My Dad used to warn me that music was dangerous. It took me a long time to understand what he meant. Three weeks ago I was reminded. After listening to what can only be describe as an emotionally punching song, resonating with undiluted inspiration and leaving me vibrating with determination, I felt sufficiently pumped to commit to my first real sporting challenge in years. No, this might very well be my first real sporting challenge ever.
* The Half Iron Man *
For those of you who don’t follow triathlons, this is a 1.9km sea swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run … in a row! Just one song, at the perfect moment; that’s all it took to break my vow of sanity. Shaun had me signed up before I had a flitting change of heart, and here we are…
Three weeks into my decision and I would be lying if I said I haven’t doubted myself, had those moments when I think; what on earth am I doing?! But I knew they would come, they are inevitable. So are the bad training days. It wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy. So that’s what this column is for, a place where I can bare my soul and share my journey. Some of it may amuse you, some of it may bore you to tears, but I hope some of it inspires you, even if just a little, to undertake something resonating deep within your own soul…
Week 1: Entered into with power and determination. Also a lot of naiveté.
After the excitement of signing up and getting my mind around what I was about to undertake, I launched into my training by getting flu in the first week. I woke up Sunday (2 weeks ago) with a tickly throat. To hell with getting sick I thought, and charged off in search of a mountain path to run on. Boy was I glad I did, it was sublime, and peaceful, and energising, and I felt wonderful! After 13km’s of letting myself loose on the mountain, I felt like a new person… Until roughly 2 o’clock that afternoon. The sneaky sore throat reared its ugly head and added a side of headache and fatigue for good measure. Can’t say I was surprised, but I was hoping for divine intervention. Alas, I dived head first into flu-ish oblivion for 2 days, lingering lurgies for another 2 days, and then found myself in desperate need of some exertion. You would think 4 days of rest when you’re looking at 4 months of hard training ahead of you would be welcome, but I can tell you all it did was stress me out and fire up the panic boosters.
Keeping a low profile and gingerly testing my strength, Thursday afternoon I found myself pottering around the weights section in the gym, desperate to do something to quell my nerves. I didn’t have much strength but it felt good to try.
Feeling ok that afternoon I decided I would attempt our swimming training session on Friday morning with our coach. It was a first for me since high school, and I was keen to see what had transpired in the last 16 years. All stokes being equal, was I able to glide through the water, or was I the pebble that refused to skim the surface, glugging beneath the water on the first bounce, never to return?
As it turns out, I have no problem staying on the surface of the water, my rather ample rear-end ensures I bob to the surface with a lot more ease than Shaun (at least there is one thing I can beat him at). I enjoyed the swimming and found I wasn’t as backwards as I thought I would be. Three heavenly cheers for that!
Throwing in some extra resting time on Saturday so as not to invite those lurgies back, I waited until Sunday morning before throwing myself onto the mountain again for a soul satisfying trail run with Shaun and a friend of ours visiting from Joburg. We all took it easy and enjoyed a peaceful 7.5km’s perusing waterfalls and breathing in the freedom.
So week 1 round up:
Awesome 4 days of sleep!
Thursday – 1 super mild gym session
Friday – 1500m swim session
Sunday – 7.5km run
Thoughts on conclusion of the 1st week: Being sick blows! I’ve got this, plenty of time to train – 4 months to go.