I’ve been thinking about doing a triathlon, and the only reason I’m even considering such a bugfuck crazy endeavor is because I’ve been trying to stop selling myself short when it comes to physical activities. I’ve spent my entire adult life being convinced I’m too wimpy and uncoordinated to do anything athletic, and it’s only now at 35-damn-years-old that I’ve finally decided to start pushing the limits of what I think I’m capable of.

I credit the training gym I’ve been going to with helping me shift my way of thinking. Every week, they physically shove me out of my comfort zone, and ask me to do things I would never in a million years do on my own. Sprinting in intervals on a treadmill with the incline set at a level I can only describe as “vertical, only somehow more so”? Not really something I’d ever have the motivation to endure without a witness, you know? Ditto forty thousand triceps extensions in a row, or football drill running through a ladder, or trying to hit a target with a ball while furiously pedaling a stationary bike.

With each challenge, I realize that while I am in fact woefully clumsy and typically need about seventeen demonstrations before I can even attempt any new exercise that requires coordination or balance or the ability to remember my left from my right (just ask my workout partner Dawn, who every week politely refrains from doubling over and braying with laughter at my constant blundering), I can do this stuff. I may not do it with style or grace or even a modicum of personal dignity, but the realm of “impossible” is always much further away than I tend to think.

I’d like to mark a triathlon off my life list, not only because it sounds so badass (just the word triathlon is kind of hardcore, don’t you think? Triathlon. I practically need an energy bar just to type that shit), but because it seems like something that’s way too hard for me to do. And you know? I bet it’s not.

In order to meet this goal, not only do I need to work on my endurance (I’m thinking of how I felt during those two 5Ks I did earlier this summer, and trying to imagine what running after a swim/bike event will feel like. Probably like HOT SCREAMING DEATH, right?) and strategize the very best pose for showing off that sexy arm-marker number you wear during the race, but there’s also the small matter of, um, learning how to swim.

It’s not that I have no idea how to swim, really, it’s just that whatever technique I might have had when I was ten years old and learning how to flounder my way through the various strokes has long since exited my brain and muscle memory. I tried a brisk crawl while we were at the river last weekend, thinking that it would be one of those skills that comes back to you right away no matter how many years it’s been since you did anything other than a don’t-get-my-hair-wet! dog paddle, aaaaaand . . . not so much. I was spluttery and gaspy and my arms felt tired INSTANTLY and I was flailing and splashing and kicking these big loud blooshes of water without actually going anywhere and I couldn’t figure out what to do with my face and I got water up my nose and when I stopped I realized I’d propelled myself forward by maybe ten feet and I was exhausted. The only way I could complete the swimming section of a triathlon right now is if I did a leisurely back float across all 400 meters, perhaps while clinging to an innertube.

There’s a “Get Out There and Tri” (love it!) super-sprint triathlon in September, where you only swim 400 yards, ride 9 miles, and run 2 miles. I think I should give that one a try, and in the meantime, find a pool and have someone teach me how to do something other than act like a drowning cat when submerged in water. I’ve been wanting to take Riley to swimming lessons, so hey, maybe there’s a Remedial Mother-Preschooler special out there.

In conclusion:

• GOAL: TRIATHLON
• CHALLENGE: CANNOT SWIM FOR SHIT, ALSO AM SURE WOULD BARF/DIE RIGHT NOW IF RUNNING/BIKING WERE TO BE COMBINED
• SOLUTION: START GOING TO AQUATIC CENTER. TRY MINI RUN/BIKE COMBOS.
• MINI-GOAL: SUPER SPRINT TRIATHLON SEPTEMBER 19
• NOT SURE WHY I’M: TYPING IN ALL CAPS

Do you have any short-term/long-term goals you’re thinking about right now? What are you doing to accomplish them?

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Alyson
12 years ago

short term goal: running a 5K (the couch to 5K thing is still eluding me)

Long term goal: going back to school to get my MFA in creative writing.

Work I’m doing toward those goals????? Jack-Shit!!

Becky
Becky
12 years ago

I am so excited for you! Completing an endurance event is such an amazing feeling! One that I’ve become pretty addicted to. I’m going to participate in my fourth century ride in November.

Long term? I’d love to do an Ironman someday. First I’ve got to work on the running and swimming. At least I’ve got the cycling down, right?

