Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why not Tri?

First came the running, then came triathlon. It was an idea that simmered in the back of my mind for over a year as I heard some of my fellow grad students talk about their training and experiences. I went to one of their races and got to see it happen. To actually watch so many people as they complete each leg of a triathlon is quite moving. It's like you can see the challenges they've had to overcome in their facial expressions. I got the same feeling watching the Boston Marathon this year-- I'm a sap, I teared up!

As I began to realize my limits with running, the sport of triathlon really appealed to me. What can I say, I enjoy competition :) Without any commitments, I began to take some spinning classes at the gym, and tried swimming at the pool. I am NOT a swimmer, so it took awhile for me to feel even remotely comfortable in the water. When it came to biking outside, I had some issues, as the bike from my past was too small and hurt my knees (proper fit is important!). But each day things got easier.

A year went by, me thinking about doing a tri, worrying about my knees, wondering if I could do it. Now I feel like this was a year wasted, but I'm not going to lie--I was apprehensive! Finally it started to come together and I decided to give it a tri (haha). These articles from Runner's World and Womens Health Magazine provided alot of helpful information and gave me guidelines for my own training. It is a commitment to train for swimming, biking, and running, but it doesn't have to consume all of your free time!

The first race? I chose a women's-only sprint tri in Philly, appropriately called SheROX. (They have now teamed with Danskin to run events in multiple cities, check the website for one near you!) A sprint distance tri ranges anywhere from 1/4-1/2 mi swim, 10-16mi bike, and 2-3.1mi, depending on the course. I would definitely recommend a women's only race for a first event--not only did they have a mentor program for first-timers, but the support on race day was unbelievable. I loved every minute of it and was so thrilled by the new experience!! So... what are you waiting for??

Are you ready? (pre-race, SheRox 2007)

Ok, well, this post is turning out to be longer than anticipated, so I will try to compile the helpful tips I got along the way into another post. In the mean time, what questions do you have??? Is anyone else training for a tri right now? (I'm signed up for the Danskin New England at the end of July, looking for some more races) What is your biggest worry? I know I had quite a few! Would you be interested in seeing what I actually did for my training? In the mean time you can check out what college student and pro triathlete Jen Perez has to say in her interviews by Jenn, Ashley, Caitlin, and Meghann!

24 comments:

Kelly said...

WOW! This post could not have come at a better time for me!
I just started training for my first sprint triathlon a few weeks ago. Guess what is bothering me, my knees! I also think it is from biking but I'm almost positive my bike fits so I don't know what the issue is!
I would love to know what your training was! I feel like I have a million questions so I'll get back to you with them :)

eatingbender said...

You are so inspiring! Thank you so much for including links to those articles. I am definitely going to check those out.

"SheROX" is an awesome name! And thanks for the link to my interview with Jen Perez. It was so much fun to do that - and I can't wait to see your tips you've learned along the way!

Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog the other day! I'm so glad I "know" you and I need to come to Boston sometime. I've never been there, first of all, and it would be a pleasure to meet you!

Dawn said...

you go girl! I'll stay at home and do a baking triatholon. OK? LOL
My knees bite, and I can't run because of my big boobs. LOL But I'll cheer you on!

Erica said...

You're awesome! I tihnk its so great that you took on this incredible challenge. Very cute picture of you. I'd def like to consider doing one someday. Josh and I plan to get some bikes this fall/winter, so maybe I will start working towards one myself?

Anna said...

Wow! good for you. I've played with the idea of triathlons before, but for now I like to enjoy each sport separately :-)

Camilla said...

Wow! I am so proud of you! You do not know how much you have inspired me with this post--have been thinking about such a feat for a long time. And now you have done it--wowee!!! You go girl!

Katrina said...

You are A-MAZING! I can't imagine completing a triathalon. I can't even ride a bike without hitting trees, rolling over the hoods of parked cars, or ending up sprawled in the bushes of some strangers front yard. (yes... all of these things have happened to me!)

Reeni♥ said...

You go girl! How awesome! I am trying to get back into running after many months away from it. I would definitely be interested in how you train, if your willing to share. And it would give me even more motivation and inspiration than you've just given me, I need a lot right now!

burpandslurp said...

You're so strong and amazing! I admire your vitality and passion.
question: how do you fit in all the training into a busy schedule?

Meg said...

Very inspiring! You should be proud of yourself!

Maria said...

My hubs has done tri's before. We might do one together, not this summer though. Not a good idea with my health issues, but hopefully next summer!! You rock!

Emily said...

I admire you so much for this. What an accomplishment!

Esi said...

Super cool. I have always been a swimmer and hoping to become a runner soon!

Fit Mommy said...

Yes, do TRI. It's great. Just posted this link on another blog. Sage has written lots of free plans.
http://www.sagerountree.com/sagetree/Coaching/Training.html

Miz said...

love the post! a friend did her first tri this weekend and is SMITTEN.
Entirely.
For some reason Im afraid of the biking piece.
the transition.
getting knocked into.

shellyfish said...

My podiatrist keeps trying to talk me into joining his tri-club. I'm a runner (well, a recovering runner after breaking my foot/damaging ligaments in a bicycle accident last November). I just need a partner to get me into the pool...I tried a few times, but I know I need to stick with it more.

Amy said...

I'm thinking of doing a tri in October, but I'm not a swimmer at all. Did you follow a plan for swimming or did you take it slow, just getting comfortable doing laps? I'm pretty sure I could do four laps right now and that's IT. How long did it take for you to get comfortable in the water?

Joanne said...

For some reason I forget that you were a triathloner, that's so exciting about your upcoming race! I am a horrible horrible horrible swimmer, so doing a tri would just be unfeasible for me. I AM looking to do some more biking this summer though. It's so much more ecologically efficient to bike to the store rather than drive (plus its good exercise).

Jess said...

I hope your foot gets better soon and you rock the tri. What's wrong with it? At least you have biking and swimming in the meantime--that's the benefit of being a triathlete.

Erin of Care to Eat said...

Shannon, this was a bombin' post! You are a totally inspirational doctor! I mean, how much more achievement oriented can you get, right? I love it!
And I love the picture.
I have no desire to do races, tris, or anything, but ya know!

Elra said...

What a great challenge, good luck to you. Love the photo of you there. Very pretty looking....

Kerstin said...

Yay for the tri post! I think it's amazing you are a postdoc working super long hours AND you manage to have an awesome blog AND do tris! Can't wait to read more about your experiences :)

Annie said...

How exciting...
I can't even imagine doing a triathlon. I bike in the summer and walk/jog(since it really isn't running in my book) and haven't swam in years.
Sounds like so much fun though. Good for you!

Annie said...

That looks absolutely scrumptious!!!!!

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