My First Triathlon Part 1: How Did This Happen?

author : peteo
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Well it is mid-life crisis time. I could get a mistress but I still think my wife is hot. Or I can abuse my body like I was still 19. Triathlon world here I come!!

Well, it is midlife crisis time. I could get a mistress, but I still think my wife is hot. Or I can abuse my body like I am still 19. Triathlon world, here I come!!

Sharon and I just completed our first tri, the aptly-named “My First Tri,” at the PlayTri Festival in Irving, Texas. From a first-timers perspective, the event was run extremely well and we had a blast. Everyone was very nice and helpful, and if you are looking for a first race to run, I highly recommend this one. But this is for a later article. What I wanted to concentrate on here is how we got into this crazy tri thing and how I was able to scratch my midlife crisis itch.

Both Sharon and I have been at least somewhat physically active over the past 10 years. At different times we had both really been into step aerobics and weightlifting. I have always been into basketball and had played regularly for about 10 years. Sharon had even placed second in a fitness contest at a local gym. Lately, however, due to busy schedules and other factors, we had kind of slacked off. For me, especially, it had started to show. At one time I got up to nearly 300 pounds. I had really worked hard and got back down to 218 two years ago, but I was pushing 250 again. The group of guys that I played ball with had broken up, so I need to get into something else quickly. I decided to start running.

I have always hated running. Even as a teenager, basically living, breathing, and eating basketball, I ran slowly. Now that I was older (40 is coming at me like a freight train) and weighed 70 pounds more, it was a REAL chore. I started out slowly…and I mean SLOWLY. I would run 100 steps and walk 100 for two miles. However, since I had been playing ball, it did not take me long to actually get to where I could run the entire distance. The problem was it was BORING. Basketball was competitive and there was something to work for. Running just stunk. Sharon had started running with me and following behind her made it tolerable, but stunk.

There was a guy in my office who was into triathlons BIG TIME. He was currently training for his seventh official Ironman. His training regimen was out of this world, and he could intimidate my masculinity by just describing his weekend workouts. I wanted to be this guy, but it seemed as realistic as my wife all of a sudden finding me more attractive than George Clooney. The odds, to say the least, were against me.

Last November the office tri god informed me that there were several other people in our office who were going to do a local tri and that I should join in with them. I told him there was no way I could do an Ironman, at which time he explained the different tri distances. The local tri was a sprint distance. It still seemed intimidating, but at the same time I thought, “I can do this.” It was exciting to even think about doing a tri, so I rushed home and told my wife what I wanted to do. She is very competitive and was on board immediately (although I think the chance that training might make me look less like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and more like the above mentioned Mr. Clooney might have factored into her decision).


Just like that, we committed to doing a tri. 


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date: May 19, 2008


Basketball, Computers and Fun in the Sun!!