Hilary
12 years ago

Short term & long term: get back into surfing and boxing. But I have a question! How do you negotiate with JB all the additional time to work out and also have time together as a family on the weekend?

I’m pretty maxed out on workout time, and I can’t figure out how to step it up without disrupting the delicate work/family/chore/husband’s workout time balance. How do you guys do it?

april
april
12 years ago

I signed up for a sprint tri in August (swim 400m, bike 12 mi, run 5K). I have no idea why I did that since a) I’m not a runner, b) I can’t do anything but the backstroke, and c) I didn’t own a bike. I’ve been training for about 3 months. When I started, I couldn’t run any further than 0.5 miles. I ran a 5K in June, and can consistently run 2-3 miles now. I am up to 7 miles on the bike, and do a badass backstroke in about 15 minutes. Pretty sure I’ll be the only backsstroker int he water, but what the hell. I just need to prove to my 3 year old self that I CAN DO THIS! Sign up for a sprint tri, and DO IT!

april
april
12 years ago

oops, that should say 33 year old self.

sooboo
sooboo
12 years ago

Triathlon does sound pretty badass, but you are a badass in that you pretty much do what you set your mind to. My short term goals are to get the kid I just inherited in school and settled into life. Long term goals are to write a script.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

That is a GREAT goal! I might just have to join you on that one, as that particular triathalon doesn’t sound too terribly NOT DO-DOABLE. It actually sounds kinda like it can be done! (I’m thinking about ME here- I am sure you will do it no problem!)

I think I might do it. Maybe. Yep…

Nic
Nic
12 years ago

I’ve thought about doing SheRox (.8k swim, 25k bike, 5k run) but seeing as how I don’t bike (last time I did I fell in a canal), run (fear of being knocked unconscious by large breasts) and am more of an Olympic grade couch sitter than anything, I haven’t. I think starting with one of the mini tris with the goal of finishing is the way to start. See if you like it. It’s a trial and still an amazing accomplishment.

Once you start swimming, you’ll probably like it, it is very soothing and solitary. And if not, perhaps you can use swimmies in a tri.

And my current goal is to lose weight. I’m meeting with a nutritionist and counting calories, but lo, it is hard.

Anya  Paull
12 years ago

Look into a fitness center that does “train for a Tri” my girlfriend has led many of these training’s and you do not need to belong to the gym (I am sure you pay more) but they teach you to swim/bike/run as part of the Tri and they seem so successful. I did a small Duathlon in college, 1.5m run and 10m bike and 1.5 run again and I thought I would kick ass since I was moderately in shape and heck only 25yrs old but it was sooo hard, as numerous people mentioned the transitions are harder than you think but it feels fabulous to finish!

Currently I am running and it is amazing. In Jr. High I was the person who cried when the day came each month to run a mile, I hated it, running made my head hurt. I tried it on & off for a few years and even had some great 10k’s but would never call myself a ‘runner.’ Now it is the best feeling to say “I run, a lot, and I flipp’in love it” I started running in January because I still had baby weight and my kiddo was 1.5 for crying out loud but the main reason was that when I run, I DON”T HAVE TO MIND THE CHILD. So running to me became a major break, one I craved and scheduled and now am addicted to. Running 6-8 miles a few times a week, have lost 30lbs, have changed the look of my legs/butt for the first time since I was 16yr, spend money on running gear that I love and it also feels amazing to have gone from 6 minute runs where I thought I would lose a lung to saying “oh yeah, I did 10miles today before 9 am” and not be lying! I am doing a half-marathon for the first time in 2 weeks and signed up for the Portland Marathon in October, OMG. So my goal is to just stay on this high, keep enjoying it, keep pushing myself, keep running.

Thanks for the motivation, your site got me off my ass after baby, took a year and a half but got off my ass, so victory there, score:-)

Jennifer
Jennifer
12 years ago

Good for you – you will love it. I did dozens of triathlons in my twenties, they are so much fun. In addition to the 3 sports, you get the fun thrill of trying to zoom through the transitions without “losing all that precious time” (Ha!) so you have stuff like your bike shoes already sitting in the pedals, you towel off while you’re running from the water to your bike, you swim in your cycling shorts so you don’t have to try to squeeze into them while your legs are wet, etc. etc.

The good thing about getting the swim over with right away is: yeah your arms will be tired, but YAY you don’t need them after you swim! The rest is all legs! And those 2 distances are so short, your legs will be up to the challenge by September.

