Triathlon: Reflections on the Experience

By kate on September 13th, 1999

I gained both skill and endurance from my training, as well as enhanced muscle tone (my weight didn’t change). In the course of training, I swam 7.4 miles (11.8K), ran 40.7 miles (65.5K), and biked 156.5 miles (251.9K). That works out to an average of 15 triathlons (not counting the actual race)! I spent $257.08 on gear and admission (click here for an itemized list). Click here to see a list of everything I took to the race.
The triathlon was exciting, but I feel like it snuck up on me. I spent the months and days beforehand concentrating on the details, which was good because I felt prepared. I think, though, I should have spent some time visualizing and fantasizing about the day of the race. If I had done that, the event would have seemed like a bigger deal instead of catching me by surprise. I don’t think I built it up enough.
I’m proud of myself, though, to have set such an intimidating goal and achieved it. My friends and family have expressed their pride as well, and I appreciate their support from the bottom of my heart. I would also like to thank Michele for encouraging me to enter, and Shaula for all the companionship.
However, I’m glad it’s over. The novelty of preparing for a triathlon wore off several weeks before the race, and I’m ready to move on to the next big thing in my life, whatever that is. For the past two months, I felt obliged to run, swim, or bike whenever I had time to workout. Now, I can return to rock climbing and racquetball, and other sports I’ve neglected.
One thing that has changed is my attitude toward running and biking. While I still wouldn’t enjoy resuming this training program, if someone asked me to go on a jog, I might actually say yes. Before I wouldn’t have considered it. Who knows, I may even go by myself once in a while.
Would I do it again? I think the experience of becoming a first-time triathlete was worth the challenges. It taught me that my body is able to do more than I expect, and that my mind can be an obstacle during physical activity. I can add “did a triathlon” to the list of reasons why I’m cool. But I don’t know if I’m interested in doing any more triathlons; at least not any time soon. Maybe by the time Danskin registration rolls around next year, I’ll have changed my mind, but for now, I’m ready to move on.
Update 1~20~02… Now, a few years later, jogging has become my exercise of choice. I haven’t done any more triathlons, but my overall level of fitness has stayed high because of my triathlon training.

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