If you live in the north, you know how you hibernate in the winter and maybe pack on a pound or
10 2? That’s pretty much me every summer in Florida. No matter how much I know I NEED to motivate myself, I just can’t ever seem to convince myself to exercise when it’s this damn hot and humid.
In fact, the only times I can really remember running all summer is when I was traveling — I ran in DC, I ran during our staycation here in Orlando (it helped to have a pool to jump right into after the run) and I ran at my mom’s new place in The Villages (pool again).
I’ve also been dealing with a series of obnoxious injuries this summer (excuse alert). For starters, on two separate occasions, I thought I’d pinched a nerve in my neck and in both cases, it was so bad, I couldn’t turn my head left or right for a few days. After finally caving and breaking my self-imposed lifelong ban against seeing one, I went to see a chiropractor and it turns out I have moderate arthritis in my C4 vertebrae and mild arthritis in my C5 and C6, according to the X-rays. Combine that with some serious muscle spasming, and it’s the perfect recipe for a nasty neck and shoulders situation. I wanted to do acupuncture to treat it but of course my insurance doesn’t cover it. But, I just found out that it DOES cover massage at my chiropractor’s office so I have my first appointment for that on Monday. Woo!
But really, the neck is no excuse for my complete lack of motivation all summer. The excuses stop now.
To get my butt in gear, last week I took the plunge and bought a yearly membership to my beloved Jazzercise. They were having a great September special where you didn’t have to pay a joining fee and September is free. The only thing that gave me pause is the fact that half-marathon training kicks off in November. I asked them if I’m able to put my membership on hold during training and they said yes! So in November, I’ll put the membership on hold through February, then those four months will get added to the end of my plan next September. Sweet!
I even got myself up for a 5:30 a.m. class (once) this week and an 8:30 class this morning. Baby steps.
The real focus on my exercise lately though is … gulp … triathlon training. Remember when I famously proclaimed on Michelle’s blog that I was going to try a tri. Yup, never happened.
It’s always been in the back of my mind as something I really wanted to try; I’m just scared. Then my friend Meghann started working at Iron Girl and reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in doing the Athleta Iron Girl in nearby Clermont (my race costs are covered; see full disclosure below plus details on a discount code for you!). Before I could come up with an excuse not to do it, I told her I would. I also had Katy, who is also doing the event, pushing me to do it.
So, here goes nothing.
I’m doing the super-sprint distance, which consists of:
— 1/4 mile swim
— 7.5 mile bike
— 2 mile run
That seems doable, right? Well, doable if I did any actual training.
I was planning on racing on my cruiser. I seriously considered doing it with the basket on, too. Perhaps adding some streamers and flowers? The kid’s seat has thankfully been removed.
Better yet, how badass would it be if I could borrow this bike we saw in Key West a few years ago? Imagine if you got passed by that bike at a tri? I think I have a new life goal.
But I have a cousin who works in the tri industry and when I told her which bike I was planning on using for the race, she called me insane. Not because it wouldn’t work but because she has a garage full of racing bikes that go unused since her two sons went to college.
That’s when Old Yeller came into my life.
When I first got Old Yeller, there were clip-on pedals (I’m sure that’s not the right phrase) on the bike but my cousin thankfully switched those out for cages. I’m so not ready for clip-in shoes.
Last weekend, I took the bike out on a local trail for my first real ride. It’s amazing how much more you fly on that thing compared to my cruiser.
And, like a true biker, I got my first pedal injury (see below). I’m still having a hard time figuring out how you get going. I can get one foot into the cage, but it always takes me a few minutes to get that second foot situated. And stop signs are my nemesis. That’s how I got my injury — I had to quickly come to a stop because of oncoming traffic and couldn’t gracefully get my foot out of the cage. Shocker.
Thanks to my RunKeeper mysteriously malfunctioning that day (it kept the time accurate but stopped calculating mileage), I ended up doing 11.5 miles instead of my planned 8. Look at that — I’m already ready for the biking portion of the tri.
And yes, I wore a helmut on the trail. I took the gorgeous selfie post-ride. Can’t you tell by my beet red face?
I’ve also been trying to hit the pool for some laps, even in the dark pre-dawn hours. Ugh.