The main thing to overcome if you’re not a strong swimmer is: make sure you can slog through the distance without feeling panicked. You’ll be in the water with other racers so there will be splashing and kicking and you need to feel confident enough that you don’t panic if you get some water up your nose or start gagging. Don’t worry about how fast the swim is – it’s the shortest relative time of the 3 sports, you’ll make up all your swim slow-time as soon as you get on the bike. (I was one of the fast swimmers, as described by Jenny at 2:29. I was always the first one out of the water and felt like a rock star. Then some of the cyclists started to pass me, and by the end of the run EVERYONE had passed me. See there, even the slow swimmers beat someone, and so will you!)

thejunebug
thejunebug
12 years ago

My long-term goal is to lose 130 lbs. W00t. I can do it – before I got married, moved away from every single person I know, and got a job working the graveyard shift in the middle of downtown city, I lost 50 lbs in six months. Of course, I gained it back once life kicked me in the ass. I’m being moved back to daytime life in about 2 weeks, though, and I’m super excited that I’ll be able to go back to the gym – and equally terrified that I won’t be able to handle it. Do you need a slightly terrified blogger for Bodies in Motivation? lol.

Tina
Tina
12 years ago

I’ve always been enamoured at the thought of a triathalon but the thought of going from swimming to running seems gross and squishy thankyouverymuch. I do understand the desire to find a new fitness challenge. I decided to do a major fitness challenge once a year since it gives me motivation to stick with my workout routine when the scale isn’t budging. Last year it was a 2.5 hour spin class. This year, it’s the Breast Cancer 3-Day (60 miles of walking AND sleeping in a tent? Crazy!) and next year I want to train for the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Yay for you for pushing boundaries and showing off your badass, fit, athletic self!

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

I wanted to do a half-marathon – they have something here called the Broad Street Run that is 13 miles and on flat land! I know I have the lungs for it but am trying to figure out how to keep my knees and other joints from shredding out.

Cookie
12 years ago

Good luck on the triathlon, I know you can do it. Even a mini one will be an accomplishment. Is swimming something your trainer could help you with? Even if they can’t get in a pool with you, maybe they could suggest a swimming routine or exercises that will help strengthen

the muscles used in swimming? One of my current short term goals was inspired by you. My goal is to run in at least one 5k this year. Another short term goal is to lose about 20lbs. My biggest long term goal is completing my degree. I’m going to school at night, and am due to finish some time next year. It’s very challenging to balance everything.

Cookie
12 years ago

Good luck on the triathlon, I know you can do it. Even a mini one will be an accomplishment. Is swimming something your trainer could help you with? Even if they can’t get in a pool with you, maybe they could suggest a swimming routine or exercises that will help strengthen the muscles used in swimming?

One of my current short term goals was inspired by you. My goal is to run in at least one 5k this year. Another short term goal is to lose about 20lbs. My biggest long term goal is completing my degree. I’m going to school at night, and am due to finish some time next year. It’s very challenging to balance everything.

Carrie
12 years ago

I was taking swim aerobics last summer, and it was THE BEST WORKOUT EVER. I highly recommend it–if you have a good instructor (and, oh! I did!). *sigh* I wish we could afford a gym membership so that I could go back. :-(

So…in lieu of the money to do the exercise I WANT, I’ve been hemming and hawing about starting to run. Then I heard my neighbor was doing the Couch to 5K. I thought: hey! Someone to run with! …And yet I haven’t gotten my butt off the couch yet. Maybe I’ll filter some of this inspiration you’re stirring up here and JUST DO IT.

You rock!

Lori
12 years ago

My goal is to swim 400 meters without having to stop every 50 to breathe heavily while trying not to get water in my nose. (I should also add the goal of actually dragging my ass to the pool more regularly toward achieving the original goal).

I’m so impressed with the fact that you are even thinking about trying a triathlon.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

To all the “College Swimmers Who Bought Bikes” — you know I am just being all “ewww,swimmers” because I am so insanely jealous of your fish like abilities, right? Right :)

JennB
12 years ago

My goal is to continue working out or getting a 20 minute walk in every day…. I’ve lost 10 lbs in the last couple of months doing this, and while 10 lbs isn’t HUGE it’s something. I have about 100 to go. And I want to continue being mindful about what I eat… not “YOU MAY NEVER HAVE THAT AGAIN” but “you can have that, you just can’t have that MUCH”. Reading the collection of essays called “Hungry” was very helpful – he likened his obesity and behavior with food to addiction, in that if he kept up that way, it would kill him. I’m not going so much for that kind of drama, but just to watch out for what I’m doing. I don’t want to be unhealthy or a food freak, but I want to enjoy my life and be able to be active.

