First Day On My Triathlon Journey

Today is the day I set out to begin a journey that I contemplated two years ago. That’s just after my family and I moved to Charleston, SC to be closer to family. It has been an adventure of its own and part of the reason for my delay in beginning. But isn’t that the hardest part? Just beginning?

As is the inevitable, when you want to sleep you are interrupted in some way. This is especially true when deciding to begin a new routine that requires the rolling out of bed at 5:30am. Some universal law states that one of your children must come into your room when you are at the deepest point of sleep because they have awakened. This results in only one course of action, leave the child to finish the night sleeping in your spot by her mother, getting up, grabbing what you laid out for the morning, and sleeping the rest of the night curled up into your child’s now vacant bed.

Fortunately, the first day of my training begins with swimming. For some reason this seems less intimidating than running or cycling at 6:00am. I should mention that I am following a beginner’s guide to running your first triathlon by Joel Friel. It’s aptly titled, Your First Triathlon and you can find it just about anywhere online. My choice is the training scheduled laid out for finishing an Olympic distance triathlon. It, as stated before, begins with swimming.

It’s a 20 minute drive to the pool and so I have plenty of time to wake up before hitting the water. My only concern on the way is whether they have some goggles to use. I neglected to get a pair before today and thought I could use one of my kids. As with everything that your children have and you need, none of the three pair could be found last night.

Upon arriving at the pool I am delighted to know that the lifeguards have some extras. But, all of them are children’s goggles. I have a wonderful genetic characteristic of a small head and this serves me well in situations like this (not so well in finding eye glass frames and hats that fit!). Upon selecting a child themed google I slip into a completely empty pool to begin my first swim.

The goal of today’s work is to swim the full length (25m) of the pool with 30-45 second rests at each end focused entirely on my technique. This should lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Surprisingly, even with my floral board shorts on, I felt pretty solid throughout. I used freestyle strokes for most of the lengths and breast stroke a few times to ease my breathing at times. The 30 minutes went by quickly and I returned my kiddie googles with a true sense of, “Day 1, Done!”.

According to the book it is important to get some kind of refueling in your body within a half hour of finishing exercise. This will work well because the 20 minute trip home should hit that time exactly for my morning smoothie. But the other inevitable happens, a text indicating that breakfast items are depleted at the house and the kids are starving (not really but it seems that way when breakfast food is low). I make the stops and find my way back home with food in hand and a little hungry for a smoothie.

I should also mention that I eat a whole food plant based. Therefore, I am interested in how my needs are going to change throughout this journey. I’m not saying that I will need to change how I eat but the amounts, times, and choices before, after, and during exercise. This is only day one. Tomorrow will probably not be so easy but only time will tell.

Feature photo by Jon Del Rivero on Unsplash

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