Sunday, January 20, 2013

Swim Bike Run - What?!

So, it looks like I'm going to train for and complete my first sprint triathlon this year.

I may be a little crazy, but I'm not alone-my three sisters and I are planning on doing it together. This sprint tri is comprised of a 0.5 mile open water swim, 12 mile hilly bike ride, followed by a (thankfully) flat 3 mile run.

The entire race will of course be a challenge, but especially the swimming portion for me. Swimming has historically been difficult for me.

Here's a true story that might demonstrate my lack of swimming ability. When I was 17-18 years old, I was signed up for a swimming league that met a couple of times a week. After a few months of this, the league competed in a swim meet, which was my first. The breast stroke is my least-awful stroke, so I completed in a 500m race.

When I finished the race and got out of the pool, everyone clapped. Not because I had won, but because I had finished a good few minutes behind every else. Pity clap! Hey, at least I'm persistent if nothing else.

So, while I may be a persistent swimmer, I'm not a particularly fast one.  That's okay though. I have some time to work on it, as well as biking and running, which will be my stronger components. I feel comfortable with training for a 3 mile running race - it's not likely to aggravate my injury nearly as much as running long distances has. 

I gave it some considerable thought, and I think that training for this sprint triathlon will not negatively affect my renewed recovery from eating disordered behavior. In fact, I think it may help in my recovery. Training for a competition helps to reinforce the role of food as fuel, and removes some of the emotional associations with it. If I eat well, I can train better. If I don't, my training and body will suffer. It often is as simple as that.

I will continue to watch myself though for slips or lapses, and will strive to continue to counter unhealthy thoughts with the truth instead of choosing to allow them to control my behavior.

This race is a very positive motivation for me. It would be amazing to share this experience with my sisters. Life is enhanced by experiences like these. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm happy to add "Finishing my first sprint triathlon" to my 2013 goals.