Try A Triathlon!

Try A Triathlon!

My friend Jo at the starting line

I know my friends I grew up with just fell off their chairs laughing at the thought of me as a triathlete. In a way they are right.  I am not an athlete, never have been, but as the gangly physique of my youth morphed with age, four babies, and a traitorous metabolism, even I have had to turn to exercise for help.  It was just before I turned 40 that my body seemed to turned on me, I could no longer indulge in my hedonistic ways without consequence (I hate that!).   I am a somewhat healthy eater, but with a big appetite.   You know the formula,  I had to ramp up my physical activity .   I needed a goal, and one that I really had to work for.  I had heard about sprint triathlons and had always wanted to give one a try. After all I thought, individually I could handle each leg, swim a ¼ mile, bike 12 miles or run 3 1/2 , maybe I could string them together and complete a triathlon.   My fear of drowning or collapsing had me on a 12-week training schedule and I was amazed at how well it actually prepared me for my first race.  I convinced several girlfriends to do it with me, because I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it alone and, as a first triathlon for all of us, we had a blast.

After finishing our very first sprint triathlon

Since then I have completed four more sprint triathlons, never placing mind you, but each time achieving my goal of completion and beating my own time from the previous race.  The group of girlfriends we race with has snowballed and we have turned our triathlons into fun girls weekends in different destinations.

2011 girls triathlon weekend

I love encouraging other women to give it a try.  The truth is that if I can do it, anyone can, with proper training of course .  My kids always ask me if I won, and I do have to admit that I love that they think I possibly could win. Some of my friends that I do it with actually do.

What you need


Check out tri find, usatriathlon  or  to find a race near you.





Below is my text exchange with my 11-year-old son just after I finished my last triathlon.

Me: “I finished my race!”

Him: “Great, what Place did you get?’

Me: (Pause) “712”(this was out of 950 & you can read about why I did so poorly, yet it was my favorite triathlon so far in an upcoming post)

Him: “Is that good?”

Me: (This is why I love him so much!) “Yes, it is good for me because I finished the race, didn’t get hurt, had fun and wasn’t last”


7 Responses

  1. I’m not laughing, I knew you could do it, however, the healthy eating habits? Do fried clams count? You need to admit the truth! That you can eat fried clams AND do a triathalon.

    • LOL! O.K., I admit it! I knew I had to mention my hedonistic ways. I love fried clams and nachos and buffalo wings and all sorts of unhealthful foods, and food and cocktails in general…..but on an everyday basis if you averaged it all together I eat somewhat healthfully, kinda. ; ) But I love that you called me out on it!

  2. Pretty cool! I did long distance running in my late twenties and did a marathon. Only six months before I couldn’t run a mile. It was unbelievable. I got injured and still run now but not long distance. It is amazing what the body can do! :)

    • Wow, Nicole! I am so impressed that you did a marathon! That is amazing! It is incredible how the body can to do these things with enough training. I’m sorry about your injury, that stinks! It’s great that you are still active though, I’m sure with a new appreciation for not being injured. I had an achilles injury that kept me from doing anything for a while and am now just grateful to be able to still do short runs.

  3. The only addition I’d add to “gear” is a backpack to put your stuff into, extra water bottle to rinse the sand off your feet, and a great friend (like Elizabeth) who’ll keep you going on to the other legs of the tri, even after you have a flat tire, or are swimming for 40+ minutes, caught in an unexpected current.