I’m in awe of your triathlon goal. I’ll do the swimming part if you do the running part. I love to swim, and for a big person I’m good and fast too. I was on the swim team when you were forgetting how to swim.

Tracy
Tracy
12 years ago

This is going to be long. My goal this year was to run a half marathon. Specifically a half marathon that takes place this weekend in my hometown (flight purchased and everything). I wanted to do this for much the same reason you are talking about–seemed too hard and I wanted to prove I could do it. I started with the Couch to 5K program last October and then moved on to a 15-week half marathon program in April. Every week I was worried I wouldn’t be able to run 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc…miles and every week when I had successfully (and SLOWLY) completed the assigned distance, I felt so badass and proud. When I was able to complete the 12 mile training run two weekends ago, I thought I was home free since all the hard work was over except for the race. Not so much. Even though I felt fine throughout the 12 mile run, I pulled up lame afterwards. Could barely walk. X-ray says no major injury, but I have fluid on the back of my left kneecap which the doctor says should resolve itself…with 4 to 6 weeks of rest. I tried running a short distance after that b/c I am stubborn but it didn’t go well. With 1 week left to go before the race I had to accept that I couldn’t do it. I am devastated. I’m not at all trying to discourage you, but I tell you my story a.) because I need to come to grips with it and b.) because I implore you to take it easy and slow and don’t overdo and get advice from a professional about your training program/form. You’re in better shape than I was when I started my training so maybe it won’t be an issue, but I’d certainly talk to your trainer to make sure you have a good training plan in place that won’t leave you injured and weepy a week before your goal race. Good luck!

pavz
pavz
12 years ago

You definitely *can* do this. And I think you’d feel infinitely MORE badass than you do now after running up vertical slopes, throwing balls while pedaling, etc. Only be aware that 1) it’s not unusual or even considered bad form to barf when pushing yourself, and 2) getting some coaching in technique for the swim is a great way to focus on that piece of it. For the rest, you’ll be fine. I know. My wife is a kick-ass all-around wonderful woman and has done a couple of the sprint tris. She sets the bar for me constantly.

My current short term goal: survive the 10mi outrigger canoe race down in the Gorge next weekend, and paddle in the race-around-mercer island at the end of August

Longer term goal: paddle Catalina and who knows, maybe some day the Kaiwi channel (Molokai-Oahu).

jen
jen
12 years ago

I think it is all sorts of awesome that you are continually pushing yourself.

My short term goal is to get my arse out of bed and actually go for a run in the mornings. Long term: Marathon. Clearly, I have a long way to go.

Danielle
Danielle
12 years ago

For a few years I would get these thoughts of doing a triathlon, mostly because I thought those athletes were badass with their doing not one, but three sports in one event. Instead I signed up for a half-marathon after finishing my first 5k. I just ran 10k for the first time and the thought of me running 14, 16, and 21.1 km makes me both freaked and excited. Goals are great. I hope to do a triathlon next year. Good luck.

Adrienne
Adrienne
12 years ago

Long-time lurker, first time commenter. DO THE TRIATHLON! I will be doing my first tri on 8/23 and I started WAY behind where you’re at in terms of physical activity PLUS I couldn’t swim. I’m now 6 weeks out, I can consistently bike 10-12 miles, can now run a 5k (and I only need to run 2 miles for the tri) and I’m working on the swimming. I’m at least at the point where I think I can go the 250 yards without drowning although I look like a hot mess while I’m doing it. I can’t believe that I can do any ONE of these things much less all three of them. I have two children (4 and 1) and I’m so proud that I can juggle my training on top of working full time and taking care of my family. Plus, its something just for “me” away from everything else. Plus? I love the changes to my body!

I’m sure you have a ton of websites related to triathlons but I’ll share the link to the training group I’m a part of that provides some great information as well as a beginner triathlon workout schedule:
http://www.triitforlife.com
http://www.triitforlife.com/11-week.htm

YOU CAN DO IT!

