Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Me and Pain

Lois Greiman

So, I participated in my first triathlon on Sunday.

A full triathlon, such as the Iron Man is 26 miles running, 100 plus miles biking and over 2 miles swimming. My event was just a sprint. Simple. Short. Close to home. And it was indoors since it’s still about 20 degrees here in Minnesota and our lakes are still a little stiff. So instead of having a starting line and a finish line, each leg was simply a set time. Ten minutes swimming, a half an hour biking and twenty minutes running. It sounded like a breeze when I first started considering it. But as I stood there shivering in my swimming suit, I kind of wondered why. Why was I doing this? I mean, first of all, I can’t swim. I have no rhythm and I don’t know any strokes. As a kid they let me paddle around in a river a couple times a summer. That’s the extent of my training. Secondly, I had done no conditioning. Nothing. Thirdly, I’m as pale as an onion…and…we were forced to wear swim caps. I was not only cold and unprepared…I was ugly.

But…an hour after starting I had learned one very important lesson--I suck at triathlons. The winner in my category had more than four times the points than I did. Huh. Still…and here’s the funny part…I already find myself planning the next one. Why, I ask you. Why?

The good news, however, is that I’ve ruled out the Iron Man. I don’t even want to try an Iron Man. I’m not even tempted to try an Iron Man. An Iron Man would kill me. But a half an Iron Man…

So are there things in your life that make you suspect you might be somewhat…well…insane?


Debra Dixon said...

Well, currently, I suspect you're insane, Lois. LOL!

You go, girl. I just can imagine the pasty white end-of-March color of skin this time of year for the non-tanning-bed crowd. (I would be one of those.)

So, not only are you insane, you're very brave.

The things that make me think I'm insane are the things on my to do list. How can I continue to add commitments and expect that it'll be different this time and I won't be overloaded? That's the definition of insanity.

I also took survival swimming once. An actual university course, not continuing education. I'm an excellent swimmer. I mean, I was swimming and going off the diving board at 18 months. About halfway though the course I wondered what insanity had overtaken me when I decided this would be a fun course. I swear they tried to kill us every class.

Hence the title: Survival Swimming.

I am now fully qualified to handle the Titantic replay though.

Candace said...

I have just signed up for a R.A.D.(Rape Aggression Defense) Self Defense Education course. Four training sessions, three hours a session. It's not until this summer so I have a coupla'three months to scare myself silly.

I have been assured it is perfectly safe and I will not break anything. But we have to wear knee and elbow pads, boxing gloves, and a helmet. Now, I ask you, want "perfectly safe" endeavor requires all that padding?!

Still, it will be good for me. It will stretch me. It will make me test my limits and increase my self-confidence. And it will not kill me. Right?

Christie Ridgway said...

Candace, that sounds like such a great class. I'd like to do something like that. I'm pretty small but I have a feisty personality and I'd like to back that up with something.

Lois: That's fabulous! Good for you. I don't think I have it in me. I've run a half marathon and a ten-mile run but I don't want to do those again either. I take a spin class 2 days a week and a lot of people there are into triatholons and keep trying to get others of us involved too. It's so nice of them...but no.

I'm enjoying my fitness, but I don't think I have the right competitive spirit.

Michele Hauf said...

Heck, I'd try an Iron Man.

Oh. You mean the er, race, not a man with iron abs? Huh. Okay, maybe not.

Liza said...

WTG Lois! I'm working up to jogging the half marathon next April with my dad and several of my friends. When my friends found out my dad was going to run, they said if he could do it so could we. We have a whole year to train which is really great since I'm only up to walking like 3 miles on the treadmill. Plus the hills in Nashville make the run seem much longer.

lois greiman said...

Liza, running with your dad sounds great! I did a marathon with my sons a few years ago. And now that I'm over the pain :)I'm really glad I did it. There are only so many opportunities in life.

lois greiman said...

Candace, that sounds so interesting. You should come blog with us after you take it.

Helen Brenna said...

I can't swim very well, so I'd be out of the running for a triathlon, even if I was as crazy as you, Lois! :))

I took a self defense class once, Candace, and love it! You'll like it too.

I feel insane with 2 dogs and 3 cats. There's another one for you, Lois. You have how many horses??

Dara Edmondson said...

I'm incredibly impressed that you tried it with no preparation!

lois greiman said...

Thanks Dara, but I think the non-preparation just adds to the insanity. However, I have an outdoor tri in June and then I'm going to climb Mt. Whitney (highest peak in the US) in July with my kids, so I'm going to train for those events...and I mean it.

Betina Krahn said...

Lois, I've said it before, I'll say it again. . . you're my hero. I appreciate you as a friend and a role model. And I think you're nutz to do such things when you could be sitting home sipping hot cocoa and watching snirt melt.

Me, I'm really pushing it to get on the Gazelle I bought off my sister a while back. . . and do 10 minutes on it. Walking is better for the joints and muscles I tell myself. But I am something of a swimmer. Being super buoyant helps. I have to really work to dive to the pool bottom. LOL.

Best of luck on your Half Iron or whatever it's called. And climbing Mt. Whitney. . . well, I echo your question: why? You know you didn't really answer that question. Is it the need to test yourself, to do something unusual and self-stretching at this stage of life?

I'm considering taking up quilting. That'd be a real stretch for me.


lois greiman said...

Watching the Snirt melt! Huh!! I think the snirt's here to stay, Betina, and I have no idea why I do these things. I was planning to just fly out to CA, join my kids and my daughter's boyfriend and climb the damn mountain, but then the kids asssssured me that they'd get me a car plug in and I'd be able to write on the way. And somehow I fell for it. So now I'm actually planning on doing a two week trip before Mt. Whitney that will involve climbing everything from mountain to pimple between here and California (by way of the Pacific coast). I should be lean and mean by the time I reach San Fran for the RWA convention. Well... at least I'll be mean. I get kind of snotty on reduced sleep and calories. But hey...it's all about the adventure. Right?

I'm sure I can't be your hero, Betina, cuz you've been mine for a long time. But it's really nice to hear.

Mary Barfield said...

I admire each of you who try the physical things. You are brave! Great blog here.

Playground Monitor said...

So are there things in your life that make you suspect you might be somewhat…well…insane?

Well, yeah. It's called writing. *snort*

Right now I'm patting myself on the back because I can pick up marbles with my toes and drop them into a bowl. That's part of the physical therapy after the February foot surgery. Right now I'm thinking I'll be real lucky to be wearing real shoes by the time conference rolls around. I guess I could pull a Cybill Shephard at the Ritas and wear a gown and tennis shoes. *giggle*

You go, girl! You make us all proud.


lois greiman said...

Thanks Mary for joining our blog.

And Marilyn, see you in San Fran, tennis shoes or not.

flchen1 said...

Lois, I'm in awe--you ARE insane, but wow, that is incredible! I'm such a couch potato these days, even reading about your experience is making my muscles ache a little ;)

And whoa, Betina--quilting! You go!

I think my current insanity is limited to trying not to get crushed by my TBR when it tips over...