Entry for June 26, 2008

Today is my half-birthday. I am 23.5. That’s old, people. I’ll soon be entering retirement.

What better way to celebrate this ripe old age than to sign up for a triathlon? I am 99% sure I’m going to sign up this weekend. The only unknown factor is that I have to confirm that Ken is knowledgeable about this adventure and agrees to drive me to and from and not complain that he didn’t know. This probably requires actually speaking to him. He reads emails and they go in his eyes and out somewhere without stopping to lodge in the remembrance part of his brain. Maybe it’s just my emails. Dude probably pays attention to everyone else’s.

Anyway, it’s a sprint triathlon: 400 m swim, 14ish mile bike, 5k run. It’s Sept 6, so I have 10 weeks and two days to get ready for it. It’s not quite the 13 weeks recommended, but I think I’m in good enough shape to be able to get by without those three extra weeks.

I think my family should come out and do it with me. They could form two teams of three and it would be totally awesome. However, most of them have school then. I just looked up Bethany’s new school schedule though. She totally doesn’t start till the end of September. That’s perfect. Right. Bethany, you will do the swim, Mom will do the bike, and Dad will do the run. Ok? Fantastic. If Mom’s not into the biking, I could probably talk Ken into it. Then we’ll go to Cedar Point. Everyone else will be SO jealous.

On a more serious note, I now have to cut into my delightful swimming practices to do some running and biking. This is saddening, but there are sacrifices in life. I don’t have any problem with finding a place to run, 5K isn’t that far and I already have an established loop that’s approximately the correct distance. Swimming – obviously I have the pool, and I can try some open water swimming at one of the parks on Lake Erie. It says they have swimming beaches. I wouldn’t particularly want to swim in the parts of Lake Erie that I’ve seen, but perhaps there are bits without tons of garbage floating around. However, I’m not entirely sure where to do the biking practice. The training program that looks good to me has timed intervals of swimming, biking, and running instead of distances. It took me 45 minutes to do 11-12 miles last weekend and I certainly wasn’t biking very quickly. So if I’m supposed to bike for 60 minutes, I’m not sure where to go. Probably 6 miles of the route I took (Which are in the middle, of course) would be good for training. Everywhere else was on roads and stop and go and not ideal. If I’m biking at >15 mph, which is I think reasonable, I’ll need to do that route 3 times to get 60 minutes of biking! And then I’d be on the wrong end of town. Hmm.

Another problem is equipment. I was planning on looking for an old road bike this summer anyway, so this’ll just make it all the more urgent. I have two swim suits, but after a summer of swimming in chlorine, I’m not going to risk going in to fresh water. I’ve done that before, and the suit didn’t survive well. It became rather scandalous, and if it wasn’t scandalous, it at least provided a ton of drag. So, I have to buy a new suit. But there’s a problem. There’s no way to change in a modern triathlon without public nudity. I’m pretty sure I’m not quite that adventurous. And I certainly won’t be able to run in a swim suit. I’m too… jiggly for that. There are special spandex suits for triathlons and I am rather surprised at how cheap some of them are. I’ve seen a few for like $80 which isn’t much worse than a full price swim suit. However, I’m not really rocking the spandex or spending $80 on something I’d wear once.
So… My current idea is to buy a workout top that will work in the water or a specially designed tri-top and wear a sports bra underneath, get some cheap two piece swimsuit bottoms, and pull on my running shorts for the bike and run. This will work as long as I don’t have chafing problems with my running shorts on the bike. It seems to me that wet thighs, improper shorts, and biking is a recipe for disaster. I’m not about to spend money on a pair of spandex bike shorts either. Maybe some baggy bike shorts, but then I have to run in them so it would be nice if they didn’t hang below my knee.

Oh well, these are not problems I have to deal with right now. Right now I have to start getting in shape. Tonight I run 20 minutes and maybe go for a swim afterwards to cool off. It’s hot again today.

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