Amy D
12 years ago

I just finished my second triathlon two days ago, and, yes, it was HOT SCREAMING DEATH. But if I can do it, you can do it. Especially that one you described in September. And I bet it won’t be 100 degrees up there when you do it. You’ll breeze through that and wonder what the big deal is about. Seriously, you can do it.

Kristin
12 years ago

First, I have to say I love your blog and read it all the time!

As for the swimming, you might consider joining a Masters swimming club. I was a *terrible* swimmer and joined one years ago and it was the best thing. They tend to be a mix of skill level, so don’t be intimidated. Good Luck!

http://www.usms.org/lmsc/

Tara
Tara
12 years ago

Wow, you inspire me!

Short-term goal is just to get fit & healthy, and I’m on track to get where I want to be in a couple of months. I think.

Long-term goal is to branch out and really make fitness a part of my everyday life, not just a morning workout sort of thing. Swimming is one thing I’ve been thinking of adding (and WHOA, yes, that is a workout–I did one round-trip lap at my local pool and nearly passed out afterwards!). And maybe biking, since now that my son is up to two wheels, it’s something we could do together. And–who knows? I just know that a lot of ways to stay active are fun and not like exercise at all, and I’d like to enjoy myself while maintaining a good level of fitness. I think it will stick longer that way.

Part two of the long-term goal is still fuzzy, but I think I want to change careers entirely and focus on something fitness/nutrition-related, to help others find the joy and the much-improved health that I’ve found. Part of that might entail becoming a certified group fitness instructor and/or personal trainer, but I’m still noodling over it. I’m also intrigued by the PE4life concept (www.pe4life.org), which is changing the whole focus of phys ed in schools to “fitness for life” rather than “hey, try not to get picked last to practice a sport you will NEVER EVER PLAY AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE.”

Anyway–you’ll kick that triathlon’s ass. Go for it!

Erin
12 years ago

I myself am training for a sprint triathlon in September. A guy at our local bike shop recommended totalimmersion.com for swimming tips. They’ve got some helpful downloadable pdfs. One of the tips is: To become more comfortable breathing while swimming, practice breathing in the shower while water is running over your face.

I’m not afraid of the water, but if anyone ever wants to torture me, know this: water boarding would be an unnecessary method. Just put me in the shower and make me get my face wet and I start to panic.

So basically, this website has been helpful.

Kim
Kim
12 years ago

Two links for you: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/ and for the swimming: http://www.totalimmersion.net/

Stacey
12 years ago

I don’t normally comment, but this is one of my favorite topics. My goal in life right now is to get pregnant, but since that seems to be completely out of my control, I do triathlons instead. I just got third place in my age group at a tri on Saturday, and let me tell you, judging by how fit you LOOK, you can finish a tri. One caveat – I’m a swimmer. I’ve heard that the swim leg is what keeps a lot of people from even attempting a tri. Consider joining a master’s swim team if there’s one nearby. Being a strong (or at least competent) swimmer is, I think, the key to having a happy triathlon experience.

cat
cat
12 years ago

I’m doing my first Triathlon the end of September. I didn’t even think I could run until a couple years ago. I was walking on the treadmill next to my running friend and the little preset program I was on slowed way down going up a ‘hill’. I kept upping the speed because it was too slow but then all of a sudden, it started to go downhill. I HAD to start running to keep from flying off the back of that treadmill and I was running so hard I couldn’t figure out how to turn anything off. And then after a minute or two, I was like, wait, I am totally doing this.

After that I run a bunch of 5ks and even a half marathon (which was hell by the way) and though my friends are all running marathons, I have no desire to do so. But I have always wanted to do a triathlon.

Good luck to you!

You are totally badass enough to do this!

Pam
Pam
12 years ago

I did a sprint tri a few years ago. I kicked ass on the bike, and then got passed by everyone on the run, even the lone entrant in the 70+ category. I would hardly call what I did in the water “swimming” – it was more like a struggle to not drown. But the best part was the end of the run, where the spectators lining the side of the course would shout for you by name, which was printed extra large on your race number for that very reason. And then the announcer would call out your name as you crossed the finish line, and everybody would cheer. SO WONDERFUL.

Two resources for you:

BeginnerTriathlete.com

“Slow, Fat Triathlete” by Jayne Williams. (Even though you’re not fat. But she has tons of great advice for newbies.)

