Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Changing My Life!

Wow!  Have things changed since my last post in January.  Back then (it seems like an eternity), I posted on the weight-loss journey and the beginnings of getting fit.  "Getting fit" translated into walking about 4 miles every day in January.  Then it hit me.  A crazy idea I had years ago when my marriage was falling apart and I was transitioning into becoming a single mom.  How about a triathlon?  No!  That's crazy!  I can bike, and I'm a decent swimmer, but I can't run.  Nope!  Not me!  When I was a teen-ager, I could sprint, but I've never been an endurance athlete.  I'm a fast-twitch muscle kind of girl, right?


So we signed up for a couple's triathlon in Austin in July and started training.  Which has led to a crazy bunch of stuff.  I decided I had to learn to run.  I found a cool Couch-to-5K app for my phone and started in... 2.5 weeks before the Shamrock Shuffle 5K which we signed up for, just to get a taste of what a race was like.  I was worried like all get-out that I'd blow the 5K, even though I knew I could run-walk the darn thing, if I had to.

Okay, so I ran-walked the darn thing.  It was cold and overcast the morning of the 15th. We headed out early for George's favorite pre-activity breakfast of a potato-and-egg breakfast taco and Starbucks. I was so cold when we got there that I didn't want to take off my jacket.  Finally, just before the race started, I decided that I'd be okay without it and we stashed it in the car.  We started at the back of the pack, ran through the starting gate and off we went!

Real slow.  At least it seemed like we were going really slow.  We did run/walk it, but I made sure to run up the one killer hill on the course. I've hated that hill for years. I hated riding my bike up that hill years ago. This time I was planning to kick that hill to the curb, no matter how the rest of the run went. So I did.  So there!

We finished the race and headed over to grab water (me), a beer (George) and goodies. The early times were in, but we didn't bother checking. There was no way either of us could have done very well, so we didn't bother. In fact, we were both chilled and decided to leave before the award ceremonies. Which turned out to be a mistake because...

I medaled. Which I still can't believe. I took second in my age category.  I was five minutes behind first-place and third-place was five minutes behind me. For some insane reason, I really, really wanted that medal, so we went to the store to pick it up a couple of days after the race. I don't have an official photo of it, but here I am with my Very First (and probably Only) Medal.

A New Bike
Well, running is all well and good, but there are two more events to a triathlon. After much research and soul-searching about joining a gym, we decided that swimming at our local school-district athletic complex was the best answer for training for the swim. Not much exciting there. No, the excitement was about the bike. A decade ago, both George and I were avid cyclists. However, I've never felt comfortable on my road bike. This had deteriorated to the point where I was almost afraid to get back on her. I rode my hybrid. We rode the tandem. And I was still afraid of the bike. There have been some great advances in bike fit these days and I decided to take advantage of it. I made an appointment to have a fit analysis done.  You know it's going to be an expensive event when every wrench in the shop watches you walk the bike in and immediately says "It's too big for you."  Yeah.  Right there. Something I'd suspected since I bought the bike 15 or so years ago.

The guy doing the analysis (a great guy, by the way) figured that we could get the fit better, if not perfectly dialed in. We opted to have the refit done and left the bike there. And then thought about it. Honestly, knowing what I do now, I probably wouldn't have spent the money.  But I didn't know that then. So we started looking at other bikes just to look, you know. To make a long (fun!) story short, we bought me a new bike. I cannot tell you what a joy it is to have a well-fitting bike! My old bike does fit better since the refit, but the new bike?  Wow!  We bought me a Specialized Ruby Sport, a women's-specific design, carbon-fiber bike. Definitely not the top of the line, but definitely a good bike. And  joy to ride!
And here she is!  Meet Terpsichore, Kori for short. She's named for the Greek Muse of dance and dance music. She dances along the road happily.

We've gone back and forth about a triathlon bike. For the moment, I'm going to ride Kori in both the Couple's Triathlon in July and the SpaGirl Triathlon in a few days.  We'll see how it goes from there.

So did you notice?  I signed up for a second triathlon. The SpaGirl tri is a women's-only short distance (a bit shorter than a sprint triathlon) race. It's held at the Mariott resort north of town. The swim is in their "Lazy River," a glorified pool with Clear Water!! The bike ride is 10-miles with a few hills, but shouldn't be too big a deal. The run is 2 miles and, by golly, I've been training! We'll see how it goes, but I think I can do it. Anyway, a triathlon with mimosas instead of beer afterwards?  Yeah!  I'm in!

So there's running class, finishing the C25K (Couch to 5K) program, running shoes, swim practice, the Fiesta Wildflower bike rally (42 miles) and a major life change. We run 3 miles six mornings out of seven. We try to get in a bike ride most days and 2 or 3 swims a week. I've been slowed down by an ear infection. We're trying to keep up our demonstration schedule on top of training. But we're doing it.

And I signed us up for two half-marathons.  Yeah.  13.1 miles each. I can only run 3 miles at the moment, but hey!  I couldn't even do that two months ago, so I betcha I can train up to run 13.1 by the end of October.

I've got lots of other news, but I'll post this for now and add more later.
See you out there!!