Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Really Not Cut Out For This Triathlon Thing

So Sunday is my very very very very first triathlon!  Eeeeeekkkkk!!!!!

You may recall that I won an entry into the Seattle Danskin Triathlon, thus FINALLY ensuring I would actually complete one, after years and years of it being on my New Year's Resolution list and never getting done. 
And I have kind of trained for it.  I've swam (swum?), biked, and run.  I've even done a few "brick" workouts and ran after biking.  And guess what I've found out?

I don't think I'm cut out for this triathlon nonsense.  It's just really not my style.  Here's what I'm not loving:
  1. Running after Biking.  It SUCKS.  Until you've actually done it, you think its no big deal.  I was actually thinking of doing a Half Ironman people, and running the half marathon was the least of my worries - I thought I could do that NO PROBLEM.  What an arrogant idiot I was.  Running after biking is NO JOKE.  And I don't like it. 
  2. Swimming in Open Water.  I like swimming.  I would like to continue swimming even after I've (hopefully!) finished the triathlon on Sunday.  But what I absolutely don't like is swimming in open water.  It's cold, it's disgusting, there's poop floating around (no joke), and you never know what is lurking in there waiting for you.  Giant carp may be harmless, but they're still giant and scary.  I'm a baby, what can I say.  I did my one and only open water swim on Tuesday at Seward Park, and it involved a HUGE panic attack.  The murky weeds tried to grab me.  The chop was horrific.  Let's just say I'm happy to be alive. 
  3. I Can't Climb Hills on the Bike.  Enough said.  I haven't practiced, I don't know how.  It's hard to find hills to practice on when you refuse to bike in traffic and only bike on bike paths that normally have a maximum of a 3% grade.
  4. I Don't Know How to Change a Bike Tire.  Maybe I never will have to?  I haven't had to yet.  But it's certainly always lurking in the back of my mind when I'm 9 miles away from my car.  Lindsay is supposed to teach me but hasn't yet!

So let's talk about goals for Sunday.  The race involves:
  • Half Mile Swim.  Ambitious Goal = 15 minutes.  Realistic Goal = 20 minutes.  I'm not sure how much swimming in the open water in a wetsuit in the cold water will affect me.  Will it slow me a lot?  Will the chop be horrible?  In the pool a good 800 time for me would be 16 minutes. 
  • 12 Mile Bike.  Ambitious Goal = 45 minutes.  Realistic Goal = 1 hour.  Again, I've never practiced climbing hills.  On a good day I ride about 15 miles per hour.  However I'm terrified I'm going to have to stop and walk my bike if we come to any significant hill!  I NEED a lesson in gear changing!
  • 3.1 Mile Run.  Ambitious Goal = 25 minutes.  Realistic Goal = 30 minutes.  My 5k PR is 23:xx, but I'm not in that kind of shape right now, plus my few brick workouts (i.e., whenever I ran after biking) have turned out disastrously with me not even being able to run without walk breaks.  Your legs just feel SO HEAVY. 
So there you go people.  Overall very ambitious finish time of about 1 hour 30 minutes.  More realistic finish time of 1 hour 50 minutes.  Think good thoughts for me that I don't get eaten by a humongous carp (or something much worse!)! 

Are you a triathlete?  How did you get hooked?  I think I'm just a runner.