Do you swim or run? Want to learn???? Those were questions Mari asked me last week in an email. We’re working on something and it involves (thus far) Her, Nancy (a new friend), Me (all type 1 diabetics) and an Ironman 70.3 (that’s a 1/2 Ironman: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run, which adds up to 70.3 miles) in 2009.
I already have the bike part down, I proved that two weekends ago when I did that metric century in Phoenix, I can ride 62.5 miles. But the question now is, can I ride 56 miles after swimming a mile and a half and then after swimming and biking, run 13.1 miles? I believe that I can.
Doing a triathlon isn’t a new thought to me. It’s something that’s been in my head for a couple years now, last year even I started asking around at the gym, asking the trainers if they had participated in triathlons and how do they suggest training for one, etc.
When I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago, when I was talking to Jerry of Team WHAT? he said something to the effect of Tuscon being a great place to train for triathlons because the weather is fairly even keel and doesn’t change like the weather in Phoenix. He was riding his tri bike and I think that’s how that conversation got started. He told me that for my first triathlon to make sure that the swim portion was in a pool and not in open water because open water can be a little intimidating the first time around. When I told him that I wanted to start with a Sprint he said that a Sprint is a great place to start.
This is just what I needed to turn my want of participating in a triathlon into a reality. Before I didn’t have anything but doubt surrounding whether or not I could do one. It’s not even something I really spoke out loud to anyone that personally knew me, I’d only speak of it to people that I didn’t know because they were the least likely to say “oh, you can’t do that, what about your diabetes? how are you going to train? what about not having insulin in your system while you swim?” (I could go on and on with the questions but I’ll refrain). Despite my general hard headed and stubbornness, too many “you can’ts” and I would begin to think that I couldn’t instead of fighting back and pursuing what I wanted to do. So not many people knew that I wanted to compete in a triathlon. But now it’s a reality. I can fight off any doubt that arises because I won’t be doing this alone. I’ve got Mari and Nancy so far to support me and me to support them, it’s gonna be FUN!
Mari and Nancy both have done several triathlons (different distances). Me, I’m going to start training now and by July/August I should be able to do my first sprint. I’d like to do several sprints and then I’d like to attempt to do an Olympic distance triathlon by December. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I can cycle already, and I’m not necessarily in it to win the first time around (although my competitive spirit will drive me to keep up with the best) all I need to do is get my swimming technique under wraps and start running again.
When I was talking with one of the trainers at the gym last year, she did tell me that the biggest mistake first time triathletes make is training for the areas they’re not good in, and slacking off where they think they’re good. So like, for instance, that’s be equivalent to me thinking that I don’t need to cycle and that I only need to focus on swimming and running. But I’m not going to make that mistake. I’ve got a plan. (BeginnerTriathlete.com helped me with it.)
If you’re a triathlete and want to give me pointers along the way I’m all for it
And stay tuned because this isn’t the last you’re going to hear of the Ironman 70.3 of 2009 for us women diabetics.