Monday, February 20, 2012


  It's been about two weeks since my 'luck' changed and I was thrown into the world of the triathlon. 

It has been interesting. Overwhelming. Annoying. Exciting. Terrifying. The 'lucky' ten ETS employees chosen were spotlighted on the company intranet for a few days. Results were mixed. I got lots of 'that's so cool, good luck!" A few "congratulations." A lot of the same quizzical look I usually get whenever I mention any of my athletic endeavors. My mom is very worried.


 I finally conquered my fear of public pools and stepped foot into the pool area at my gym. It wasn't really the fear of the pool as much as it was the fear of being outside my comfort zone. I feel very confident in my running clothes and on a treadmill. However, squeezing into my new Speedo suit made me feel so awkward and exposed. When I entered the pool area, I had flashbacks to being the new girl in high school. I coped with being exposed and uncomfortable the same way as I did in high school. I made friends by babbling nervously to anyone who would listen. 
Pool people are much friendlier than treadmill people. I guess it's because on the 'mills everyone is face forward, headphones in, marching in a syncopated line towards nothing. In a pool, it's a little more casual. 

Swimming is not nearly as easy as it looks. It's actually really difficult and requires much more coordination and strength than I was expecting. I thought my arms and shoulders were alright from the sensei's love of push-ups and sit ups. My arms felt like Jell-o after only 20 minutes of laps. 

Swim caps do nothing to keep your hair dry. I foresee about five months of bad hair days in my future


Cycling is expensive. My boyfriend and I have been 'bike shopping' and it's a lot like car shopping. Scott does most of the talking while I stare at the price tags. The sales guys politely laugh at my jokes and spew a lot of technical jargon at me. 
"So, you've got a carbon fiber fork here that will make for a stiffer ride. The nine-gear shifter is a shinto that will allow for a smooth transition. The frame is aluminium which is why the price is a littler higher." I've learned the importance of sizing, inseam, seat height, handle bars, and forks. 

There are even test drives! But road bikes do not come in automatic. We've visited four stores and I've taken three test rides. It's terrifying but fun. On Saturday we stopped by Guy's Bikes in Feasterville, Pa. This place was great. I took two bikes out for a ride and finally felt comfortable and not at the mercy of gravity or pot holes. I fell in love with two bikes and after Uncle Sam pays me for being an American citizen, I'll be ready to buy. 

I took a spin class at my gym last week too. Again, I was very outside of my comfort zone and turned on my chatty Linds side. I loved the class and was amazed that I hadn't tried it before. The hour-long class was intense and challenging but never did it feel impossible. I was sweaty and panting by the end and had covered 24 miles! There is a lot to learn about spin and cycling. 
I am really looking forward to the cycling portion of this adventure.


 I am worried about the two half marathons that I'm committed to before the triathlon. I went from maintaining a runner/ninja schedule. Monday and Wednesday evenings were 45 minutes of 'cross training' at the dojo. Tuesdays and Thursdays were tempo runs and speed work on the treadmills. Saturday mornings were sparring at the dojo followed by a 'long' run at the park. Sunday rest. I'm having trouble adding swimming and cycling into that mix. I'm in the 'learning' phase and need to nail down a schedule and plan as to avoid getting overwhelmed and hurt. My back is already revolting about this and I'm sure my knees will be soon too. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chances, Challenges, and Change

I never win anything. I enter drawings and sweepstakes all the time and all it every gets me a ton of junk mail and spam. I do not bother with state lotteries anymore because I am that confident that I will not win. I've never won an all-expense paid trip to the Bahamas. Or a car. Or a free dinner for two. Until last week, I had only ever won a blanket, a signed baseball bat, and one 50/50 drawing. (I donated the winnings back to the organization, too)

And, a free entry and registration to the 2012 NYC Triathalon.

In a pre-coffee haze a few weeks ago, I saw the headline Enter to Win a Free Entry to the NYC Triathalon. Because I never win anything and the article stated that only ten people would have their names drawn, I entered my name. Because I never win anyway, I did not worry about the two basic facts that I do not know how to swim and I do not own a bicycle. I went on my merry way and completely forgot that there was a slight chance that in the near future I would need to have access to pool, a bike, and a lot of free time.

In my ignorant bliss I cancelled my membership to LA Fitness. I signed up for two more half marathons and a fall marathon. I committed to coaching Girls on the Run in the spring. I'm learning numchucks in ninja without giving myself a serious concussion or getting Scott suspected of domestic abuse from the many, many bruises on my arms. I do not want for motivation or opportunity to exercise.

And then I got this:

Crap. Of course my office mate was gone for the afternoon and missed seeing me literally fall out of my rolling chair with shock. I DID NOT THINK I WOULD WIN.

I do not know how to swim. I have a slight phobia of public pools.
I do not own a bike nor have I ridden one since I was about fourteen.

Crap. What have I gotten myself into?

I thrive on change and challenge and have felt both missing from my life lately. Even with the shear terror of having to swim in the Hudson River and wear a wet suit in front of coworkers, I'm actually really excited about this. I have been running for three years now and am burned out. I almost dread it anymore and really only use negative motivation to get out there. I've been loving ninja lately and putting lots of energy into sparring. 

When I started running, I did not know what it would lead to. I'm now a marathoner. I do not know how to swim but I'm really excited to learn. I'm really excited that training for the bike part will give my boyfriend and me an opportunity to share a fitness activity. I can spend a few hours on a Saturday morning exercising with him instead of him waiting for me to get home to start the day. I'm excited to feel that rush of accomplishment that I just swam 220 meters for the first time ever. I'm looking forward to the change that instead of running three nights a week with a long run on the weekends, I'll have to learn to do brick workouts. I will cover more miles on a bike than I would typically run in a week in a fraction of the time. My routine and rut have been broken and it's awesome.

And one of the best parts of this is that my best runny buddy ever, Lauren Curran, was also selected! I cannot wait to share a new adventure with a good friend. We're both marathoners, bored runners, adrenaline addicts and will find a way to kick triathlon butt together! Even if we don't have bikes, a pool, or any clue what we're doing.