Less Strides, More Swimming

As I’m nurturing the little pain in my ass (hammy insertion) so it doesn’t grow into a big one, I’ve been spending a little more time on my bike and especially in the pool this week…which has got me thinking.

which is dangerous

Endorphin fueled recovery thinking is the most dangerous kind

Endorphin fueled recovery thinking is the most dangerous kind

As the bike and pool once again become less scary I find myself contemplating/considering/punishing myself with thoughts of dabbling with the triathlon thing.

I see a huge value – forced cross-training, trying something new, stretching out of my comfort zone, listening to the bazillion people who say (wow, you’re really built like a biker…whatever that means), etc.

Then I think about the fears and pretty much end those thoughts right there.

-The Cost:  Uh…so much expensive equipment, even if I do buy a used wetsuit the bikes cost as much as my car and require maintenance, and parts and junk.  My errand-running, kid chasing hybrid bike probably wouldn’t cut it in the big bad tri-world making the entry point VERY steep for me to even get involved in the sport.

-The Complication:  Remember all those expensive bike parts?  You have to know how to use them, to fix things, you have to set stuff up in transition areas, etc.  For a girl who’s happy to get her underwear on every day (let’s not even shoot for rightside out and not put on backwards), this seems like a lot of moving parts to coordinate.

-The Fear:  While I’m not a great runner, I’m good enough to know what’s going on, and I kind of like that.  I’m not a crazy seasoned vet, but I am that “crazy running lady” at school drop offs who random parents approach with questions – I kind of like being my local barely resident expert.  To start as a novice in a crazy competitive sport freaks the snot out of me.

Have you ever tried a new sport?

What was your biggest fear when you started running?

9 thoughts on “Tri-ing

  1. I understand what you’re saying about being intimidated by trying out a new sport. I have to say that triathletes are some of the most supportive and helpful people I know. Even more so than runners, they know what it’s taken to get you to the starting line of a race (i.e., guts, a lot of training, a lot of organization, a lot of research — half of the success in a triathlon is showing up well-trained with all of your gear in order). While triathletes are extremely competitive in general, it’s more against themselves than other triathletes — sure I want to do well in my age group, but I will gladly offer tips to someone who’s nervous about her first open water swim. The sport can be super expensive and you can spend thousands of dollars on gear, but you can also buy a used road bike that’s not fancy but is respectable. There are always deals on wetsuits — if you buy a new one without a 50% off discount code, you’re paying way too much. 🙂 SwimBikeMom runs a site for selling used gear — I don’t have experience with it but it’s worth investigating for some deals. Go for it!!

      • This is a great event in late October for a first open water swim tri — all women, a protected cove in Mission Bay for the swim: It used to be SheROX but they’ve changed the name. I’ve done the race twice and loved it both times.

        Road bikers can be a seemingly crazy aggressive crowd, but frankly I think that’s only because they are literally fighting for their lives out on the open road where it’s car vs. bike. I mainly ride on trails (Santa Ana River Trail is amazing) and I love it.

      • Oh thanks for the head’s up. I might have to consider it. I totally dig the local trail (Aliso Creek) since I’m scared to death of cars on my bike! Probably more afraid of that than going fast 🙂 Are you doing it this year?

  2. I am not doing the San Diego race this year because I’ve got the Long Beach Marathon the weekend before. I kind of did things in reverse — first sprint tri, olympic tri, first half marathon, sprint tri, olympic tri, first marathon, second marathon and now on my third marathon. 🙂 Right now I do not have another tri on my radar — I’ve got to work on my open water swimming skills. I do great in practice but the adrenaline of the race gets to me every time! I am determined to get better. In the meantime, biking is my favorite part of the race!

  3. P.S. If you’re not ready to take on an open water tri in October, then I recommend the HITS Palm Springs the first weekend in December. Even better than the San Diego race, it’s got a fresh water reservoir for the swim. 🙂 (It can be cold and windy or you can get lucky and it’s like glass). The race is mixed gender but also a very good group of people, and a beautiful course. Plus if you want to splurge you can stay at La Quinta resort and the kids will have a blast.

  4. When I started running, I was young and silly and not afraid of much (and in the gym on a treadmill, actually).

    But last summer, I decided I was going to conquer my fear of cycling, and set out to explore as many of the bike rides in a book entitled something like “50 Los Angeles Bike Rides”. I didn’t get to them all, but I explored a LOT of new places, got a bit more comfy in the saddle (both urban and suburban riding), and changed my first on-the-ride flat (using a CO2 cartridge!). Although I still don’t know as much as I would like, and I’m still a scaredy cat about some cycling things – the experience helped.

    So I guess my advice is to just get started, one little bit at a time. You don’t have to know everything at once!

      • So the ACTUAL name is “Where to Bike: Los Angeles”, by Jon Riddle & Sarah Amelar. I highly recommend it. The rides are anywhere from 5-50 miles, with lots of opportunities to connect them (or not), extremely clear directions, and accurate ratings of difficulty/terrain/etc.

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