Thursday, April 25, 2013

she wants to tri what?

You've probably gathered by now that I have rather impulsive ambitions sometimes...and I lack follow-through. I could link back to specific incidences, but I'd rather'll make me look bad. You can do the research yourself if you don't believe me. :) It's just that I often get these great ideas in my head and get really gung ho for like two weeks, confident that it's the thing I'm going to do next. And then I normally don't. 

It's okay. I'm okay with this. These are never important things...just little grand ideas I get about frivolous things I suddenly want to do. So it doesn't matter if they never pan out. They make me feel excited for like two weeks and then I'm over it and no one's been harmed, so who cares, right?

So Tuesday at about 3:00 I decided the next Thing I want to do is train for a triathlon. (Not an Olympic-length. A sprint triathlon. I'm ambitious, not insane.)

But why, Erika? Do you like to run? Do you even own a bike? Are you a good swimmer?

The answer to the above questions: I don't know; no; no; no.

Clearly I am an excellent candidate for a triathlon, right?

Well, I am. For some kinds of triathlons. Here are some triathlons I would excel at:

-The Ulta-Sephora-MAC counter triathlon.
-The Zumba/gardening/laying out triathlon.
-The 'read these three books really fast' triathlon.

See, I have a lot of strengths. They're just not things traditionally considered to be amazing accomplishments when done in a record amount of time. This arbitrary. Ugh.

But let's move on. I've convinced myself that training for and completing a triathlon (there's one in Athens on August 18) is definitely possible and then I was doing some research and found these web pages that said you can go from couch potato to triathlete in 12 weeks and I have 16 weeks so I can TOTALLY do this, right? Plus I'm not even a couch potato, I'm at least a few steps above that, so basically I've got it in the bag.

Things I have to get over in order to become a triathlete:
1. I hate running. Like really really hate it. This is bad because at the end of this triathlon, there's a 5k. AFTER you swim 1/2 a mile and bike 14. So hating running is going to have to go.
2. I'm scared of riding bikes and don't own one. Minor detail. It's not really that I'm scared of riding, it's that I'm scared of riding near cars. So I need to find places to ride that aren't near cars. And also find a bike.
3. I prefer to spend my pool time on a lounge chair with my Kindle and a rum-based beverage. That will have to change if I'm going to swim 1/2 a mile in open water without drowning.
4. I would need to train 4-5 days a week in order to build up the skills and endurance (although most of the workouts would not be long (hour or less)...only one long workout per week (bike ride), which could be on the weekend). I currently work out maybe two or three days a week. I'd have to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate this.
5. Because we don't have access to an indoor pool, the swimming training will not be able to start for probably another month, or whenever I deem my in-laws' pool to be warm enough. So that'll put my swimming on a tighter time frame.
6. I don't dope. I've heard this is standard operating procedure for bike-riding, and I'm not sure where to purchase steroids. Dang you sheltered lifestyle...

So it's a lot of obstacles to overcome, and I can't even really say why I want to bother trying except that I want to do something really hard and work towards it and be proud of myself if I complete it. Is that so much to ask? I feel like training for something like this would give me a difficult but obtainable definite goal (unlike pregnancy) to work towards. And anyway, the internet said anyone could do it. So obviously the internet is always right and therefore I should do it.

Matt's all for it. I said I wouldn't do it unless he'd do it with me and of course he was all about it. We did our first day of 'training' (run/walking and biking at the gym) on Tuesday (about 3 hours after I decided I wanted to try. See, I'm really ambitious on the front end!) but naturally had to take yesterday off because one day was too hard. See how I work? 

So there's my big new life plan. We'll see how long this one lasts. Anyone want to offer a pep talk, or personal triathlon success stories, or talk me off the ledge? Feel free. Ha. Also, are there any triathlon apps or training plans? Well, let me rephrase. There are lots of triathlon-training apps and training plans. I just have no idea which ones are good. Tips?


  1. I shall cheer you on while secretly thinking to myself how crazy you are! But you go, girl!

  2. You crazy :) Great goal though! You have to start somewhere, why not reach for the stars! I know a number of people that have gotten in to triathlons and get in the best shape of their lives. I'm pulling for you!

