As part of my wellness journey, I completed the YK2HR 2014 – an epic three day, 500km, ride from Yellowknife to Hay River in the Northwest Territories. After I recovered, I needed a new goal. I had a decent bike, I was a swimmer… what to do, what to do?
I decided that I was going to do triathlons!
(I am NOT in this picture!)
There are several different triathlon levels – starting with Tri-it, a 300 m swim, 10 km bike, and a 2.5 km run to the Ironman 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bike, and 42.20 km (marathon) run. There are also ultra-Ironman events – races over multiple days. I decided I would start at the Sprint level which is double the Tri-it distance.
My first thought was, I guess I better start running!
When I was younger, I used to run like the wind but then I starting cycling and then driving… It had been a long time since I had done any running. Since a race means moving between the swim, bike and run without resting, my first attempt would be a short, but moderately intense, bike ride and then I would do a little run. The ride was great, I parked my bike, switched shoes and I was off to the trails near our home!
At least, I was off for about 150 m when suddenly there was a sharp stabbing pain in my calf. I don’t know what happen but it hobbled me. I limped back home, discouraged and nearly in tears.
Fortunately – at least it seems fortunate now – the triathlon in Yellowknife was cancelled that year. That meant I had almost a year to heal, train, and invest in gear. I found a wetsuit for a great price, got a triathlon-suit (a once piece that you can wear for the swim, bike and run), and new runners. The spandex level in my clothing rose by 67%.
My first event was the 2015 Kelowna Apple Triathlon. It’s an open water swim in Lake Okanogan, a challenging bike route, and a really nice run through parks and along the lake. It was a great race.
Afterwards, we had lunch and then hit the road for home. We got about five hours down the road and all the muscle soreness and exhaustion hit us so we got an emergency hotel room, with a hot tub…
Before the summer was over, I finished two more triathlons – Vancouver, BC (swim in the ocean with bonus cuts on my hands from barnacles!) and Terwilligar in Edmonton, AB which was a pool swim.
Since then, I have continued to train for triathlons. In 2016, I moved up to the Olympic level (1500 m swim, 50 km bike, and a 10 km run) at the Great White North Triathlon. I plan to stay at that level for a couple years. What’s nice about these distances is that I can go hard, finish well, and then get home for a nap!
In my next post, I’ll share what I do to train for triathlons.
(Me (the sexy one in the middle), my wife, and sister at the Vancouver Triathlon 2015.)