Kathy
12 years ago

Best swimming tip I’ve ever gotten: when doing the basic crawl, keep your chin up, literally. Your hairline should be at the water line. Feels awful darn awkward until you get used to it, but it helps to make you more streamlined, so you can go faster with less effort!

Anyabeth
12 years ago

Swimming lessons! I took adult swim lessons at the Y last fall and it was brilliant. Especially if you are like me and could swim well enough to not drown but not efficiently enough to do it for any length of time. Now I can swim a mile without stopping which is a huge achievement for me. Sixty bucks and a little dignity left at the bottom of the pool. Very small price to pay.

Kath
12 years ago

Oh yes. 49 of them in fact. I turned 49 yesterday and a commenter challenged me to create a list of 49 things before I turn 50. http://www.soeursdujour.com/2009/07/49-things-before-im-50.html

I was totally surprised at the list when I was done and am going to try to get it done.

Advice for you? Be thankful you’re starting your self-care and fitness routines now … it sucks to be thinking about them 14 years later and wishing I had done something earlier. I’m in not bad shape and I look pretty good, but I could be way better. Ah well, no time like the present, right?

You my dear, are an inspiration.

I know you can do it.

Kathleen

Eliza
12 years ago

You can totally do it. The distances you’re looking at for your first one are totally do-able. From the 2 triathlons I’ve done, just in the past few months, so I speak as a beginner, it’s been evident that there are people of ALL abilities there in each of the three sports. It’s super hodgepodge-y and that’s part of the fun and awesomeness of it. The swimming is the best part for me, but if it’s not your strong suit, it’s over so quickly (as others have mentioned) that it’s like a mere blip in the grand scheme. I love, love, love, love triathlons, apparently, and have 2 more coming up in the next month. If you want to talk turkey, just drop me a line.

erin
erin
12 years ago

400 yards is the equivalent of swimming back and forth in a 25 yard pool 16 times — 8 laps, 16 lengths. If you are starting from a beginner level, you should definitely work with a coach/teacher. I’ve done triathlons and if the swim is in open water rather than in a pool, you actually need to train for a longer distance, because you won’t be swimming in a straight line. You will also want to get a brightly colored swim cap in case you get overwhelmed by the “pack” sensation of the open water swim — it makes you easier to see if you need assistance from the monitors and life guards. My first triathlon I did as a relay. I did two of the three events (swim and run) and it was still a lot of fun! Maybe you could find a friend who is a strong swimmer for the Sept event and train to do all three for a later event?

Kate
12 years ago

Completing a sprint triathlon is on my life list but I too am terrified of the swimming.

My little boy just turned 6 months old and I desperatly needed something to kick my ass in gear, so my husband and I have decided to train for a 1/2 marathon in October. I’m scared to death of this, but this post reminds me that with a little determination our bodies are capable of pushing the limits. Thanks for the boost!

Chrissy
12 years ago

Adding several more DO ITs! to the pile. Ready? Do it do it do it do it! You’re more than capable, and you will rock it.

I’ve desperately been wanting to get into triathlons since graduating college this past spring also ended my 12-year competitive swimming career (OOF bittersweet.) The only thing stopping me is well, being a brokeass recent-college-grad who can’t afford a decent bike right now. And I used to be really freaked out by fish (oh people thought that was all very har de har har, with being a swimmer and all, but we swim IN POOLS, yo) and this past January I swam my first open water mile while on a training trip with my team and GODDAMN did that feel good. I’m so antsy for another open water race, and so excited for you to venture into uncharted, challenging and what I’m sure will be SO satisfying fitness territory.

And a note on goggles, since I just saw your tweet and am apparently offering a laundry list of all things remotely tri-related? I know you already ordered them so uh, well anyway–I just wanted to recommend the Speedo Women’s Vanquishers. After trying out TONS of styles way back as swimming youngen (youngin’?) they’re the only ones that stuck. Virtually every girl at every meet I’ve ever been to wears them. It’s a personal choice, of course, but I just wanted to let you know they come highly recommended, for whatever that’s worth.

Rock on, Sundry!

PS. I could also go on for days about how great swimming is, about how it ran me through the gamut of elation and deflation and back again, about my sick love for the extra hard, extra long 8,000 yd work outs that kill you but then you float on your back at the end all FUCK YEAH, but I’ll stop myself. But if you need that? It’s here.

monkey
12 years ago

OMG, I actually was asking a triathlete the other day if they had “lazymans” for the not-so-ironwilled amongst us. After my testing stuff is done I’m going to try to make this type of event a goal.

