Friday, June 09, 2006

Danskin Danskin Everywhere

I've been a little distracted lately. Besides being crazed with work and regular life, I found myself agreeing to do the Danskin Triathlon in Chicago, July 9 (known to all my friends these days as "this nutty triathlon".) It's a sprint distance tri -- 750m swim (.5 mile)/20k bike (12.4 miles)/5k run (3.1 miles). When I started 4.5 weeks ago, any one of those activities in a day was a good workout. But all three? In one morning? I do a fair amount of biking in the summers, and knew I could finish 5K of walking/jogging, but the swimming was a bit of an unknown. I hadn't been in a pool to actually, you know, *swim* since junior high. But I did some research, put together a training plan, and now that I'm out there, I'm feeling much more confident. The run is slow -- a jog for me, the biking is under control, and the swim? The first day I swam at the IUPUI natatorium, I thought the lifeguard was going to make me get out of the pool. I didn't think I'd make it past the halfway mark of a 50-meter length. Eventually all those swimming lessons from summers past kicked in and now, I'm getting through my 750 meters like a champ -- a crawling/backstroking/ huffing/puffing champ. The event is scored beginning to end including transitions between swimming, biking and running. My goal is to finish in 3 hours or less.

But this week, I started to get nervous -- OK, *scared*. The logistics seem overwhelming. Saturday features mandatory registrations, events, bike racking, car parking, body marking, and more. What if I find out something at the last minute that changes all my preparation and planning? Sunday -- event day -- begins around 4:00 a.m. I'm petrified that I'll forget something, or miss a shuttle bus, or be in the wrong place, or screw up in some way before I even *start* the event. I'm trying to cure this fear with research, race reports, books, and good preparation. I'm practicing my transitions (ever tried to put on bike shorts when you're wet from the pool?) and planning to head to Chicago next weekend to check out the course. Working out helps -- at least I know I can control that part. (This week I've done 2 swims, 2 5K runs, 2 bike rides (one 12 m, and one long, 20-25 miles), 3 yoga classes, 1 massage, 2 sessions of weight training, and a pedicure. Pedicures count as motivation.)

The good news? I'm four weeks out and feeling good. Heart rates are in target ranges, I've had no injuries, and I've built a lot of strength. (You boys should never discount yoga. It can kick your ass.) I also have begun to experience what all girls know to be true -- your boobs are the first to go as you lose bodyfat. The bad news? No one has yet agreed to be waiting for me on the finish line with a pitcher of margaritas and a funnel. But I hold out hope. This is what I *really* need a training buddy for.

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