Triathletes Suck. Wait. What?

“Triathletes have the stupidest looking shoes. . . .”

“Yeah,” I said.

“. . . And the most over-the-top bicycles, too.”

“I know. God, I would never want to be one of them. And yet . . . There I was at Barnes and Noble looking for the newest issue of Runners’ World, which wasn’t out just yet, and the Triathlete magazine was in its place, just staring back at me. And I thought, ‘I swim. I bike. I run. So maybe this magazine will fill that particular Runners’ World-shaped hole in my daily reading.’ You know?”

“Yeah, I get that.”

“But I feel like I’ve crossed some kind of mental Rubicon. I really don’t want to do a triathlon. I mean, I like doing all of those things, but I don’t want to feel like they’re an obligation, like I’m training. And I don’t want to have to do two workouts a day to keep from short-changing swimming or running or biking. Triathletes are just so fucking serious all the time about training and eating and gear and everything.”

“Mhmm.” There was a bit of ‘Jeff doth protest too much’ in that “Mhmm.”

“Seriously. I don’t want to do a triathlon.”

That’s the conversation that I had a couple weeks ago with a few coworkers after I said that I was going to try doing flip turns at the pool.

So when Caroline asked me if I wanted to do the NYC Triathlon next year, imagine my surprise when I answered with my own question: “What distance?”

I can swim the 1500m of the Olympic distance. That’s less than the mile that Lisa and I were swimming every Saturday in the middle of the season last year. I can ride 40km. Easy. And I can get myself to running a decent 10K in short order. I want to run a half-marathon sometime in the next year, after all. Doing them all together will be something new, but my longer rides this year were mostly in the 4-6 hour range, which is what I’m conservatively estimating for a triathlon.

So I said yes.

Mostly I just want to prove to myself that I can do it.

Of course, this all hinges on getting selected in the registration lottery, which isn’t a sure thing. But if I get a number — and I hope my erstwhile teammates do, too — I’ll be the rookie who’s swimming awkwardly, riding hard on a regular road bike, running in subdued shoes, and not taking himself too seriously.

This entry was posted in Cycling, General, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2010, Reluctant Triathlete, Running, Swimming. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Triathletes Suck. Wait. What?

  1. Karen says:

    Wow!!! A triathlon?? Good for you!!! I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll get a spot. :)

  2. Lorraine says:

    Good, good luck!

  3. Jeff

    I’ve completed two sprint triathlons so far. In both cases I used them to raise funds for Dr. Faustman. The NYC marathon is an “Olympic” one with longer distances for the three legs. I might be interested in getting involved if you’re going to put together a D-team, keep me in mind.

  4. Jeff Mather says:

    Due to the twisted logic of my brain, I suspect that if I get a spot in the NYC Triathlon, I’ll probably end up doing a sprint tri sometime earlier in the season. Just so that I feel like I have some sense of what I’m doing in August. And you can join us!

  5. Chris Lawton says:

    Reach out to me if you need the scoop on any of the local races or advice on training. Two a day workouts are not necessary the entire period you will be training for the Olympic distance. You probably will need 2x day workouts a few times a week for a few months leading up to the race. More importantly, focus on some skills you probably don’t have yet, like bike/run transitions and open water swimming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>