Sunday, September 14, 2008

What Am I Doing Here?

I will be heading out to check a couple bike shops later today. Window shopping for now but we'll see what I can find. Since I won't be doing my ride today, I thought I would write about me and my decision to train for a triathlon (or two).

Back in my youth, I was quite the active fellow. Not all-star material but average or above average in the sports I played (except basketball--I sucked at basketball). Sports that I played from Jr. High through High School included football, basketball, baseball, swimming, track, cross country, water polo, and volleyball. Active guy. I tried to stay active in college but I soon had to work to put myself through so that pretty much eliminated exercise...and the pounds started to slowly creep up.

Fast forward a few decades and here I am. The 45-year-old, 250#, father of two who sits on his butt and programs a computer all day. I took up jogging once or twice along the way but had to stop for one reason or another (more on that in another post). The last time was a few years ago but that time I stopped because my hips were complaining. My hips? I really need to lose weight.

How about bicycling? I had it in the back of my mind a couple of years ago when a neighbor offered me his junky mountain bike for free. Last year I took it in for a tune-up and started riding. I had to take several months off from riding this year (more on that in another post, too) but I started back up again this summer. This past August I went out for my ride and noticed traffic cones on the other side of the street. We have an annual run pass in front of our house but that's not until February. After a bit of digging I found that it was the bike portion of the Hansen Dam Triathlon. That meant that the next one was a year away. Hey, even I can train for a triathlon in a year. So, I decided to do just that.

I looked around the net and found some sites devoted to triathlons but all their training schedules were 12- or 20-week plans that assumed you could train multiple times a day and could jog multiple times a week. I can't do either of those things so I was going to have to come up with my own schedule. Plus, I was reading some articles by not-so-active people who followed those schedules and they barely finished. I wanted to do better than barely finish. I will publish my plans in another post but first I want to discuss things that I have to take into account when coming up with a training schedule.

First up, my home life. As I mentioned, I am a daddy. I really enjoy being a daddy and I'm good at it. I am also the family cook (no, my wife doesn't work but...there you go). Between daddying and cooking and my day job, I am busy from 6am to 9pm Monday through Friday. That's just the way it is. I have managed to find a way to squeeze in some swimming workouts during lunch time one or two days-a-week, though, so that is helpful. No bike rides or jogging a lunch time, though; I sweat like a pig and there are no showers at work. No early-morning workouts, either. I don't know about you but when I wake up I have to wait for my stomach to settle down before heading out for a workout. If I don't, well, let's just say that looking for a bathroom at 5:30am, five miles from home is not what I want to do. I don't want to be riding my bike late at night, either. There is enough debris to avoid during the day, much less hoping my light catches it.

So there you go. Not much time to train during the week. There are two more issues that affect my training schedule but I will write about them in future posts.

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