Thursday, 31 July 2008

nine weeks

it's the morning of my first swim. well, i'm not quite that virginised, i have swum before, but this is my first morning of "i've decided to enter the triathlon" swim.

this is also my first blog post, my first blog, it's a morning of firsts. how exciting.

so i need to describe where i'm at, as this blog is going to track my progress over the coming weeks, as an honest, mere mortal approach to fellow virgin triathletes. it stems from a (presumably) misconception that one needs to be The Fittest Person Ever to compete in these types of events. surely average fitness with a touch of enthusiasm and a dash of ignorance goes a long way?

it stems from running.

i was never a runner. at school, cross country, there i was, all legs and elbows, feigning asthma. i was a relatively sporty kid, always a bit better than average, but never going to be team captain. i could hit the ball in tennis, but it usually went over the net, so as long as my sport involved more power, less technique, i was in to win.

so, back to running.

about five years ago, i decided i wanted to get fit. i was swimming a lot back then, but out of the pool i was hopeless. i remember my first ever runs. i would go around the block, trying to run between the lamp posts. we're talking about 50 metres. i could barely make it. i persisted for a couple of months, before branding myself, yet again, a 'non-runner.'

fast forward three years, hello husband, hello very anti-excerise husband. what, i ask him, would make you exercise with me? he knew my weakness. running, he replied.

so, it began. again. the bloody lamp posts. husband, in all his non excersing glory, over took me time and time again. i was determined.

then i made the most fundamental realisation; running isn't about going full steam ahead, it's about pacing.

so, i started jogging, and as our morning runs continued, i found myself over taking husband - not from my speed, but from my consistency. it was a classic tortoise/hare situation, and i had finally found out why people enjoyed running. hell, i was even starting to like it.

eighteen months later, my first race, a half marathon. with a tragic time of 2 hrs 30 mins, it was a focus on finishing.

six months after that, my second race, a 10k, with a much more reasonable time of 1 hr 2 mins. still officially plodding, but getting closer.

but running is a little boring, i have to admit, and as it's not my strength, i'm never going to be very good at it. so, time to give something else a go.

enter; sprint triathlon. 400 metre swim, 23 km cycle, 5 km run.

okay, so nine weeks, but where am i at today?

5kms is definitely manageable, but at what time? at the moment i'd be hitting around 30 minutes, and that's when i'm fresh (not after a swim and a ride). Not good.

23kms on mostly flat ground will be fine, but again, at what time? a few weekends ago i did the London Bikeathon which was 23 miles, but I didn't time myself (stupidly). how am i going to time myself; i live in London?? will i deduct time from sitting at traffic lights? think not.

(possible strength?)
have always loved swimming, have never competed but i can hold my own in the fast lane (that's got to count for something?) however, i haven't been in the pool for a couple of years, as i've been concentrating on running - so this could potentially be a struggle. will i be one of those people who used to race as a kid and still thinks they're that good today? don't let me be one of those...

so lots of work to do. will keep posting my progress along the way - feel free to comment!


Anthony said...

So really you're saying this is all because of the fantastic support from your loving husband??

BILL said...

With all the exercise I cannot imagine how you have enough strength to type something of length into a blog. Now me- being retired ( well almost) have never blogged before and it will possibly be a while before I add any further value to this blog. I will however,keep an eye on the activities. Glad to see that the support from Ant is what is keeping you going. The Dad.

Anonymous said...

As someone about 6 weeks behind on the road to first triathlon, I've enjoyed your initial installment. More of a runner and beginner swimmer, myself, so interesting to have a different slant on it. Good luck and keep posting!

al said...

thanks for the comments! i'm feeling very blogged up, i must admit it does make training a whole lot more interesting :)

Anonymous said...

Haha !! You got Mister Tone running!!!