Friday, April 25, 2008

What it means to be a triathlete?


Well at this point...I'm not really sure. Because I'm not a triathlete YET...I have not completed a triathlon. However...In the past 2 weeks I have been training like one. Here is my insight!

Running......I firmly believe it is something anyone can do. It is something we do everyday....put one foot in front of the other. I believe it is a gift from God to be able to do that.....but the majority of us...get around daily by feetsies! Natural instinct when you are being attacked....is to RUN! Some people are obviously faster than others..(ahem BILL!)...I would surely get eaten by the lion or whatever...but lets face it...running is a natural instinct. (*Disclaimer- I am not trying to make running seem any easier than it is or take away anything from runners. Running is difficult sport and it challenges me daily....it has also changed my life for the better)

ON THE OTHER HAND.......Swimming and Biking.....not so much a natural instinct. As I learned at a young age, every natural instinct you have in the water is WRONG. If you are floating on your back ever so peacefully and that stupid shi*head kid splashes you in the face while doing a cannonball...your instinct is to lift your head out of the water. WHat does that do???? Makes you sink and drown! Same as swimming laps, when people first pick up the sport they carry their head high out of the water....especially during breathing. Again this makes them sink (hips)...makes it more DIFFICULT to get air....and slows them down. So swimming is basically a constant struggle fighting against natural instinct. Not to mention...with running and biking you increase your ventilation rate as your muscles need more oxygen. Swimming? not so much. It is so hard to be working your body that hard and not always delivering the oxygen it needs to your muscles.



Biking....well I just started. But it seemed easy in theory. Sit down....push these metal things round and round...and this little machine carries you all over. ALmost like a traveling personal automobile right????? WRONG! I now have so much more respect for bikers its not even funny. I also learned why they wear spandex....haha. I tried biking in the wind in a baggy tshirt and I could barely pedal and pretty much turned myself into a KITE! I couldnt go ANYWHERE because of the drag. Also try sitting crouched over for an hour while trying to lift your head up to see the road and have cars flying past you at 50 mph while your quads are on fire. Really people...its not as easy as it looks..and not quite the personal automobile i thought it was. Maybe I should try motorcycle racing instead. haha.

And lastly....the mental power it takes to get geared up for a multi sport workout is far greater than that for a single sport workout. WHen you head out for a run.....it can be brainless at times. Which is the beauty.....you know that when you go out and back...all you are waiting for is that turnaround point...and then seeing home again. Its hard to describe...but after swimming and kicking your butt in the pool for 40 minutes..to get out and then get mentally pysched to get on the bike for another 40..is very difficult. Your muscles feel akward from the strains of the previous sport. You feel tired...AT THE BEGINNING of the ride!!!!! I mean could you imagine starting every run after doing an hour or so of other hardcore workouts? How hard mentally it would be to BEGIN the run and be DRAGGING the first mile? Its tough...I promise!


Anyway...just a little insight on my new sport. NO FEAR...i am still a runner. I will always be a marathoner (ooooh man...that sounds cool). But this new direction my life has taken me is such an exhilarating challenge......and am I scared of failure? Absolutely not! BRING IT ON!

16 comments:

*aron* said...

you are SO awesome... there is no way i could do a tri (scarrrred of the water! and of going fast on a bike :) haha big chicken i know) but i think my husband might start training for one after our marathon, he would be great at it! are you following a training plan or just doing them all at this point?

SLB said...

Very insightful writing about swimming, I kind of intuitively new that but had never thought about it in that way, nice job.

The human kite made me laugh, yes lycra will be your friend!

Cara said...

Wow good job on the training. I did swimming in school and completely laughed in your description of it. I was the high header. haha.

RunnerGirl said...

Great job on the training!

D10 said...

Great post as usual. Sounds like you are ready for the challenge of the tri. You have a great competitive spirit; you will only be succesful.

loveofoats said...

thats so funny b/c i have a HUGE respect for runners, but I LOVE biking... to each their own i guess... good luck w/ the tri!

The Laminator said...

Spoken like a true athlete. Very nicely said. Have the utmost respect for swimmers, bikers, marathoners, triathletes, and everyone else in between.

Laura said...

Christine, I am so impressed that you're already on to your next adventure! I'm swimming a bit more lately, so maybe after I get a marathon under my built I'll try a triathlon like you.

Holly Jane said...

Don't worry... that's exactly how I felt when I started cycling. I was scared to death! And it wore me down & I would think I could not go on just after 5 miles. But your body & your muscles become accustomed to it & you learn that after you get warmed up you will be fine. It is much tougher than it sounds though!!! Hang in there!

triguyjt said...

christine,....you have a great way of looking at it but you have the best attitude as you venture into the sport... you are curious, yet you respect what it is you are getting into. i predict you'll be a force to be reckoned with...
keep training..keep writing well thought out blogs...

signed..
The Blog Police J.T.

jahowie said...

You will learn to love the bike. Keep up the good work on your training. :-)

Benson said...

Ah yes, you are learning quickly grasshopper. Triathlon is the sum of 3 great powers you will soon master. Remain discipline in your training and you will be victorious.

bill carter said...

Hi Christine

I think you will do great if and when you actually do a tri. I can honestly say that I am so impressed with people who can run, bike, and swim. Just running for me as I don't even know how to dog paddle and fell off my bike at like age 6 and figured that was enough. I agree with you that running is kind of a natural thing and that both swimming and biking take a little more learning.. and maybe that is why I just run:-) Can only push that envelope so far.

You absolutely are a marathoner.. no doubt about that. And you have made amazing progress. I can imagine that the biking and swimming will help with your running.

Best of luck

Viv said...

Damn girl, you are kicking some posting booty. Ahhh I knew you would have some awesome insight to tri ing. I too thought a bike, heck I was a champ back on the block when i was 7. LOL!

You will be a triathlete soon!

Vickie said...

Good luck! You're young. You will learn and do well.

Treadmill India said...

you have a great way of looking at it but you have the best attitude as you venture into the sport... you are curious, yet you respect what it is you are getting into.thanks for sharing here..