I guess it’s just that time of year. The days are getting longer and warmer. The blossom is starting to come out and everyone’s getting fit and doing sponsored ‘somethings’..!
And I have to admit, I’m at it too!
I wanted to do a marathon a couple of years ago, but every time I started to ‘up the anti’ and do longer distances, I started getting problems with knees and tendons. So when someone asked me whether I fancy doing a triathlon, I decided it was a perfect alternative.
Running Man is without a doubt my biggest supporter in this challenge. His enthusiasm is contagious. He regularly checks in to see what distances I am running and swimming, and has lent me his bike for the bit I feel most ‘wobbly’ about. And I do mean ‘wobbly’ in the most literal sense.
My earliest memory of cycling is of the paroxysms of laughter I heard after my parents pushed me down a slope straight into a rose bed, because they had failed to tell me where the brakes were. Strangely, as my father spent half an hour picking rose thorns out of me, I don’t remember finding it particularly funny!
After this dreadful introduction to cycling, the last time I owned a bike (about three years ago) I was knocked off it by a van on a quiet back street. It frightened the life out of me and has made me very anxious about cycling on city streets. It does rather beg the question “Why the hell are you doing a triathlon?” doesn’t it?!
But remember… this is for Charity, right? We’re supposed to take ourselves out of our comfort zone for these things.
So, when RM dropped the bike off last week, he also adjusted the seat for me. Having clamped the front wheel between his feet, he told me to hop on the bike to see if the height was OK. I found myself screaming like the biggest ‘girl’s blouse’ as I wobbled about, terrified I was going to loose my balance and go flying. Suddenly beginning to believe my lack of cycling prowess, RM promised to drop off a cycling helmet.
Having bashed my head a couple of months ago whilst out running, I don’t think it would be a particularly smart move to bash it again… so high visibility top and cycling helmet will be worn!
As it stands, I’m not worried about the distances of my first triathlon, as it is a ‘sprint’ (ie, short distances). But what was really bothering me was what to wear. And that’s when I discovered a whole new type of … well… porn!
I’ve never been interested in porn… but there is something about men in tight fitting Lycra that pushes my buttons! And there’s shed loads of it on the internet. By which I mean, there are loads of sites that sell “tri suits”!
Having done a bit of research, I found something suitable, and my tri suit is in the post to me. Having mentioned this to a few friends, it would seem a couple of my smutty male friends seem rather interested to see it in action – which does make me wonder whether I should be wearing it to Waitrose in the early evening. I have it on great authority that lots of people ‘pull’ at the supermarket! Anyway, I digress.
To give you an idea of what it’s like, it’s like an all in one sleeveless Lycra romper suit. And not something you can get on and off in a hurry… which leads to my next worry. What the hell do you do if you need a pee?
Well, having asked around, it seems you have to do a ‘Paula Radcliffe’ or, as another friend suggested, get a ‘Shewee’. Having looked it up on the internet, I don’t fancy getting one myself, but I was relieved to see that it is indeed NATO approved (for real!).
And so finally, all that is left is two weeks of training. Today is a run, tomorrow is a swim and Saturday I’ll take the bike out.
So why am I doing it?
Well, it’s spring, it’s for charity, it’s a challenge, I’ve never done one before and it feels great.
I doubt I would have ever done this if I’d still been married.
Sometimes, life doesn’t just move on, it races ahead.