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Yes, I managed to run, bike AND swim!

And finished in 2:44:32. So now I think I have found my new gig. Yup, perhaps it is time for me to give up my day job and become a professional triathlon-er. Bagel shop by day! Triathlon-er by night. (Maybe I should work on the lingo first!)

I can safely say I loved every grueling minute of it – from the 4:30AM wake-up call, to the nice little dip in the freezing cold lake almost four hours later.  I would take the triathlon over the marathon any day.  No blisters, no toe damage, no three-days of immobility – just some sore “biking muscles” and the number ‘5026’ tattooed all over my body in black permanent marker. (Two showers later and it’s still there) I must say that the triathlon plays perfectly into my “lack of attention span” (hence ‘goldfish’) as the change up of events kept me on my toes – at least the four that are left after the marathon last year. jk, kinda)

I am also thinking that I will start the  “Angela Self School of Triathlons”. It will be geared towards those triathlon-ers who “prefer to prepare not to prepare” or “like to ignore stuff until it is staring them in the face”.  I learned this tactic as an employee at IBM (since unless it was happening in the next 24-hours it just wasn’t on your radar!) and will continue to use it until proven wrong, which is bound to happen no doubt.  I think I will charge enough to offset my expenses on the professional circuit. (Info-mercial to follow)

I will end with some pictures (of course!) and some other ‘Notes from Self’. *Photos courtesy of Mr. Engineer Boyfriend.

  • Eat Jason’s Deli for lunch and Penny’s(Thai) for dinner. Do NOT eat at Portillo’s. Shocking I know, but I did the Portillo’s thing before the marathon last year and didn’t fare as well. *Note, while the pink donut with sprinkles will also work, this should only be eaten when you will be doing the swim only.
  • DO fall into the “reverse psychology” trap. I did. This way when someone like Mr. Engineer Boyfriend says “you don’t stand a chance in the swim”, you can keep repeating that to yourself while you are scraping seaweed off your goggles and inhaling nasty lake water and decide “whatever, let them eat wake!”. *Note, this has worked for quite sometime, just ask the “iPhone hating guy” from the Blackberry post back in ’08 – he’ll tell you about the tree trunk episode way back when.
  • DO NOT know how to change a bike tire. It’s overrated. I just don’t think girls change tires. That is what we have boyfriends for. I don’t want that horrible black chain grease stuff on my hands anymore then you do. Less is more in my opinion. The less you know the better off you’ll be.

Wondering what I am about to get myself into.

I’m the one with the green goggles.

ah, iPhone. First thing I did was to get you back in my hands again.

note, I am freezing here.

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I gotta Run, Bike and Swim?!?

In January I signed up for a triathlon.  What can I say? It was a slow time at work — not much left to buy on the Internet and not much going down in the celebrity world.  At the time it was merely a blip on my radar – I mean it was in August! There were still six months of winter and three hundred dog walks (in sub-zero wind chills) sitting between me and that silly little triathlon.  Well, not anymore! I have exactly three weeks to go and I am officially about thirteen weeks behind in training. I blame IBM. I mean why not. ☺

About two weeks ago I decided to get serious. I ‘googled’ triathlon training programs (once I figured out how to spell ‘triathlon’) and managed to find one that advertised an ‘accelerated’ program.  Since the Internet never lies I figured I this one would do and dug out the cap and goggles and kicked it into high gear.

The running part was cake. I have been running ever since all the other sports started costing money and requiring better planning skills.  I have no idea how far I will be running in this triathlon thing but I do know that I have a super cute “running shirt” picked out. It matches my new kicks – white with some light blue highlights.

Biking is another story. In order to get Mr. Engineer Boyfriend off my back I reluctantly agreed to use the “clippy” pedals. I am not sure if you are familiar with the concept but for someone who can wipe out riding in normal pedals, clippies are a guaranteed injury/injuries. I was given a complete dissertation as to why I should use the “death pedals” to which I paid little attention but then I found some cute blue “clippy shoes” that matched my ensemble and so I was sold. Two skinned knees and pretty banged up elbow later I am pretty good I think. Well as long as I don’t have to stop very often…or bike in crowds.

Finally there is the swim.  Now the problem here is that I hate being cold. Hate it.  I can be cold when it is 85 degrees out – ask anyone.  This, as you can assume, makes swimming in Chicago really, really challenging.  For one there is the fact that the lap-swim hours in the public pool are way early and that chlorine turns my hair green. The second thing is that in order to get the real triathlon experience I was going to have to suck it up and take a dip in the Lake, as in the Lake Michigan – the one that probably borders with Canada or something.


So this past Friday I gave it a go. All gussied up in my wetsuit (which I might add is about the most unflattering of all swimming costumes!), swim cap and goggles I trotted down the beach avoiding the syringes and broken glass to the water. I dipped ‘Lucky’ (my big toe) in and immediately I was frozen. I have no idea how I am going to survive the swim. I lasted about twenty minutes on Friday and spent the next four hours chattering (and picking nasty seaweed out of my hair!).

Basically I think it is safe to say I am, well, screwed. While I might have had grandiose dreams of becoming big on the triathlon scene I think my only goal now is to survive. The same goal I wound up setting for myself when I signed up for the marathon last year. I gotta stop doin’ this. Hopefully this year I will be swamped in January and not go down this path again.

Oh, and can anyone tell me how long each event is in an Olympic Distance triathlon? Or should I just be surprised on the day of the event?