Running, we’re taking a bit of a break.
My last good race was in October 2015. I’ve struggled with running since. There has been a few good races and workouts since, certainly, but overall, it’s been akin to banging my head against the wall.
There many possible reasons; and I’ve written about them. Now I want to look forward. This is the summer of triathlon.
I felt like I made it official with the purchase of a wet suit. It’s hard to believe I’m now a person with a road bike and clip-in shoes and a wet suit. For years, that seemed so far out of reach for me, like it was something I couldn’t do until I was in my 30s, and yet, here I am.
My first triathlon, a sprint distance race, is Saturday. I’m planning on Olympic distance triathlons in July and August, and then a half ironman in September because why not? I can do hard things.
I haven’t felt this excited about athletic things in a while. Or scared. More on that later.
Triathlon is a fresh slate. There are no PRs hanging over my head. My expectations are lower for myself because I’m wiser than when I started running marathons in 2011. No time goals going in; I want to finish and have a great experience and push myself.
With something new, you improve in leaps and bounds. There are so many small victories, and that’s exciting. I’ve been running for 18 years, and it gets more and more difficult to get better.
As a bonus, triathlon training will me a better athlete overall, and I think it could help when I try for a marathon PR in November.
For now, it’s a new adventure. And I’m scared. The kind of scared that might leave me sleepless tonight.
I believe in myself. I believe I can go the distance. That doesn’t change the fact that my lizard brain doesn’t want me to go swim in a smelly, fairly shallow lake with a bunch of other people in a buoyant wet suit.
It’s OK. Races are supposed to be scary. The best thing we can do with this kind of fear is walk right to it. Fear can be refreshing.