Why did I start this blog, you ask.
I blame the book.
I'm in the middle of reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, a very well written book about a tribe of superathletes who live deep in the wilds of Mexico who are somehow able to run amazing distances with none of the fancy-shmancy technology us civilized people bring to the sport. The American main players in the story are nearly all ultramarathoners, people who run 100 mile races through the desert or the mountains or the snow or whatever for fun. Pick it up, it's very cool.
Like I said, this book is all about running. I am not runnings biggest fan. I run, mostly, because I don't want to get fat. Because I'm vain. But more and more, especially since I started running in minimalist shoes known as Vibram Fivefingers I'm enjoying running. Which is strange for me. For my whole running life I've been a slow, plodding, fighting through this and hating it, kind of runner. But now I feel light, I feel different, I feel connected to my body and the world in a whole new way. Barefooting will do that for you. According to tons of research, its also a lot better for you than arch supporting, heel cushioning, shock having, sneaks. Those change the shape of your foot and weaken the muscles that are there specifically to help you run down food. So I'm a minimalist convert. I'm not here to preach. Today.
Today I'm here to state a new fitness goal. I go to the gym on a regular basis, have been for year. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, run, lift, abs, stretch. I love the gym, love working out, love making it hurt. And I'm kind of bored with it. I'm working out without a real purpose beside staying fit. Which is fine. It got me through. But I want more and the book inspired me. But not to go all runner crazy. If I was directly inspired by the book I'd set my sights on a marathon, but that just ain't happening. Not any time soon. That doesn't sound like fun to me. A triathlon, however, now that sounds fun.
A quiet part of my brain has been nagging me about trying a tri for a while now and I've been pretty good at ignoring it. Alas, no longer. It hit me on my ride home from school today that I really wanted a new physical challenge that I knew would hurt and suck and make me stronger in every way. And a triathlon has one leg that's right up my alley. The swim. I've been a swimmer for a hundred years and am pretty confident that if I had to, right now, as I sit here, I could throw down some pretty respectable times for someone who hasn't trained in a pool in at least two years. Which leaves the run, which I've been working on, and the bike, which I've always hated. I never use the bike for cardio. It hurts more than helps as far as I'm concerned. That's right, I'm a big bike baby. And that is going to change...I hope.
The ride is going to be the biggest challenge for more than just that reason, however. You see, I don't actually own a bike. I know, I know, this seems preventative to the whole "I'm going to do a triathlon" thing. I'm working on it. Good competition bikes aren't cheap and I'm a broke teacher, so I'm looking into ways around the price. Until I own a bike I'll just have to use the stationary ones at the gym. These won't be as good, but it'll do for now. And if I can't find or afford a bike by October 24th, the date of the Ko'Olina Sports Festival and Sprint Triathlon...well I don't know. But I'll be trained and ready for it.
This sprint tri, for those of of you wondering, is a 0.9mi swim, a 13.1mi ride, and a 3.1mi run (which you would know if you followed the links. So lazy sometimes.). I may be overly optimistic, but I think this is doable. (Though the ninety dollar entree fee, not so sure.) I'm not starting out flat footed, after all. I'm in decent shape. I've also found a 13 week and a 12 week training program for sprint triathlons which I am looking at and will follow to prepare. When I choose the one I'm using I'll post a link. The astute among you will have noticed I have less than 13 weeks between now and Oct 24th. Well, guess I'll just have to make the best out of it.
I'll be tracking my progress here, posting training reports and other triathlon-related updates. This serves a dual purpose: it will help me track my progress and it will keep me honest. I couldn't back out now. I've told the entire internets what my plan is.
Onward with strength, power, and intensity!