  3. Sounds like a great goal to me, but more importantly, I can't wait to hear your accounts of training and all the fun that comes along with it :) Best of luck!

    PS- I borrowed someone's bike in college to go pick something up from my dorm and when it was time to stop, I realized I had no idea how to stop the bike. Apparently you don't pedal backwards like you used to when you were kids... you use the brakes on the handle bars. So there's my tip.

  4. So exciting! You'll have a good time and will be glad you finished. :) I did some sprint tri's in college, and here's some advice (from a super un-athletic gal, like myself): 10+ years ago there was no such thing as an "app", so we had to resort to books. There was a good book called Triathlons for the Ordinary Mortal, and I found it helpful. I also rode a mountain bike b/c I am not comfortable on a road bike (tires are too skinny!), which is totally fine for this distance. You can't go 25mph, but - DO YOU WANT TO!? Lastly, please please PLEASE practice "open water" swimming (if the tri is in a lake or river). I could swim in the pool and have been to the lake, so thought "hey, I can swim anywhere". Well, I was so freaked out by having to swim freestyle in brown water with people kicking me that I thought I was drowning. Granted, I was fine and didn't drown, but probably wouldn't have lost it if I had just experienced it one time before the actual race day. So, learn from me - go jump in the lake and swim around before the actual tri!

  5. I've always wanted to do a sprint triathlon! I can't bike or swim very well and the thought of running after doing all that is a little crazy. But I think it would be a fun experience and a great accomplishment! I will be cheering you on!!! :)

  6. Whoo hoo!!! You can TOTALLY do this Erika! There's a great program called "Couch to 5K" which Dave did and now he's running 5K two-three times a week. It's only a 9 week program and he did it because a few of his friends were.

    I agree with the person who said get a mountain bike. That's the only kind I've ever had (thicker tires) and they give you a little more stability.

    I have no advice on the swimming. I hate to swim :)

    My only other piece of advice is the day of set small goals for yourself. "I can get through the first thing." (I think usually the swim) "Now I can get through the second thing." (the biking) "Now I can run 1k, etc." I did a super-sprint duathlon a number of years ago (2.5k run, 10k bike, 2.5k run) and I just broke it up into little pieces.

    Also, having Matt to train with will be super-helpful. I trained with a friend of mine and the combined motivation was enough to keep us going.

    Yay Erika!!!

  7. ps. I biked A LOT a few years ago and never doped so if I can do it you can too :)

    pps. I don't know anyone who LIKES running. They just do it because they get addicted to it. Like steroids only healthier.

  8. Yayayay! I like this post! You will DO great! Minus the nerves I had for months leading up to it, it was super fun! Oh and my doctor did find out, and FREAKED out, so you might want to see if yours is ok (most doc's don't want us infertile people working out hard as it depletes the resources to be working on our reproductive system) I'm sure you totally know what you are doing, but let me know if you have any questions! Just have fun!

  9. I hope this endeavor is more successful than your Move to the Middle East plan (which incidentally I hope is never, no not ever, successful).
    I stopped by your office twice this week and you weren't there. You didn't secretly move to the Middle East without telling anyone, did you?

  10. Haha! This made me laugh. I get all these GREAT ideas too and hound my husband about them for a while.....and then I sort of lose my excitement.

    Good luck to you on this endeavor! It will be quite an accomplishment.

  11. Omg. I did a tri a while back (...september 2011? somewhere thereabouts) and it was awful. After 2 half marathons, 3 four mile races, a 10k and a few others sprinkled in, the triathlon was by FAR the worst. I was certain death was imminent.

    Leg 1 (swim): I would've considered myself a strong swimmer. I was banging out the laps at our community pool and hardly getting winded. I mistakenly assumed this leg would be a breeze. WRONG. It was an open water swim in a 30ft deep natural spring. You could see straight to the bottom.... and there was "vegetative life" (aka:freshwater seaweed) that was grabbing at my arms and legs with every stroke. Between the depth and the seaweed, I nearly had a panic attack in the water, which incidentally isn't good for energy conservation. I basically dog-paddled 3/4 of the leg.

