Tuesday, March 8, 2005

*for anyone waiting on a normal post, that's coming soon. This was a recreation/fitness post I started a few weeks ago and just never finished*

I've been on a bike for a long time, to say the least. My dad is one of those dads who always wanted to give us bikes for Christmas and birthdays, and he had a tandem, which meant we could go riding after school and I wouldn't have to work as hard as if I was on my own (hee!). And I could postpone homework for just a little longer.

There were a few years in high school when a car superceded a bicycle on all counts, but living in a little college town rekindled the velo-love pretty quickly. I've played for both teams (mountain vs road biking) and am currently in a road-biking phase that has lasted about the last 6 years.

There are other sports I love (none of them involving a ball or a team strategy, BTW), and then there are the sports that I mostly do for the exercise, because they support my other sports: running and swimming.

In the summer of '97 or '98 (can't recall) I ganked up my ankle pretty badly after teaching high-impact aerobics 6 times a week for a few months. I didn't have fellowship money that summer, and I needed the extra income, what can I say. The sports med guy at the university health care center sent me to physical therapy- I had the therapist who takes care of all the women's athletics for the university. He was really good. In our first meeting, I asked him, "so doc, will I be able to run a 10K when we're finished?" and he says "Sure, I don't see why not!" and I say "Great 'cause I never could before!" (heehee, it really was almost like that). See, back in high school I ganked the same foot and it never quite healed right, and as a result I was unable to run. Literally. A block or 2, and then I was crippled with pain for the next few days. So when this PT guy says he'll get me running, I didn't believe him. But he did it. So I learned to run. I still don't like it, but the worse you are at something, the better the exercise, right?

I was always trying to find things to do outside of my graduate department- with only 10 people, you need a break from each other now and then- so the next year I took a few semesters of swimming stroke technique classes. For somebody who grew up waterskiing and fishing, I am an abysmal swimmer. The classes helped- I learned some formal strokes, I learned how to breathe properly, how to get a little bit faster, how to turn, all that good stuff.

For several years I've been thinking, "I could do a triathlon, something small like the Danskin" but I never quite got up the nerve to do it.

Until now.

I've registered for the White Lake sprint triathlon. OK, it isn't Ironman. It is a 750 m swim, a 17 mi bike ride (totally flat land) and a 5K run. It's only about 2 hours, but I am still pretty excited about it. And nervous. My "real" triathlete friends laugh at my little sprint-triathlon, but I just judo-throw them until they apologize for making fun...

So I've been swimming and running a lot more than usual lately. Maybe this time next year I'll do a big-kids triathlon. Or maybe the sprint will just kick my ass so hard that I'll never do another tri again. Or maybe I'll drown during the 750m open swim.

Or maybe I won't finish in the 2hr15min time limit and will be pulled off the course sometime halfway through the run, along with the other pathetic people who have no business doing triathlons.

Did you see that? From excited to pulled-off-the-track in 2 paragraphs!

Anyway, when you're a novice, and a woman, they let you (okay, the require that you) wear a pink swim cap during the swim. I might just have to sew little plastic daisies onto mine, just for a little style.

Anyway, so that's the latest on the recreational scene. In biking news, we've been doing more 50-mile rides on the weekends, and I think it's about time we started doing a 50 + a 70-80 mile ride some weekends. Especially since it's getting to be Spring, and for the MS150 this year SNG & I want to do the double century.


PartnerInCrime said...

Yay for you on the triathlon! Baby or no, that's still awesome. Lord knows I couldn't do it.
And you should totally sew some plastic daisies on your swim cap, and see if you can get some kind of 1950's-esque Esther Williams kind of swimsuit. That'd rock.

Esther Williams said...

You could also put a bunch of feathers on your bike helmet and do the run in your bathrobe!