Why not biathlons? After all, skiing AND shooting!

Why Triathlons?

I ran one awful year of track in 7th grade, I swam three years in high school and wasn’t anything special, and I had never put on a pair of bike shorts until my 20s.  So why in the world are triathlons my favorite hobby?   And why didn’t I think of doing them a lot earlier?  After my transplant, I decided that I wanted to do a sprint triathlon, just to prove to myself and the world that I could do it again, that while my hopes of every being an athlete again had been crushed, that I could be an athlete again.  I thought I’d do it, and be done with it.  My friend Dan told me otherwise – that knowing me, I was going to become addicted.  Dan was right.  As I crossed the finish line, I wanted to figure out when I could do another one.  I’ve never been a “skill” or “strength” sport person (i.e. gymnastics, tennis, wrestling, etc), even though I enjoyed playing pick-up hoops games through high school, and I love playing tennis despite being a likely USTA 2.0-2.5 ranking (some marsupials have risen as high as 3.5).  Endurance was really my only skill, and not much of one at that.

It was actually the training that I liked the most – the fact that you have to train at three different sports; forced variety; balanced workouts; race strategy; different techniques within each sport; the transitions.  Every triathlon is the same (swim, bike, run) and every triathlon is different (course, length, temperature, elevation).  And crossing the finish line after a triathlon is simply a thousand times better than finishing a 10K.

But mostly, somehow the psychological image of the triathlon in my mind is the ultimate picture of health.  My health disappeared, and now I have it back.  The finish line says to me:  You’re ok.  You’re healthy.  You’re not going to die.

Why do longer triathlons?  Is it even possible for me?

I’ve only done Sprint (1 hour 20 minutes) and Olympic distance triathlons (about 2:50), but this year I am stepping it up and trying longer distances.  The reason I believe I can do this is Shad Ireland.   The first triathlete to complete an Ironman while 1) on dialysis and then later 2) after a transplant.  Shad is back on dialysis and doing 2 Ironman races in 2010.  Incredible.

Skinny tire mentality

With my new commuter bike, I keep dodging cracks in the road, and avoiding rough patches, despite having a thick tire (or medium thick, it’s hybrid-like).  I need to switch brain gears and start hitting the puddles, attacking the dirt, and welcoming the uneven pavement.

Training Journal

I’m tired every day now. I wake up with some amount of muscle soreness, and my energy level is definitely lower.  I don’t think I’ve had this feeling for a week straight since in high school swimming.  It’s pretty cool just being tired, and then still putting on your running shoes and getting in 3 more miles of running before bedtime.   And then waking up, dragging yourself to spin class, only to discover that the instructor you had hoped was teaching has a sub who has no concept of matching music to workout.  Ever try to keep up a 5 minute sprint to a Scorpions Rock Ballad?  It’s not fun.   Today:  30 minutes core, 30 minutes stretching, 45 minutes running.

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