one of those older gym building on the college campus that had the elevated track upstairs and was open to a floor below. There was a basketball court below, and often, you could find shirtless college boys playing a game of basketball. Yes, I was in my own version of heaven on earth--- getting high off of exercise endorphins,and voyeurism of yong musled male chests. Aw, I really admired all those nicely muscled young male chests. I would purposely time my runs to go during basketball games. Going for 4-1/2 to 5 mile runs and keeping my eyes on the action below. I would fight for the inner lane with the best view. Hmmm, boy do I miss THAT track!

Well, training is getting into full swing, and I'm all ready seeing some improvement. This morning I woke up at 5AM, and managed a mile and a half around Liberty Park. Hey I even improved on my time--- 17 min. That averages out to 11.33 mph. I'm hoping to work towards at least a 10mph mile. But it just goes to show that there's hope for me yet; at least for the running part. Next, I need to figure out the swimming part. But it looks like I'll find out about that on this Friday when we attempt a mini-triathlon. I'll keep you posted on how we do.
Oh, and P.S.--- If any of you happen on a track like I had above in college, let me know. It would do wonders for my running! ;-)

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