May 9, 2008
Trying for the Tri
I'm not sure if it was a case of monumental boredom, or if I got talked into it by a few overly encouraging friends, but I signed up for my first triathlon two weeks ago and have approximately two months to train. It's the NYC Triathlon, an Olympic distance with a 1500 meter swim in the Hudson River, a 40 km bike ride and a 10 k run. I figured - hey, how hard can that really be? My first ride of the season will be over 40 k and that's just for warming up. I've run countless 10 k's and even after a winter hiatus, I think it will be fine. But the swim... I am turning 33 in just over a month and until today, had never had a single swimming lesson. I'd never gotten into a pool and swam a lap. In fact, I had no idea how.
So today, I swallowed my pride and had my first-ever swimming lesson. Now this is something I've been planning, yet somehow beautifully avoiding, for the past couple weeks. But I was finally out of excuses so I finally did it. It was surprisingly one of my greatest experiences. I'm not afraid of the water, but I am afraid of making a fool of myself, and most of all, I'm afraid of failing at anything I decide to do (I know, major character flaw). I was thrilled to discover I'm actually pretty comfortable in the water and the act of swimming came fairly naturally to me. Aside from the fact that I couldn't make it a full 25 meters without gasping for air, it was actually pretty good!
I'm anxious to get back into the pool and give it my best. I have just over two months to become a good enough swimmer to have enough in the reserves to tackle the bike and run. I'll also be a few weeks into my NYC Marathon training by the time of the race so I'm going to be pretty busy over the next couple months. It's a great distraction and it feels really good to be able to keep finding completely new experiences in life, something to break me out of my comfort zone and force me to be a different person. Hopefully in a few weeks I can confidently say I'm a swimmer. But for now, I'm simply trying for the tri, a very worthy goal indeed.