According to Google, I’m going to need to do the equivalent of 16 laps (or 16 lengths/8 laps — I’m still not sure of the proper terminology) for the swim. I’m so screwed. On my last swim, I did 400m, which is the meter equivalent of 1/4 mile, and I was dead. It wore me out for the day. So explain to me how I’m supposed to then go bike and run??
Oh yeah, running. I suppose I should do that too one of these days.
But really, the two things I’m most worried about are the transitions and figuring out what the hell I’m supposed to wear. I obviously don’t want to invest in tri gear for my first race, so I’m trying to figure out what to wear using what I already have.
Do I wear a suit for the swim, then put shorts and a tank over it? But won’t that ride up my rear on the bike and run? Do I swim in shorts and a sports bra, then put a tank on over that? If so, won’t those wet shorts chafe all my girly parts during the bike and run? Do I not wear underwear?? These are things I need to know, people!
If you’ve ever done a tri, feel free to leave a link to your tips in the comments. I’m going to be closely studying previous posts from both Meghann and Katy (and calling them nonstop for advice).
OK, so who’s coming with me?? I’d love to have you all join me. If I can do it, you know that you can (you’ve seen my intense training schedule). The Athleta Iron Girl folks are giving my readers $10 off their registration, for either the sprint or super-sprint distances, from now through the close of online registration on Sept. 23. All you have to do is enter the discount code MOMJOVI when checking out.
Come on. It’ll be fun. If nothing else, there’s probably a good chance you’ll see me either crash my bike or just lay down in the middle of the transition area after the swim for an awkward amount of time. Just think of the blackmail pictures you’ll be able to take!
Have you ever done a tri? Got any tips for a first-timer? And what’s your favorite way to sweat?
DISCLOSURE: Athleta Iron Girl is covering my race entry for the Clermont race, but I am not being otherwise compensated. You know the saying, all opinions are 100 percent my own.
I’ll meet you for bike rides if you ever want. Hit me up on twitter. I’ll pimp my husband’s all but dead blog for some tri advice: http://www.ironmoosefitness.com
I’d love to FINALLY meet you sometime and go for a ride. I’d feel safer having you around in case we encountered any critters on the trail! Once I make it through this crazy month, I’ll tweet you and we’ll figure out a time/place.
And thanks for the link to your husband’s blog. I’ll definitely check it out.
For my first couple of tris I had a sports bra and a swimsuit for the swim and then threw on shorts and a tank for the bike/run. It worked well and I really didn’t have any chafing from the swim suit. I would recommend not wearing cotton shorts/tanks. I learned that the hard way.
Good luck I am sure you will do great! I want to do a tri again soon, because it has been too long. Maybe next fall when the little one is 1.
Wait, I need specifics … did you wear the sports bra over or under the suit??? I can’t figure out which would be better (or worse).
Thanks for both the tips and advice. I need all of both that I can get!
I wore the sports bra under my swimsuit and it was actually pretty comfortable. Also, preemptive body glide anywhere there may be chafing can do wonders :-). Another lesson learned the hard way.
Man, I’d LOVE to start doing tris again. Since I’ve banished running from my fitness routine I figure they’re no longer an option for me, but when I was doing them I LOVED them – – even if I wasn’t really any good at them. For my first race I wore a sportsbra & running tights (under a wetsuit) for the swim, then just pulled on a shirt over the wet stuff for the bike & run. Since it was a super sprint, I didn’t chafe and the wet clothes really didn’t bother me. I did a couple training rides on the bike in shorts without the chamois though to get my rump used to not being padded for that 14 mile ride. Here’s the recap if you’re at all interested: http://activeeggplant.com/2010/myfirsttri-recap
Can’t wait to hear how things go for you!
Thank you so much for these tips. But, um, I had to google chamois, so yeah, I haven’t been using one. My unpadded (well, not synthetically at least) rump should be good! Wait, your super-sprint was 14 miles on the bike? Mine is 7.5, which I’m really glad for.
And not very good? Um, hello Miss First in Her Age Group! Loved your recap. Thanks for sharing! It was really helpful.
Glad to hear you didn’t chafe b/c that’s one of my 1,000 fears of the day. I chafe so easily!
Aren’t there duathlons? You could do those instead of tris?
You’e going to do GREAT! The super sprint will be over before you know it, plus I can guarantee you won’t be the only newbie. I’m bringing my collection of tri kits to the expo on Saturday so my SIL can borrow one, you’re more than welcome to borrow one too!