Friday, August 17, 2012

Triathlons are the new Marathon!

Anybody who has met me knows that I am a bit of a endurance sport - fan. Uttering sentences like 'oh, the 30-km practice runs for my marathon training were so much FUN' probably gives that away. Having battled various foot- and knee injuries in the last months, running long distances wasn't really in the books for me this summer, and I desperately cast around to find another way to get my hit of endorphins  - and found it in the great combination of sports that is triathlon - which links swimming, biking and running together. I had already the most amazing role model in front of me - my dad, who was and still is a pretty good swimmer (I hope you catch the sarcasm - he is training to qualify for the Masters World Championships 2014 in Montreal right now) and competed in various triathlons over the past years. The awesome support of my family made it possible that, instead of signing up for a pricey competition and travelling miles around Quebec, Dad and I (with the help of supporter-extraordinaire Mom) held our own sprint triathlon right in the middle of Trois-Rivieres! 

We started out with 750 meters of swimming which I finished in 14:58 min...

then added 20 km of road biking (in 38:27min) ...

and finished it off with 5km of running (in about 21 min)

for a total of 1:20:57 (including changing from one sport to another)! 

Do you see that my legs are just about to give up?

Man, that was tough, but so much fun! This was the first time that I 'raced' when swimming and I did find it challenging, especially keeping my breathing constant when picking up the pace (as the lifeguard apparently noticed since, after I exited the water, he asked my mom whether I was asthmatic since I was breathing so heavily. Well at least I gave it my all =). 

Also, I was glad I had practiced so-called 'brick'-workouts (basically combining two sports such as biking and running in one workout) because, true to name, your legs DO feel like bricks after dismounting from your bike and starting to run and at least I was expecting that feeling. 5 k never felt this long. And the fact that I thought the end was one road bend earlier didn't help - envision me getting up to final-sprint speed, turning the corner and seeing ... more trees. Ugh. Ouch. Haha. 

I may not have gotten a race t-shirt or a medal, but the awesome feeling of achievement (and beaming faces of my family) is just the same. And now I am all the more motivated for the next step - joining a triathlon club in Bonn and training for the Olympic distance (basically double all the distances above) sometimes next summer. I was also intrigued by the Bonn triathlon, though 3.8km swimming, 60km biking and 15km running does sound a little extreme right now (especially the swimming...). We shall see. Anybody wanna be my long distance-training partner? 

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