Life in the Fast Lane


Tri-ing It Out

By 8:21 AM , , , , , , , , , ,

"Why not join a triathlon?"

The first time I was asked that, my brain came up with a hundred and one excuses. 

I'm not ready. 
I'm a horrible runner. 
I don't have the proper equipment. 
I don't have a road bike. I can't use my mountain bike.
My asthma might act up. 
I'm happy just exercising for myself. 
I don't wanna commit to something I might be able to follow through in the long run.

Why not, though, right? People know I used to be a swimmer and that, as of late, I've been biking. Yes, I've never joined one of those weekend run events, but I could work on running if I wanted to.

I realized, though, that I was scared. Mostly because I thought triathlons had a standard distance (i.e. Ironman distances). That it was all or nothing; no way for beginners to ease into it. That triathletes — yes, even my friends who've been competing in triathlons the last few years — had superpowers; that I wasn't like them in any way.

Stupidly, though, I discovered during a recent bike ride that there were, in fact, shorter distances. A bike buddy told me that there were sprints and mini-sprints, which I later Googled.

To my surprise, I found out that the mini-sprint triathlons are actually doable: 300-meter swim, 7.5-kilometer bike ride, 3-kilometer run. The sprint triathlons are, more or less, double that (600-meter swim, 15-kilometer bike ride, 5-kilometer run).

With this, I decided to start training for my first mini-sprint triathlon. 

It's been a month or so of regular exercise. I usually alternate on a daily basis: one day, I'll be jogging (which I have to really work on, given that running's my worst sport); another day, I'll be biking; on weekends, I swim, since those are the only days I can make use of a pool.

Running's been a frustrating journey so far, because it's only now that I'm actually working on it. I never really liked it. I hate how it makes my lungs burn (because of my asthma) and that I consciously have to work on taking deep breaths instead of quick ones. Hopefully, I'll get to a point where I'll no longer have to take walking breaks in between my runs. I'm looking forward to the day I can run 3k straight without stopping.

With biking, I'm at a disadvantage since I don't have a road bike (which is much lighter). I'll have to make do with my Merida mountain bike in the meantime. Maybe in the future, if I earn extra (or better yet, if someone decides to grant my heart's desire — hello, hello!), I'll be able to get myself a road/race bike. For now, though, I should just work with what I have and not focus on the fact that I'll be slower than the road/tri bikers come race day. Just to be able to cross the finish line, whether or not one gets a medal, is already a feat in itself.

As of tomorrow, I'll be working with a swim coach (my first time again since I was part of a swim team in grade school and high school). I'm excited, scared, nervous, but I'm ready to be a more efficient swimmer. 

As of now, my goal is to join the Unilab Tri United 3 in November (it'll all depend on how my runs progress). I'm also planning to join Ateneo's aquathlon next March, then maybe the Century Tuna triathlon next June.

In the meantime, I put together these three [rather silly] photos of myself engaging in the different disciplines, just to serve as a reminder that someday soon, I'll be able to do all of them in succession.

Wish me luck!

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