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

yes, Pam is correct!

Beginnertriathlete.com

jessica
jessica
12 years ago

a triathalon is also my long term goal, but before I can acheive that, my short term goal is to basically learn how to run. outside. like *real* runners do. See, I LOVE swimming, I LOVE biking, and oddly enough, I enjoy the hell out of huffing and puffing on a godforsaken elliptical machine, and I’ll even put my time in on the treadmill for a change of pace every now and then, but HOTDAMN do I HATE “real” running. I cramp, I ache, I can’t breathe right, I’ve even been known to cry. But, I really want to get over this. I mean, my 55 year old mother runs marathons, and she only started doing that 10 years ago. I know it isn’t impossible. So, yeah, I’m making the commitment to myself to get over my…whatever…and just get out there and run. uh, any tips on getting over the “I CAN”T DO IIITTTTT” part? probably just “go effing do it”, right? yeah, damn, I thought so.

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

You are bad ass so I’m sure you can do it! But if you’re not up for swimming yet, what about finding a triathalon where you kyak instead? We have one in Sacramento..Eppie’s Great Race. If not…just get in the water and keep practicing. It’s easy (ok…I swam competitively for 14 years, taught lessons and lifeguarded after that and can still do a mean butterfly when I want to….BUT I can barely walk without tripping over my own feet!) We all have our issues.

Joanne
Joanne
12 years ago

You have to! Big part of why I’m doing one is the number on the shoulder – it just seems so… hard core.
The swimming is do-able – get some good lessons. And if it is open water get used to pool swimming before you try sea. They’re totally different.
And a tri is no different to 30DS – level 1 sucks – by the end you can do all 3. And it’s awesome.
(Also here you have to use wetsuits for open water swims – highly recommend them – swimming is easier and they keep you afloat if you get tired)

Melissa D.
Melissa D.
12 years ago

Wow – go for it! I want to run a 5k soon and also trying to get pregnant with my third…could be conflicting goals I guess. Also want to finally finish college….I’ll get there! :)

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

I’m taking the Bar exam in 11 days. After being a waitress, maid, dishwasher, and youth mentor for years, I am just about to jump through the final hoop in creating a self-sufficient life for myself.

Next major thing on my life list is to get myself in shape. My confidence has arrived. Time for the body to finally show it on the outside, too.

Thanks for being so inspiring!

tracey in toronto
tracey in toronto
12 years ago

most pools have “stroke improvement” class (teehee). i’m sure jb would approve

Chanell
Chanell
12 years ago

I applaud you! I just started getting really into exercise; I spent the first 23 years of my life overweight and now that I’ve shed some pounds (still not at my goal) I find it easier to push myself to try harder things. The hubby and I are, at the moment, in love with mountain bike riding! I thought there was no way in hell I could go a mile but after two weeks, we’re now going 10+ miles every evening. It’s a good feeling to push yourself! I think the swimming lessons are a great idea as well; I took some last summer at a local rec center and was a decent swimmer by the end of the 3 week lesson. Good luck!

Leah
12 years ago

Just wanted to say that Simon didn’t really swim before he started training for triathlons, and by the end of the season he’d done a bunch of sprints, a couple of Olypmics, and one insane, three-hour Escape from Alcatraz without dying. (And then he jacked up his back and hasn’t done anything in the two years since!) But! He did learn to swim, and that was my point.

Oh, and my goal is to slowly wean myself from eating a giant bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats right before bed and instead have a giant bowl of plain Shredded Wheat. Aim high!

.303 Bookworm
.303 Bookworm
12 years ago

DO IT! Both the ‘Get out there and Tri’, the taking Riley to swimming lessons AND the remedial swimming lessons for you. If you spend any time at all on or near water then been able to swim is a ‘must have’ skill. Hopefully your life will never depend on it, and it will simply add to the many enjoyable moments you spend in lakes, rivers, the sea. But whatever your reason, please do it!

On a lighter note, here in NZ they have ‘She’ triathlons each year which sound similar to the one you’re talking about. The idea is to give it a go but I’ve a number of friends who’ve found it so satisfying they’ve gone onto bigger events – one of my friends is currently training for a ‘Iron-woman’ event – truely hardcore!

Have fun!