I decided to attempt a dry run of the Danskin Triathlon this evening. It’s less than three weeks away and it’s about time I got serious about actually finishing the event. (I refuse to call it a race because my only real goal is to simply finish.)
So at about 5:30, after a busy work-at-home day, I hopped on my bike and pedaled from Woodinville to Marymoor Park and back, a distance of a little over 14 miles (the Danskin biking portion is 12 miles).
On the way back to Woodinville, my bike mysteriously veered off the trail and straight to a Starbucks, where I somehow ended up with a water bottle full of delicious ice coffee which sustained me for the remainder of the biking portion of my dry run.
(I know – how Seattle, right?)
After the bike ride I felt great. Exhausted, exhilarated, and sweaty, but actually looking forward to getting on a treadmill at the gym. This is most definitely not a feeling I’m used to, as I generally hate exercising. What is coming over me?
I found a Saucony triathlon suit, one of those one-piece, quick-drying gizmos on clearance at TJ Maxx for $15 (I love a bargain!) and wore that for my dry run today, so when I got to the gym I just jumped on a treadmill, cranked up my iPod, and started walking. Fast.
About a mile into my walk, as the setting sun beamed directly onto my face and Bach’s Fugue in G Minor filled my head, a strange thing happened. The word “perfect” entered my consciousness and wouldn’t let go. Perfect. Moving my body like this feels surprisingly perfect. This was definitely a first. I closed my eyes to heighten the sensation and for some reason that I don’t understand, tears began to stream down my face.
I think it was more the Bach than the walk. This happened to me before, in Heidelberg. Remember? Bach just does me in when I’m in any situation that’s the least bit emotional or impactful!
Before I knew it, I’d walked three miles, almost falling into a jog numerous times, but every time I did, that damn gastrocnemius muscle that Dr. B cut would seize up and I’d feel a cramp come on and be forced to slow down again to a walk. Will I ever actually run again? Should he really have cut that muscle? I forgot now why he suggested it, but at the time it made sense. Now I’m not so sure…
By the time I finished my run, the sun had set and it was time to head into the pool. Without even changing my clothes (though taking a pre-shower), I slipped into the water and mindlessly swam and counted -- one, two… nineteen, twenty… thirty-five, thirty-six. Nothing about that swim was emotional or tear-inducing. Nothing. By this time I was on auto-pilot, swimming one lap after another, just anxious to be finished!
About three hours after hopping on my bike, I finished lap 36 – a half-mile. I’d completed the three events in completely the wrong order, but I’d completed them. At that point I knew that I’d finish the Danskin next month. I’ve never considered myself athletic, even when I was young, so while a half mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile walk (not even run) is completely piddly as triathlons go, it’s huge for me, and I must admit that I cracked a smile and I think I might have even chuckled a little as I showered after lap number 36 tonight.