My Year of Doing Scary Things


This fall I decided that this would be my year of doing things that scared me.  I finally ran a marathon, and then I ran another one.  I’ve done some things in my personal life that were scary, too, and I’m working on some more.  I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, in fact, when Long Run Buddy casually forwarded me the link to the NYC Triathlon lottery a few weeks ago.  For years, I have been espousing my complete non-interest in triathlons.  “I don’t do sports that involve changing clothes during the event” was my favorite line, but really it was all about the swim.  I can swim, but I have never been anything resembling a strong swimmer.  My upper body strength borders on non-existent, so I tend to flail my legs mightily in an effort to compensate.  It’s an effective workout strategy, as it generally leaves me exhausted and jelly-legged in a matter of minutes.

Clearly, considering an Olympic-length tri was going to be a tall order, but for some reason I didn’t write it off this time.  I mulled it over for a week.  I thought about the fact that I would definitely need something other than my beloved Raleigh commuter bike for it.  I thought a lot about the swim, and what it would take to get myself in shape for it.  I checked the deferral policy, determined that I could punt for a year if I wanted to, filled in the registration information, and clicked Submit.  A week later, I got the acceptance email.  Ironically, LRB did not, so I’m on my own for this one.  In the weeks since the lottery, I’ve signed up for a swim class and got a great deal on a road bike on Craigslist.  (She is fast and light and I’ve named her Tzippi.)  I also bought an indoor trainer, which I’m loving right now.  Even if I crash and burn on the tri attempt, having a good indoor workout option this winter will be great.  I’m already envisioning squeezing in evening cross-training sessions into my spring marathon training, too…

On Saturday LRB and I went out for my first brick workout–10 miles of biking in Prospect followed by an easy 3-mile run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  It was my first loops of Prospect since the marathon last weekend, and for the first few miles I was flying down hills and having a great time remembering how good the race had felt.  As we approached The Big Hill, I thought about how much I had struggled running it when I first moved to Brooklyn, and how far I had come in that time.  Then I tried to bike up it.  Within a minute my legs were leaden and runners were actually passing me.  It seems The Hill is not done with me.  Also, cycling is hard.  It’s a good thing I’m not about to let that scare me.



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