I think I’ve lost my mind. Last Friday night we were at happy hour with some friends and the subject of the Seafair Triathlon came up. The guys have been participating for a few years now and one of them asked when us lady-folk were going to give it a go.
We laughed in their faces.
Kelly turned to me and confided that Shane had been pestering her to do it this year so she had told him, “I’ll do it if Nance does it.” To which we both threw back our heads and laughed even harder. That’s as empty a promise as one could get, considering I’m about as active as a turtle, as I’ve chronicled here numerous times. It’s not that I don’t want to work out. It’s just that…well, it’s just that it’s hard, y’all. I’m totally cool with walking. You know, like on the treadmill so I can read while I’m at it. I do that sometimes.
Anyway, we all got back to eating our pizza. Then Jason mentioned that maybe the three of us could tag team the triathlon. So we discussed our hypothetical options for the various legs of the race (La V could swim, I could bike and Kel could run). We all agreed that it was a “nice idea” and let it go at that. Which is where I should have left it. On the floor at Tutta Bella WHERE IT BELONGS.
But I kept thinking about it that night as I was getting ready for bed. Could I bike 12 miles? How hard could it be, right? And then I thought about the running. I’ve run 3 miles before. Like 2 times I’ve run that far. I admit I’m not too sure about the swimming. But I like to snorkel. So I went to bed wondering if maybe I should just sign up and do the whole dang thing. Swimming, running, biking — what’s not to love?
In the morning, I furtively looked up triathlon training plans, taking extra care not to show Jason what I was doing. I figured I would take one look at the plans and realize that I would need to, like, workout for a full year before I would be fit enough to train for a triathlon. But lo and behold I found a triathlon training plan that is geared toward someone who is currently “inactive.” Which I think is a nice way of saying lazy. Dormant, if you will.
So I tentatively mentioned the idea to Jason. He, of course, offered up all manner of affirmation and encouragement and “Oh my gosh, pal, that would so AWESOME!” and “You can totally do this,” and blah blah blah. I got completely drunk on it, folks. I lost ALL sense of reason. I started imagining myself gliding effortlessly through the water and running with my hair flying out behind me while Jason and the boys cheered me on and before I knew what I was doing I was texting the gang to tell them that I was going to go for it. The whole shebang.
My glow lasted all day Saturday. I dutifully wrote up my training schedule for the upcoming week, looked up pool schedules at the Y, and took my mountain bike off the hooks in the garage. Fast forward to this morning. Day 1 of training. On the agenda is 20 minutes of running without stopping. Slow and easy pace. Alright, ok, I can do that. A slow and steady 20 minutes. That’s what, like, 5 songs? Pshhh. Anybody can do that.
I dropped the boys off at preschool and headed down to the waterfront. I even took a nalgene full of water. You know, cause that’s what sporty people do. When I pulled up to Alki though, the first thing I saw was a female runner. When I stopped the car and squinted out at her I realized that it was another mom from the preschool. Y’all, she was wearing the pants. I decided I better work on my playlist for a couple minutes. Playlists are very important. When she was safely out of sight, I got out and started my warmup walk. So far so good. Totally rocking it. Feeling good.
Five minutes later it was time to actually start jogging, though. I started with a very light and easy pace. I was huffing and puffing pretty hard within just a couple minutes. Around minute 7 I started to reconsider this whole triathlon idea and curse the name of every person I know. There was a guy ahead of me who had been walking the whole time and I wasn’t gaining on him. If anything I was losing ground. He was wearing jeans. And drinking coffee.
Then, around minute 12, when I thought I actually might die (can you die jogging a 14-minute mile?), who did I see again? Preschool mom. Doing squats. Just, you know, casual squats in her workout pants. I kept my focus straight ahead and prayed she wouldn’t see me. She didn’t. She just passed me two minutes later. I thought, for the briefest of moments, about tripping her.
I eventually made it back to my car and collapsed inside of it. While I was trying to catch my breath and not die, I saw the guy who had been sharing the sidewalk with me when I started my warmup. He was still out there going strong.
Anyhow, after my breathing slowed sufficiently I headed over to Trader Joe’s for the weekly shopping. Not a great idea. Running made me hungry. Really hungry. Who knew? I wanted to eat ALL THE THINGS. Is this what happens when you work out? I stealthily swiped a second scone from the samples lady and then bought enough food for 2 full weeks.
So the budget is blown and my training isn’t off to a stellar start. Tell me, folks. Will I actually be able to do this? I mean, I can’t quit after only ONE day but I don’t even want to think about tomorrow’s training, which is swimming. Swimming! I can’t imagine feeling the way I felt this morning and wearing a bathing suit at the same time. Lord, have mercy on my soul.