Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Former nationally ranked triathlete (sounds better than it really is, but I like the sound of it). Competing in the 50-54 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03
Get Out and TRI
Until last year an Ironman was just a dream. Now it has become a goal. I needed to start, but where?
It has been a dream of mine since the mid 80's to become an Ironman. As I watched the athletes compete in Kona on TV I was awestruck. At 250 lbs, 33 years of age, a father of two and desperately out of shape, the Ironman remained a dream. Until last year an Ironman was just that a dream. Now it has become a goal. I needed to start, but where?
A family member mentioned in passing that she had seen a new web site for beginner triathletes, and yes this was that site. At first I became a lurker. I read many posts, and asked a few questions. I started to walk/run, something I had not done since my feeble attempts at cross country track in high school. I also dusted off my bike and started to ride again. I had completed a handful of century rides in the past, but it had been years since I had ridden on any kind of regular basis. My swimming was sporadic as I did laps in a local pool. Later I would start open water swimming with a Trifruy, a local tri club. I also began logging my workouts, allowing me to track my progress.
Now it was time for a decision of what kind of tri was right for me. I had not run more than 3 miles since high school, and even then I used to walk parts of those races. The thought of an open water start was intimidating. I chose a sprint distance of a 400yd pool swim, 7 mile bike and 2.3 mile run. The main reason for this race was the pool start. An open water swim intimidated the heck out of me. I had only three goals: Lose weight, finish the race, and have fun getting there.
My fears of a DNF (did not finish) and DFL (dead freaking last) were quelled by reading some of the threads on this site. I personally had a few DNF races in the past. As for DFL, I read stories about people running to finish as the support trucks were picking up signs and traffic cones. With this in mind, I competed in my first tri with little fear. I finished my first race with a time of 58:36. That put me in 276 place overall in a field of 347. I received no awards at the race, but the personal glory was great. I was hooked.
In reflection of the past year, I realized that I have learned a lot. My biggest revelation was relatively simple. There are more races than just an Ironman. From mini-sprint to Ironman, there is a race distance to suit everyone. Races also have a large number of age groups to compete in if competition is important. There is even a class for the "large boned" group of athletes. If I had known about team triathlons I would have been participating much earlier. Running was and still is not my strength, but I would have loved to do the bike leg with a couple of other people. The last big thing I learned of was the sports of duathlon and the new sport of aquathon. The aquathons are a test program by the USAT (USA triathlon ) at ½ and Ironman distances with just the swim and bike legs.
In short, now is the time! Turn off the TV and computer. Dust off that bike, put on some sneakers or hit the pool. The time is now! Just TRI!
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