So for some reason I can’t recall, I have decided to start training for a (sprint) triathlon. I mean hey.. I can swim, I can bike (duh) and I could slog my way through a 5k. So I did a 5k.. and did terribly. I went to a tri-training swim in the ocean, and really thought I’d end up shark food. I am still working towards the goal of a tri, but lemme tell yah – not easy.
So I decided to interview someone that just finished her first triathlon, and is on to conquer bigger and better!! I bring you Lindsay – a 20something Los Angelino that conquered surf and sun to complete her tri. And most importantly, this is how she got into cycling.
TC.com: Why do a tri?
Lindsay: Over the past few years I’ve gotten into running. I started doing half marathons. Last summer a surfer friend of mine convinced me to start swimming with her at a local pool. I had never been a swimmer before, but I’ve been surfing since I was a teenager and thought it’d be a great cross training workout. I went to a ocean speed circuit that was part of LA tri club and I LOVED it. Everyone was so fit and in shape and I just thought to myself how I could totally be a triathlete, too.
By the end of the summer, I competed in my first race (an aquathlon – a swim / run race) and loved it. From there I figured I was already 2/3′s of the way there, so why not go for it and try my hand at a triathlon.
I just like new challenges in general so I put a triathlon on my bucket list
TC.com: How did you prepare
Lindsay: The one thing that was completely foreign to me was the bike. I knew I had running and swimming down and was committed to making sure I did both of those activities at least 2-3x /week. The bike was a different story because I’ve never ridden a road bike before. I’ve always been one of those people who sees cyclists on the road and gets annoyed that they are taking up the lane, so the thought of becoming one was just crazy to me.
I decided to take an intro to road biking class through REI adventure school to get used to the idea of riding on the road. I found that a lot of people in the class had similar concerns and were in the class to get over their fears and get more comfortable being on the road. I ended up loving the class and the feeling of being on a road bike. They are so light and fast! I had been researching road bikes for months but at that point I got serious about buying one.
Anyway, to get back to the question…to train for the bike I rode a stationary bike at the gym until I got my own bike.
TC.com: What was the hardest part during the tri?
Lindsay: The hardest part during the tri for me was the transition coming off the swim, running in the sand, and getting ready for the bike. I was out of breath and needed to take a couple seconds to calm down, take some sips of water, and mentally prepare for the bike. It was my first race so I wasn’t competing for a time goal, I just wanted to finish.
TC.com: How did you feel after?
Lindsay: It feels amazing! The end of the race was such a high for me. I had my boyfriend, parents, and our golden retriever Bailey at the race cheering me on. So many of my friends and family called me to see how I did. I was really touched by how much everyone supported me in my efforts.
I’ve always admired the level of fitness that triathletes have. I trained hard, I changed the way I eat, and I focused hard on my training. I feel different and that I can no longer go back to my old ways and habits. I’m a triathlete now!
TC.com: Would you do it again?
Lindsay: Hell yeah! I’m already registered for Malibu in September.
TC.com: Now you’ve done a sprint, do you want to do more?
Lindsay: Absolutely. I’d like to try my hand at an Olympic and maybe do a 1/2 Ironman one day
TC.com: Tips for those who want to do a tri?
Lindsay: I would also like to mention that I started seeing a trainer 2x / week for strength training and overall conditioning because I felt that it was important to have a strong fitness base when training for a triathlon.
Awesome! Thanks Lindsay, and congrats!
Readers – have you ever done a triathlon? Any tips for us? Or are you interested in doing a tri or duathlon?
While doing interval training on the evil sandy bike path of doom (no stop lights to interrupt intervals, though), I came across a stretch that borders a pier (Manhattan beach pier for those who know Los Angeles). During the weekends, there is a mandatory ‘walk your bike’ thing going on for this stretch (yet another reason NOT to bike on the weekends on the bike path). As this was around 5 PM on a weekday, no walk your bike and not a lot of foot traffic.
I was in the middle of my ON interval, so I was doing about 17 MPH (hey, there was a strong headwind, ok?) and going hard. Watching the pedestrians, I see a guy saunter his way as slowly as possible across the bike path (which is what, five feet wide?). I could gauge he would almost clear it by the time I got there, unless he stopped. Regardless, I could still go around him.
I get within 15 feet, and all of a sudden a runt ass pre-teen starts to go out onto bikepath!! Now I have BOTH father and kid (or however they knew eachother) ON the path, completely blocking the way!!
Too close to stop, I screamed something at them twice. I don’t recall what it was. Something like ‘MOVE IT’ or ‘WATCH OUT’. I think I screamed MOVE IT (with a follow up of BIKES ONLY!!) at the couple that was walking DOWN the BIKE PATH holding hands.
Now, I narrowly avoided crushing the child with my Trek5200 by going in between kid and father (it was a close shave). Treat a bike path like a road, kid! Apparently his father never taught him to look both ways before crossing!!
This is not the first time I have almost murdered children on my bike (usually on the bike path, where they like to dart out of nowhere at the last second).
It’s definitely possible to be killed by a cyclist, where penalties for bike-slaughter may only be a fine. Granted, if you Google ‘killed by bicycle’ you see a billion more articles about cyclists that were KILLED, usually by our evil metal brethren, the car.
The more hard core cyclists (read: not goobers on beach cruisers) are easily doing over 20 MPH. It’s gotta SUCK to get hit by ANYTHING doing over 20 MPH. Hell, I clocked myself doing over FIFTY miles per hour going down a really long hill in Palos Verdes. That was awesome. I knew if I hit any kind of serious hole/rock/etc, I was gonna get splattered. It was sooo awesome. That is like..suicide by cyclist, right??
Apparently you can also use your bicycle during drive by shootings, which is giving me a lot of ideas. Trust me, I often thought about packin’ some serious heat and/or a crowbar in my bike jersey to smash car windows of those who dare to get too close (and then are stuck at the stop light up ahead) and little children that scamper around the bike path.. or beach cruisers doing 5 MPH three abreast… the possibilities are endless! Yes, I suffer from extreme road/bike path rage.
And I will have you know that the entire time I wrote this post, a kitten was on my lap, purring and snuggling and trying to prevent me from typing with it’s truly murderous cuteness. I was not able to find any incidents of ‘death by kitten’, but the Google images for that term are adorable.
Click kitten pic to enlarge. Kitten’s name is ‘snap’. Kitten is orange.