Saturday, October 1, 2011


By any standards, I'm out of shape, partly because of the RA, mostly because I've been a lazy couch potato. But I'm making changes. I've been working out at the Nampa Rec Center on a regular basis, including:

  • Spinning Classes (although they're not actually Spinning, which is a trademark name, but just group cycling), 
  • lifting weights (upper body Monday, Wednesday and Friday; lower body Tuesday, Thursday, and sometimes Saturday), and
  • Swimming
Today, I competed in my first Triathlon. It was not Ironman length - they called it a Beginner's Triathlon. I swam the 1/8 mile in 7:38, which was impressive to me. In my training, the 1/8 mile swim has always taken about 10 minutes. I have no idea how I was able to take off that much time. Next was a 4 mile stationary bike ride, which I completed in 16:21, about what I expected. Last came the 1.5 mile run, which I walked. I did jog part of it, but my jog is slower than the fast walk of many/most people.

My goal was to complete the event in under an hour. My final time: 54:04. It felt really good ... tired, but good.

During my training I met Janie, who is using the same Rec Center trainer I am. This was also her first triathlon. We had so much fun talking about our training, the progress we were making, how nervous we were, and our goals. The day of the event I got to meet her husband, son and niece, who had come to support her. Great family.

Janie is a faster swimmer than me, by about 1:00. She did the bike portion two minutes faster, so she had a lead on me when I started the run. I expected her to catch up to me. I must have been walking fast, because on the last lap, I could see her in front of me. My mind said, "Go! You can catch up if you just run." My body said, "Whatever. Just keep walking." I didn't catch up, but I finished less than a minute behind her.

I heard that the Rec Center hosts another, longer triathlon in February. I'm going to compete in that one. The only way I'll be able to improve the bike and run legs is to improve my fitness. By February I should be 30 pounds lighter, which will definitely help. And if I keep working out, I'll be stronger and have better cardio capacity. I think I can make real improvement in the swim. 

I talked with a guy today (the Rec Center photographer, and a triathlon veteran) who mentioned a swim system called Total Immersion. They have a website and a youtube channel. I'm what they refer to as an "adult onset swimmer." I took swimming lessons when I was little, but I hated every minute and didn't pass, especially the swim with my face in the water skill. I still struggle with that. After watching some of the videos, I have hope that I can learn to swim, the right way.

So keep watching - I will make progress.
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