    Leg 2: (bike) Um, I didn't have a road bike, I had a mountain bike. BIG mistake. (don't be like me)

    Leg 3: (run) We were in Hill Country, which meant the first 1.5 miles of the run was straight uphill. I started having bronchospasms and wanted to die. I pretty much walked it until it made a downhill turn.

    So there you have it. My first tri experience. Don't let this deter you...

  12. How exciting! My first tri was . . .

    Oh wait. I have done nothing more than run a 5k. And that was in college. And I'm not sure I could say that I even ran the entire way. So clearly if you need training tips I am your girl.

  13. "he's a french model! - bon-joor."

    if the internet says it, it's got to be true. and i heard you can get doping tips if you look for the most muscle bound dudes in the gym, and ask them where they get their juice. or something like that.

    good luck with that. no seriously. i tip my non-existent hat to you, because i am making cookies and that is so far from this post, it's absurd.

  14. Dang you are racking up the comments lately! I'm impressed! Keep this up and you will be contacted by some magazine or something. I laughed all the way through this post.

  15. Oh and I second Mollyanne on the move to the Middle East. I was looking forward to some blog posts on that. You're not willing to move across the world to give me entertaining reading material? What kind of blog friend are you?

  16. I think you need to up the ante and do the Ironman. Unless they don't give you a bumper sticker like they do for marathons. If there's no bumper sticker, than call the whole thing off!

  17. Wow! I'm so impressed with your ambition! I will be cheering you on and will hold down the couch potato fort for ya!! ;)

  18. There's adventurous, and then there's you! I had similar feelings earlier this year, but I felt that a 5K would be plenty of work because I HATE RUNNING! Not you, you go for a TRIATHLON! I'm so impressed! I'll be even more impressed if you actually do it, as I quit couch to 5K after like three weeks. : (

    If it fails, you can always do something like the Breast Cancer 3day. That's walking, but it's still no joke. 60 miles is a lot.

    But if you DO succeed, let me know the details, I will definitely come cheer for you!

  19. Wow that sounds great!! Good luck, I can't wait to hear more about it :)

  20. I had to read this to my husband b/c it's so funny! I love how you write! You crack me up!

    He says you can really pick an obtainable goal & accomplish it, all while sitting on your lawn chair w/ your kindle. Like learn a new language.... hmm... that doesn't sound as amazing as completing a triathlon, though.

  21. omg. OMG. hardcore! Go Erika, go! I can't wait to cheer you on!

  22. I say go for it! That's what I kind of did with mine...of course, I haven't completed mine yet, so we'll see. But at least "tri"!

  23. 1. Get some fun music, and then running isn't so bad.
    2. Riding bikes near cars is scary!
    3. I don't even really know how to swim, so you have one up on me there. I do love me a rum-based drink pool side however.
    4. Committing to working out that much is a lifestyle change, but its a good one. (again don't look at me, I forget where my gym is)
    5. I am now envisioning laying by the pool with a rum based fruity drink.
    6. You can buy anything on the internet.

  24. This is a great idea! (at least that is what i am telling myself about my equally dumb idea to run a 1/2 marathon) We both need a goal and an adventure and so we are going for it! I will totally be here to cheer you on! And i think all of our shopping actually IS good training! ;-)

  25. As I'm reading this I casually mention to Jesse, "Hey we should do a tri." He laughed at me. Jerk.

  26. oh erika.

    i think you should not tri for a triathlon but for a color run. i saw on facebook about it possibly coming to athens. and i think it would be way easier and funner than a tri. just saying. ha!

  27. I signed up for a tri once (and paid almost $200 for the registration fee!!!) without really considering the fact that...

    1. I'm an awful swimmer.
    2. I was working a full-time job, a part-time night job, and doing full-time grad school during the summer I was supposed to be training for the tri.

    So needless to say, I didn't do the race. It sounds like you're already thinking this through A LOT more than I ever did, so props to you and good luck!

  28. I really want to do a sprint tri sometime! I've thought about it before the timing has just always been bad (but is the timing ever good, really? yes. It was good when we were in college and interning. It probably won't ever be again.) Anyways, I still want to do one someday! wish we could train together! But I have a feeling it would go the same route as when we used to "study" together at Barnes and Nobles. ha...which would make it even more appealing.


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.