Entering a New Adventure
I am a runner: I have raced distances from 5km to Marathon. I have run 9 Marathons thus far, and the tenth is set to be in Boston 2014. I love running on the trails and on the roads. This past year I have added both cycling and swimming to my repertoire. I am growing to love these two new sports and with the input and inspiration of several triathlete friends and training groups, I am taking a plunge into the TRIATHLON World.
Triathlons are various distances of a swim, bike and run combination. I have my sights set on doing a Half Ironman – also called a 70.3 (named after the total mileage of the race). The goal is to do this race in June 2014.
- 2km (1.2 mile) SWIM
- 90km (56 mile) BIKE
- 21.1 km (13.1 mile) RUN (half marathon)
I have contemplated the triathlon for many years, deciding to wait until my children are older before training for all three sports. I have slowly added the new components to my life. Last January I joined the Master’s swim group, adding two swims per week to my running routine. Half a year later I found a used road bike that fit me well and was in good condition and started cycling over the summer months. I have only managed to add one ride per week to my routine so far. Will I be able to train successfully for the Half Ironman?
Saturday I rode for 72km through the rolling hills in the Niagara countryside. It was a lovely fall day, and the ride was most enjoyable with several challenging hills up and down the escarpment. I felt great after the 72km ride, which gives me hope that with eight months of training I will be successful at riding 90km.
Over the summer months I explored open water swimming in Lake Ontario; very different from swimming in the pool. The waves were very challenging at times. It also takes a bit of courage to jump into the murky Lake, with unknown entities below. I don’t think about it much and simply swim hard and hope that scares away any creatures in the nearby vicinity.
There are new skills that I still need to acquire, never having done a triathlon. I need to put all three sports together! I did several swim-run combos over the summer, which went well, but have not combined all three sports yet. Along with your body adjusting from the water, to the bike, to running on the road, one also needs to learn how to transition quickly. Transitioning effectively means practicing removing wetsuits with ease, quickly putting on cycling shoes and grabbing one’s bike smoothly. The next transition involves changing from cycling shoes to running shoes. Costume changes in the sports world!
I have entered into this new challenge slowly, adding one element at a time over the past months. I am confident that with patience, determination and the incredible support of my family and training partners, this new goal will be achievable.