blog post,  training & racing

Let the games begin!

“Sooooo babe, how’z about going to Beaverlac next weekend?” Da Husband looks at me hopefully.

“We could… but that means I will miss my second training ride and I have a lot of catching up to do…”

“Maybe I could go with the kids and give you some me-time?”

And so begins the give-and-take (but mostly taking) of having committed to a race that I’m severely under-qualified for.  I mean, I only started running last year, completed my first half marathon this year, I can barely swim, I’ve only just recovered from severe anemia and related health issues that took me out of any kind of training for three months, and now I want to tackle a Half Ironman??? WTF?

Getting by with a little help from my friends

When I decided to – or more accurately, when I accepted the dare to – enter the 70.3 Half Ironman (1.9km sea swim, a 90km bike and a 21.1km run) I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own.  First, I’m inherently lazy and need group pressure and somebody kicking my butt to perform.  Second, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

A friend suggested I signed up for Embark‘s Half Ironman programme, which I did.  Worried about my lack of swimming skills, I spammed coach Steve Attwell’s inbox with questions and concerns, and I even considered pulling out of the training to focus on learning to swim this year and rather race in 2014.  Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut… as I often do, I decided “what the hell” and signed up for the programme that is just short of six months.

What poor Steve doesn’t know is that he will have to turn

This…

OK yes, know I’m not a guy but my current condition puts me very much in the Homer Simpson category. But without the beer and burping.
… into THIS

After: a lean, mean, awesomely muscular Half Ironman machine…

Orientation

So, on Wednesday night we had to meet for our orientation session.  I was a little late because I missed the turn-off to the meeting spot, but during the session I had exactly four thoughts:

  • Jeez, everyone looks SO fit and serious!
  • Why am I the only fattie-in-the-back here?
  • Should I really be doing this?
  • Steve is going to give up on me within the first month.

We were given quite a comprehensive intro, taken through the gear we’d need and heard a particularly inspirational story of a couple that joined his programme last year and were transformed from slobby couch potatoes into lean, mean triathlon machines.  I can only hope it’s true, because they look quite fit and serious too.  Maybe I should insist on seeing “before” photos.

Training

Our training officially started this morning with a 6am boot camp.  Having done boot camps before, I knew what to expect and was looking forward to a bit of punishment.

Except… I was wrong.  It was much, MUCH worse.  And just as I thought that I wasn’t doing too badly because I wasn’t dead last, the group split into two and it turned out that most of the people behind me were part of the half marathon training group.  Oh dear…

Right now I can move my fingers and I can chew, but that’s about it.  Which makes me wonder if I’ll be able to manage the bike ride tomorrow morning!

And speaking of cycling…

I’m a mountain biker.  In fact, I haven’t been on a road bike since high school.  So when my friend-slash-colleague Adri offered to sell me her  road bike, I couldn’t say no.  But I’ve been looking at this bike for two nights now, and I still can’t figure out how to change the gears.

Is it sad to Google “how to change gears on a road bike”?

Does a road bike have a granny gear?

Methinks tonight is going to be an educational one, and I can only hope that tomorrow’s ride will be incident-free.

WHAT HAVE I LET MYSELF IN FOR?

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41 Comments

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    You have started an awesome jouney Leonie, it’s going to change your life (even more) – looking forward to getting to know you. Inge (half of the couch potato couple, i have the fat photos to back it up lol)

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