Tuesday, September 16, 2008

See Kim. See Kim run (and bike, and swim).

I have this friend. I met her my very first day of college. She lived down the hall from me in my dorm. She’s a little kooky, in a good way. She's not just a spark, but the firecracker that results. A light of color and personality that makes everyone around her ooh and ahh. She lives in Maryland. She knows who she is.

In college, she was a source of constant entertainment. During finals, she was always the first to crack (in a good way). She’d dress up in some wacky outfit and dance around the dorm, sometimes with a broom or stuffed animal. I have pictures. I’d scan and post them, but I value my life too much.

In 2002, months before I conceived Peanut, we met at the Jersey shore for a weekend getaway. We were looking forward to two days lounging on the beach and one wild, crazy, ridiculously drunken night out. Days before the meeting, the forecast promised to rain on our parade – literally.

“If it rains, we’re getting tattoos,” she told me.

It poured.

I drove north on Sunday with fresh ink on my back. She drove off in the opposite direction with the same on hers.

In June, I came home to a message she left on my machine.

“I’ve had an epiphany,” she began. “Next year for our 40th birthdays we should go to Vegas.” There was a long pause. “After we do a triathlon.”

I literally laughed out loud. A triathlon! Plu-leaze. Who did she think I was? As I’ve written before, I’m no athlete.

But not long after her message I happened to read an article about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old swimmer who was about to compete in her fifth Olympic games, faster than ever. I thought about it.

I’m no Dara Torres, but if she could make the Olympics at 41, why couldn’t I do a triathlon next year? Not one of those crazy Ironmans with 2.5 mile swims, 112 miles bikes and a full marathon (26.2 miles) at the end. No, not one of those. But maybe a shorter one?

A little digging around revealed that Sprint Triathlons are fairly common.

So sometime next spring, my kooky, long-time friend and I will attempt to complete our first triathlon. (Notice I say first as if there may be others? Hope springs eternal.)

The exact distances are TBD, but it will be something in the range of a half- to one-mile open-water swim, 15- to 20-mile bike ride, and three to four miles of running. Yikes!

While I’ve worked out regularly for the last two-and-a-half years, taking strength training and step aerobics and kick boxing, I was doing none of the activities required to finish a triathlon with some semblance of grace and ease.

That has since changed. I’m running and biking a few times a week. Last week, I even started taking adult stroke lessons at the local Y because the doggie paddle I taught myself to do at the Fish Pond in North Adams, Massachusetts sometime in middle school probably isn’t going to cut it for a half mile (or more) in open water. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. Like I said, I value my life.

So those are my big goals for 2009: Finish a triathlon. Don’t die.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get another tattoo as well. If my kooky friend agrees to get one too.

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Blogger Mayberry said...

So Alex @ Flexibleparenting, Julie @ mothergoosemouse, a couple of IRL friends and you ... all moms doing triathlons! Wonder why it's a trend?

(I'm sticking with yoga ... but never say never, I guess!)

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Kimmylyn said...

You can soooo do this!!! I will be rooting you on from Long Island!! Good for you!!

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

That is so awesome!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

You can do it! Good luck :)

1:47 PM  
Blogger ryssee said...

Nice! Send me your sizes and I'll see if I can help out with gear. Maybe even running shoes too. If you're a medium I can def get my hands on some running clothes for your training!
PS-women do great at endurance sports when they get older. Look up some female triathletes' profiles- you'll be surprised!

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, so i am now feeling the weight of the world on my weak shoulders.... connected to flabby arms and a sqooshy body that is so not ready to tri! THE PRESSURE. MAKE IT STOP. :-)
Thank you for the weblove, girl! :-)

9:33 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Mayberry - No idea, but I need to point out that I had this plan MONTHS before J-Lo announced she was doing one. :-)

Ryssee - You rock! I'll be in touch.

Anonymous - Get off the computer and go for a run.

Everyone else - thank you, thank you!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Good for you!! My friend and I used to joke about doing one and then last fall we thought, "Well, why not?" We did our first one in May in it was great. It was a 400 Yard pool swim, a 7 mile bike ride and a 2.1 mile run. Once we finished that we figured that as long as we were already in shape, mine as well do more because we had so much fun. I've done three others which have been longer since then and I'm relaying a duathlon next month with some friends. I found in all of them that there was a wide range of abilities and that everyone is incredibly nice. Anyhow, it's now one of my favorite things to talk about! Thanks for stopping by! I'm not expert, but if you have any questions, please let me know.

9:47 PM  

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