In April I celebrated the loss of almost 40 pounds with the decision to train for my first triathlon. My younger son was born in January of 2005 and since his arrival I'd worked pretty hard to get myself back into some sort of shape. I was at the gym five mornings a week for one of various cardio or strength training workouts and I had started running in January. I remember riding my road bike about 10 years ago and about 16 years ago I used to swim on a summer team. What made me think that was good enough for a triathlon I'm not sure, but I'm here after finishing my first sprint last weekend.
I've never been an athlete. I ran cross country and did the high jump and javelin on the track team in high school. I was quite large compared with most cross-country runners or track team members and I always felt a bit out of place. I spent all four years of cross-country as the last runner for the team- more often than not I was the last runner in the entire race if I remember correctly. I was never able to break a 10:00 mile pace and sometimes I was bitter about how little the other girls had to practice in order to be faster than me. I was pretty decent at javelin and I would have been good at high jump if I had a little less weight to propel over that bar. I swam on a summer swim team for about 3 years until I was old enough to get a summer job. I wasn't great at that, either, but I was okay. After high school I went to college and worked out at the field house or gym with friends, managed to keep my weight reasonably constant but I was never in great shape. I worked for a year before going back to graduate school and that's when I finally got into shape. I took my personal trainer's license exam and I assisted with teaching aerobics at the local YMCA. I worked out pretty hard at least 5 days a week and finally got into decent shape. Then I got married.
Over the next 5 years I gained over 50 pounds and had two children. The pregnancies really weren't the problem, I was fat even without pregnancy weight, but I guess it didn't help either. After having my son I was tipping the scales about a Snickers shy of 200 pounds NON-pregnant and that's when I realized something had to be done. I joined the gym and started working out and four weeks later I found out I was pregnant again. I kept going to the gym throughout my pregnancy but I wasn't working too hard. After my younger son was born I went back to the gym as soon as I returned to work. I started taking classes, keeping track of everything I ate and I did manage to lose weight. My goal weight was 140 pounds, but I stalled out at 165 for a long time. It was about a 6 month plateau until January 2006. I managed to lose 9 more pounds for a total loss of 38 pounds and then I hit another plateau where I've been hanging out to this day. I signed up with Team In Training to do the Timberman Sprint Triathlon in Gilford, New Hampshire on August 19th. I didn't do as much of the training as I had thought I would, life just got in the way of my plans. I wanted to get to a point where I was pretty sure I would finish and I did. I told myself that the time wouldn't matter, just finishing would be good enough. I did finish and I was really thrilled with the time but as I think it over more I know that I could have done better. I know I'll do it again and now it's time to get serious.
From a non-triathlon/training perspective, I'm the mom to two boys, M. was 3 in April and C. was 1 in January. I work full time as a research scientist while my boys are lucky enough to be home with my husband who's an awesome dad. I'm not very good at down time and I like to have constant plans or projects which I think will be the nice thing about triathlons and training because there are always races and events around to work towards. I'm fortunate to live near family and friends, except my sister, whom I miss because she lives far enough that I don't get to see her as much as I would like. She's happy, though, so that's important. Overall I'm incredibly lucky to have all the things I have and life is good. I'd just like to go through it with a little more speed and a little less size. Thanks for joining me on this ride.