My whole life I have been fairly athletic: swimming competitively from the time I was 3 years old all the way through high school, including 3 years on the varsity team. I was on the first female water polo team at my high school, and continued to play water polo for a couple of years in college. Swimming was always my greatest love with regards to sports; the feeling of weightlessness you have when your body is submersed in water, the fact that you can't hear anything but your own heartbeat when you're speeding down a swim lane...ahhhh...there is nothing like it. It's so calming. I used to imagine that I was a mermaid and I'd hold my breath as long as I could, lying on the bottom of the pool gazing up at the surface, watching my air bubbles float upwards and hoping I could stay down there forever. But after about a minute or so, my face would start to turn the color of an over-ripe beet as I struggled for air, and I would rush to the surface, gasping and sucking in big gulps of air, remembering that I was a mere mortal who needed oxygen to survive. Darn.
Likewise, in the ocean I was always carefree and overly confident in my skills. When I was about 5 years old, I was cruising along on my boogie-board, way out past where the waves were breaking, next to the surfers who must have been all of about 12 years old and who I thought were the coolest people ever. My mom became worried seeing me so far from the shore and sent a lifeguard to come get me, who dragged me back to the beach. I remember being so insulted at the time, that someone thought that I, Mermaid Super Swimmer, looked like I needed help or that I appeared tired, which I did not and was not thank you very much...the ocean is my playground. To this day, I can frolick in the waves for hours without tiring.
Ahhh...memory lane. Cute right? Have we bonded yet? Are you wondering what the f'ing point of my blog is? Is your impression of me so far that I just need attention? (To clarify, that part is true. If you haven't already, please sign up to follow my blog. And leave me comments. Nice ones. Telling me I'm pretty.)
But here's the kicker: Nowhere did you read anything about soccer, softball, or any other sport (what else is there? Lacrosse? Field hockey?) that involves running of any kind...did you? Um no. You most certainly did not. Why? Because I literally do not know how to run. When my feet move quickly...typically in 5 inch heels.....it is called speed walking. My on-going joke to myself was that if my house ever caught fire, I wouldn't run for safety; I would saunter rapidly out of harm's way. With hips swaying seductively for the good-looking firemen, of course. When I was a kid, and running a mile was part of the 7th and 8th grade Physical Education fitness requirements (damn you state of California) my fastest mile EVER was about 11 minutes. And typically, I would throw up afterwards. And then lie on the ground and feel sorry for myself. My friends who all played soccer would look at me with big eyes and ask if I was okay, which noooo I wasn't okay, I hate running!!! I hate it. I suck at it. If you are in need of a visual at this point, here is what I felt like back in those days. With a little longer hair. But not too much longer, and the facial shape is truly an uncanny resemblence. Let's face it, he's my doppelganger.
Soooo here we are, about 15 years later, and my 30th birthday is looming.... June 16th, approximately 4 months away. Eeek!!! My running skills have not improved. If I am perfectly honest (and what is a blog without total honesty?) I will say that I haven't exactly given them a chance to improve. Meaning....I think the last time I ran a mile I was in 8th grade.
Growing up in the swim community, most of my friends have gone on to continue to be stellar athletes in their adult life. Not many of them ever really struggled with their weight like I have and still do, and most of them actually enjoy breaking a sweat. They trade gym stories like ex-marines trade war stories, one-upping each other with horrifying tales of whose toenail fell off from working out too hard, and who has the worst shin splints but continues to run half marathons. Ho hum, I just threw up in my mouth. Call me crazy, but I like my toenails right where they are. Preferably painted with flowers and peeking out of peep-toe high heels.
I am an inherently lazy person. And being lazy and liking food do nothing positive for each other!! Especially if that food is cheese, which I like. To quote Jim Carey from Dumb & Dumber: I like it a LOT. So while my friends have all grown up to be lithe, gorgeous athletes who carve out time for the gym, I can find almost any excuse in the book not to go. (Here's a list if you are looking for some not-so-creative ideas.) I work hard, I am tired, I have to clean the house (Ha!! No one believes that one) I need to cook dinner, my feet are sore from wearing heels all day (this one is usually true) I need to read a book, I need to be somewhere fabulous that does not involve grody sweaty people who may or may not give me ringworm from sweating all over the machines and gym mats....the list goes on. And on. And on.
Triathlons have always intrigued me, mostly because I wondered how in the hell anyone could do all 3 sports (Swimming, biking, running) so well and all at once? Triathletes are always skinny, and look sleek and machine-like running in their spandex. Well, you have my word that there will be NO SPANDEX now or ever for this Chubby Bunny, but the time has come to do something that will shake me up. And probably make me vomit. So here it is:
Encinitas Sprint Triathlon May 15th 2011
Ta da! It is the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon on May 15th, 2011 and it involves the following: 750 meter swim, 20k bike, and lastly a 5k run. I am not overly worried about the swim part of this event (see "mermaid" reference above) or even the bike necessarily (although how does one actually exit the water and slide like a wet slippery fish onto a bicycle seat? OUCH.) No, the part I am most worried about is The Run. 3.2 miles in a row. I have never, in my entire life, run that many miles in one week, let alone in a row after swimming and biking. Am I nervous? Hell yes I am. But, that is the whole point in doing this, my friend. I am not raising money for a charity (although donations of wine and cheese will be graciously accepted), I am not bringing awareness to anything, I am just going to attempt to start and finish something that will push ME in a way that I haven't done in a long time.
I am not saying I won't complain during this process, because believe me I will!!! As good as I am at being lazy, I am an even more proficient complainer. I apologize in advance to my loved ones. But, my hope is that if I chronicle a play-by-play of my workouts, and pain, and frustration, and embarrassment at times, perhaps I will not only hold myself accountable, but hopefully I'll inspire someone else out there to push themselves too. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of every day and the body we have, and leaving our comfort zone is the only way to do it.
I will also keep an ongoing compilation of songs that motivate me and that I am actually using to workout to. One thing is for sure: I need music to convince myself that being sweaty and out of breath is a good time. So here is the first song to get us started:
I love the line in the song "Get out and wiggle it, oh, oh, oh." So hurray for an awesome song to kick this off.
Until next time,
Your Chubby Bunny in Training