So you guys, I want to do a triathlon and I can't decide if it's a dumb idea.
Do you remember back in the spring when I posted about maintenance? It was after the 10K and the retreat were over, and I was saying I wanted to keep up the ability to run 6 miles without feeling like it was A Big Deal, and I wanted to keep my fingers callused enough to play guitar happily. My calluses are gone, alas, but I've been running longer distances (for me) regularly this summer. I thought about doing a fall half-marathon, but OH MAN those long runs are painful in the summer heat and humidity. So I think I'll do a fall 10K instead, without any lofty time goals.
But there's this October sprint triathlon that's been on my radar for a while: 275-yard swim, 12ish-mile bike, 5K run. Again, no lofty time goals. I just want to complete the event and not be last.
The big problem is that life is hectic during the semester. Is it selfish or foolish to train for a triathlon?
A secondary problem is that I sort of forgot how to swim between junior high and young adulthood, and I have been trying to figure it out for a while now with only modest success. Last fall I re-learned the breaststroke, and over the past couple of weeks I have been hacking away at my deep resistance to the front crawl. Over the summer in the adoration chapel I wrote myself a note: "You are very impatient with yourself as a learner." It's as true here as everywhere else. Two weeks ago I couldn't rotary-breathe at all, and now I can do it for a length. I think I'll sign up for some swim lessons when the fall session starts up.
Anyway, I see that as a secondary problem because I could breaststroke 275 yards; it would just be slow. And breaststroke isn't the best stroke for sharing lanes.
A tertiary problem is that my bike has hybrid tires and needs a tuneup. I love to ride it, though; it makes me happy. Most of my biking has been indoors this season, but not too long ago I took it out on a terrific 10-mile ride. Note to future Jamie: if you feel like you could outrun the cars on the stretch of road where the speed limit is 45, it means you have a serious tailwind. Save some oomph for the return trip.
Adaptation is a weird thing. I did a brick workout on Thursday (bike + run, in which one's legs feel like bricks at the start of the run) and it felt awful. Painful bike ride, painful run; I cut them both short because I just was not feeling it. I didn't exercise Friday or yesterday, but tonight when I hopped on the treadmill I felt fantastic. I cranked out 5 happy miles and then jumped in the pool for a quick swim. It's this weird cycle: work out frequently until you feel crummy, take a little time off, and TADA! feel like the Bionic Woman, if the Bionic Woman were 45 and slow-moving.
So. If I can run 5 miles and then swim more than the required distance, and feel as energized afterward as I do right now, I think I've got the endurance to finish the event without -- I don't know -- puking all over the support folks at a water station or lying down in the road a half-mile from the finish line. But I don't quite feel peaceful about registering. Is that prudence or fear? I do not know.