Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Transition to a Longer Triathlon

Hi! I'm Pattie and you can find me over at http://www.pattiepilling.com/ .  Last year I lost a total of 65 lbs. It totally revolutionized my life. In this weight loss journey, I discovered 2 passions that are part of my everyday life.

#1 I love helping others lose weight and startfeeling fabulous about themselves.
#2  Is triathlons. I am totally into them ( and am now bringing along my family to do do them too). First one for them was last weekend. I was the pit crew!  I want to share my last tri with you.  Hope it inspires you although
I was very truthful about the training and the race.  You'll see as you read it.

So you think you may like to do a Half Ironman, otherwise known as Ironman 70.3? Well, I just ran my first Half IM last weekend. It all started last year after I lost 44lbs. My cousin decided that I needed to start doing triathlons with her. I balked at the idea for a few weeks. Slowly I came around to the conclusion that I liked to swim, I am running now and enjoy it and anyone can bike. (By the way, not anyone can bike. I have definitely have changed my opinion on that one!)

I did my first triathlon in June 2010. It was a Sprint tri. This consisted of a 500m (approximately 500yards) pool swim, followed by a 15k (9.32 miles) bike ride ending with a 5k (3.2miles) run. It was wonderful. I loved it. I caught the tri bug.


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Next triathlon was a few months later. It was still a Sprint Tri but it had an open water component instead. They let us swim the course the night before the race. It was horrible. I had never swum distances in a lake before! I felt so anxious. I got out and told my husband that this was crazy and why am I doing this again?? I hated it. I did the tri the following day and made it through the swim. Thank heavens!

A month later I did an Olympic tri. My goal was to push myself a bit further each time with new goals and distances. An Olympic tri consists of a 1500m (approximately 1 mile) with a 40k (25 miles) bike along with a 10k (6 miles) run. After this race I hurt. I really pushed myself and went as fast as I could go. My legs and hips were killing me. But I loved it!!! I was truly addicted at this point.

That took me to this year’s triathlon season. ( You see in Canada where I live, we have long winters and this year was particularly long – hard to train during these cold months) I did a Sprint tri to warm up for the Half Ironman 2 weeks later. The Half Ironman is a 2k (1.25 miles) open swim with a 96 k (60 miles) bike followed by a half marathon (21.1 K or 13.1 miles). The swim went so well. I have been spending much more time in open water. Now it is my favourite place to swim! I love it. My butt is now used to sitting for up to 4 hours at a time on the skinny little seat. My training was many hours in the saddle. The run was brutal. I was so exhausted by that point. Every kilometre was a feat (no pun intended!) I made it to the finish line, eventually. I got my medal! That’s what it’s all about , isn’t it? Been there, got the T-shirt!

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Was it a lot of work? A lot of training? You better believe it. I trained 8-14 hours per week for about 5 months. Was the race fun? Fun is definitely not the right word. Rewarding? Satisfying? Gratifying? Now, those are the words I would choose.

Would I do it again? Not right now. It was very time consuming physically, mentally and emotionally. I am a very goal oriented person so my next race on my bucket is my first marathon. It is in the horizon for August so I’m training for that. Will I do an Ironman? You better believe it! I’ll give myself a bit of time though.

If you have any inclination of wanting so do an Ironman, I recommend anyone to shoot for what I did. Don’t think about it all in one shot. Think about it a mile at a time. One training at a time and you will get there. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done but definitely one of the most rewarding also. If you like to swim ( if you can’t you can learn!), like to run and as you know...anyone can bike! Go for it...it is worth the blood, sweat and tears. See you at the finish line!

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If you would like to know more about me go to http://weightlosssecretsandsupport.com/

Everyone head on over to Pattie's Blog and say hello!  Thanks Pattie for the post. 

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