Eight weeks from right about now I should have just finished some combination of napping, massive food eating and hot tub relaxing after earlier in the morning on June 24th “competing” in the Pacific Crest Olympic distance triathlon. About fifteen weeks ago I decided to attempt this, with a goal of finishing. Depending on how it goes I may start more tri’s with an aim to reduce my time. I’m currently smack dap in the middle of the most intensely competitive age bracket which will be dominated by professionals. So I simply can not expect to compete.
That doesn’t mean I’m not pushing hard against myself.
I’m swimming, cycling, and running multiple times each per week. In January when I decided to start this journey I was not running outside of soccer, I didn’t own a road bike, and had only just started taking myself swimming once a week. And I was only managing that flailing^Wswimming with a snorkel, regular arm/leg cramps and exhaustion after relatively short distances. Dropped the snorkel but still have the cramps and exhaustion. (Interestingly, apparently muscle cramps are primarily about muscle fatigue, not hydration or electrolytes. It’d be nice if I might push past more of that level of fatigue at some point in the training, but it’s still happening.)
Saturday’s at 6:30am my cohorts and I are up and heading to swim class. To me becoming a competent, efficient swimmer means learning a life changing exercise that hopefully I can practice all my life. Hopefully most of that won’t be so damned early in the morning though.
Through all of this I’d hoped to maybe loose a bit of weight after grad school helping nudge me up to 230lbs. I got back to 200lbs over the past two years, but haven’t been able to really get below that. I’m not losing weight tri training though, because all this exercising needs calories behind it. Which means I’m eating like a teenager. Still I’ve dropped at least three or four inches of waist circumference, my pants legs are baggy, and my shirts are increasingly too tight. I have to hold my arms at my sides differently because they don’t quite fit in their normal places. This may actually allow me to compete to some degree if I want to since there is a “Clydesdale” category in many races for the heftier gents. I suspect if I keep this up I will end up dropping ten or more pounds here eventually. In the meantime…
The next eight weeks are going to be a challenge. I need to push each of my swim/bike/run distances further, do an extra instance of each exercise per week, and regularly link at least the bike/run portions into a combined “brick”. As the weather begins to warm, I’ll need to get myself out of the pool, into a wetsuit, and Into swimming frigid northwest bodies of water.
1.5km swim, 45km bike, 10km run.
I’m starting to believe I can do this.