Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Next Phase

Now, after a brief respite for the holidays it's time for me to start the next phase of my goal. I achieved the Deadman2Marathonman but that's not the name of this blog. As soon as I had finished my marathon I recall thinking to myself "why would anyone ever do that a second time?" But, I guess like child birth, the immediate pain of the experience passes and you start thinking about the next one. In this case, the next one is a triathlon.

I'm even more determined to attempt it than before. A couple of weeks ago NBC broadcasted the Kona Ironman on TV. I found it very riveting and couldn't stop watching. It made me want to do it.

Several things have to happen to start the path to the Ironman. 1) I have to gage my abilities in the water. Though I swam in high school, lifeguarded in my youth and surf when I can; I'm not sure how well I'll do in the water. 2) I need a bike, and all of the equipment that goes with it. Running was an easy activity to fund; it just takes the shoes. Biking is a whole new level. 3) I need to start training for the event. Finding time for a workout on 3 sports is 3 times as hard and fare more complicated to coordinate while trying to work too. And, 4) I have to pick and sign up for an event.

I’m happy to report that I've about completed all 4 things. First, I thought I'd run up to the YMCA and see just how far I can swim. It was a cold rainy night during our deluge here in California. I felt bad for the lifeguards because, when I got there, they were hunkered down inside as no one was in the pool. I figured that they are getting paid anyways; they might as well have to do something. So I went outside to the pool to start swimming with my own personal lifeguard in tow.

At first it felt pretty natural but I quickly started feeling like I was drowning. My breathing, which is difficult when I run, is nearly impossible while swimming. I don't know if it's old age or as a result of my accident but I really don't like the feeling of water in my mouth. I never notice it before but now while swimming and breathing I really get a lot of water that has to be dealt with. Unfortunately, a lot of it got swallowed and, as a drowning victim, I can tell you that it is a very uncomfortable feeling.

I pushed on anyway and my breathing got better but I still had to take several large refilling breaths every once in awhile in order to originate myself. In the end, I was able to swim a mile in about a half hour. I even finished my swim with a couple of lengths doing fly. Not a very good fly stroke but a good attempt for my part. It's good to know that my shoulder is up for the job. It's still not as strong as it was before my accident but it gets better all of the time.

Second, Santa was good to me and got me my bike for Christmas. Everything just worked out so well, in that, I just happen to mention to someone that I was going to look at a bike I was thinking of buying. He told me that he had one for sale himself. It was the right size, type and price so I got it just then. Of course the bike is just the half of it. This is where sponsors would come in very handy. I had to get special shoes that go with the special cleats I needed to buy that go with the special pedals on the bike. Next, I had to get the biking cloths, including padded pants, jersey, gloves and an helmet. I have no idea why helmets can vary in cost from $29 to $200 plus as they all have to meet the same safety standards but I tried to get the least expensive I could. Well not the least, as that would have been a women's helmet. Don't ask me why there's a difference between men’s and women’s, something to do with pony tales.

Next, I started my training. I found a site on the web with a beginners level triathlon schedule to use. It mixes multiple days, activities and number of workouts a day. I plan on starting at the New Year. I tried out my bike for the first time yesterday. I went 20 miles in just over an hour. I did get passed once but for the most part I did the passing. I’m paying the price for it today though, the padded shorts don’t offer that much in the way of cushion and I’m feeling the sore muscles that don’t normally get used.

I thought I’d try to run after my ride to see how the transition goes. That was an eye opening experience. I’m hoping that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew because when I went to run, I could hardly move. My legs felt like two large over inflated led balloons. I could hardly jog down the block. I’m sure that its going to take a little building up to.

Finally, I’ve decided to enter the Oceanside ½ Iornman race on April 2nd. The race is already sold out but I found someone wanting to sale his entrance. That puts me only 14 weeks out so I have to jump into the middle of the training schedule I found. I’m hoping that, with just having come off my marathon training, the fact that I could swim the mile with little effort and the relative ease of the bike ride; I can string them all together to at least complete the race. Next week will be the tale. I’ll keep you posted.

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