It’s official, I’m gonna Tri!

Okay, so the secret is out, it’s official and if I chicken out now I’ll really look like a big loser…not to mention I’ll be out a substantial entry fee.  I’m gonna do a triathlon!  The last time I did a triathlon was two months after my daughter (now almost 7) was born, an accomplishment I am still quite proud of.  This was the same pregnancy during which I returned to my Alma Mater to participate in the annual alumni swim meet and beat a number of college swimmers to win my event, while I was pregnant.  So I was in pretty good shape back then.  Since then my activities have been limited to doing chores around the farm, not exactly sedentary, but not much of an aerobic workout either.
Now that my kids are a little older I feel I can start getting back to doing some of these things I enjoyed in the past like swimming, biking, running and feeling less like a slug.  I’m currently into my sixth week of training and feeling pretty good.  Granted, I have a long way to go, but I have some time.  The event I have my sights on isn’t until mid-July.
 
I’m planning to participate in the Heart of the Lakes Triathlon in Annandale, MN (www.holtri.org).  I did this race a couple of times in high school and college.  It’s really a nice race and not too far away.  I’m also thinking of doing a couple of other races later in the summer but we’ll wait and see how the first one goes before I get too excited about those.
Training for a triathlon in rural Minnesota has its challenges.  Until recently a major hurdle was finding a place to swim.  The closest pool is a 25 minute drive and has very limited lap swim hours like (5:00-6:00 AM).  Even if I wanted to get up that early, it’s pretty tough to make it work when your husband works nights and there’s nobody else to stay with the kids.  My saving grace was a new YMCA not too much farther than the local pool.  The kids and I splurged on a membership this winter and I LOVE it.  I can lap swim just about any time of the day and the kids can come with me.  They have childcare available but the kids are usually perfectly content to come along and lap swim with me or just play in the pool.  As an added bonus they are becoming pretty good little swimmers and they’re thinking about doing a kids’ triathlon this summer too!
You might think that biking would be pretty easy to train for in rural Minnesota…I mean after the snow is off the roads and it warms up a little bit.  Until now I have put off getting myself a road bike.  Yes, the last few triathlons I’ve competed in I used my mountain bike.  The last time I did a triathlon I vowed to never do that again.  So I began searching and finally met my match….

My new ride

 

I found out there’s a lot to learn about bikes before going shopping for one, but I think I got a good one.  I opted to get one of last year’s models which didn’t really save me any money, (the pickings were slim) but I did get a lot more bike for what I had budgeted.  This Gary Fisher has a carbon fork and rear triangle/seat post and Shimano Tiagra componants…all which meant nothing to me two months ago but basically means a pretty nice beginner road bike.  I’ve had a few rides on the trainer in my living room, I can’t wait to get it out on the road…waiting for the ice patches to melt first 😉
Running, finally, running…today was the first day I felt comfortable heading outside for a run (that explains my previous post of the dead deer in the ditch).  Up until now aerobics videos took the place of my running workouts…go ahead, laugh.  The gravel roads were still a bit soft and slushy in some spots but that was a welcome relief for my knees and hips that have been overworked by the additional pounds I’ve carried since my kids were born 😛  It felt so good to get outside.  I made it my 2 1/2 miles, not fast, but I did it and I survived, I actually feel pretty good.  Yea!!
I’ll keep you posted as things move along, feel free to comment or ask questions.  I’d love to have some virtual training partners so speak up if you’re training for a tri too.
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