Friday, April 1, 2011

6 Month Countdown to Half Ironman

I signed up for Half Ironman Austin yesterday.

This means I have to put the nose to the grind stone for the next six months.

Despite the hard work ahead of me, this goal excites me.

Last year at this time, I could not swim a single lap of freestyle.  Not even a half lap.  I could breast stroke and doggy paddle but that was the extent of my swimming skills.  I wanted to do a triathlon, but I could not swim worth a damn.

I signed up for swim lessons at the YMCA in June.  It was for beginners who could not even float.  I could float, but I could not breathe.  I felt like I was wasting my time.

Frustrated, I dropped out after 3 lessons; although, I paid for 10.

Then, by fate, I was introduced to a triathlon coach.  She taught me more in a half hour than the 3 hours I had experienced at the YMCA.

Finally, I could swim half a lap. Wahoo!  This was huge.  I finally had something to practice.

And practice, I did.

I practiced 3-5 times a week and swam my first sprint triathlon in a pool.  I did okay.  I was so nervous that I doggy paddled and breast stroked for part of the race.  I could only freestyle in short bursts before I was gasping for air.  However, I was definitely better than what I was just a month prior to that triathlon.

Regardless of the clumsy swim, I enjoyed this triathlon and was officially hooked on doing more.

My next sprint triathlon was about a month later in an open lake.  I hyperventilated as soon as I discovered I could not see.  I was back to ground zero.  I drove home that day in tears.

I was starting to feel that I was just not destined to be a swimmer.

Yet, funny part is, I could not give up.

Thankfully, each sprint triathlon experience was a small improvement.

Yet sadly, even with 5 triathlons under my belt, I still do not quite yet feel like a true swimmer.

BUT I have finally gotten to the point that with enough practice,  I believe I will get there.

And with the help of my new Masters swim class at the YMCA, I have a bit more confidence that I can and will swim 1.2 miles.

Tomorrow, I have my first sprint triathlon of 2011 in Kemah, TX.  It will be my first time to wear a wet suit.  This will be an interesting experience.  Just trying it on last night was a workout in itself!

And so begins the six month journey of experimenting with nutrition, waking up early for masters and experimenting with different proper training regimens.  I will start off next week with another 21-day Vegan Challenge on Monday.  I would like to shed at least 10 pounds before the big day and I need to stop skipping those Masters classes.  Sigh...yeah...I definitely have a few vices I would like to drop in the process so this goal will bring about such positive changes in my life.  It will be a tough adventure ahead, but when I reach the end of my journey, it will be such a sweet victory.  Here goes nothing...