All right. It’s been months since I posted something, and I miss writing in a blog. Problem is, I don’t have many exciting things to say after spending a summer talking about hammers in Alaska. Yes, it’s been a year since I left for Haines, but I continue to miss it just about every day.
It wasn’t the first time that I’ve gone through an odd period of sadness and frustration after going on a big adventure. I spent a winter living in New Brunswick, Canada (I like cold places) in 2009, and afterwards I spent months annoying my friends by talking about how awesome the Canadian Maritimes were. It’s possible that I’ve been similarly annoying about Southeast Alaska, but it’s always difficult to settle back into life as you knew it before you left. Especially when you feel like you had so much more to explore.
So, while DC is lovely and I have a happy, fulfilling job as a mini-manager at a bike shop (I said fulfilling, not lucrative), I need something else to do with myself. Somewhere on my long bucket list of goals is doing a triathlon. This seems to be an item on many people’s bucket lists, so I’m not unique in that regard. But it would mean a lot for me to finish one. Why? Mostly because I don’t think I can.
Brief back story: I was the slow, awkward one in gym class for many years. I’m not an “athlete.” Competition scares me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I bike everywhere, but it’s usually a solo effort in which I go at my own pace. Also, it’s transportation. Cycling at high speeds for competition’s sake is very new to me. Running and swimming are incredibly challenging, and while I like doing both, they don’t come naturally. When two of my friends asked me to do a tri with them, I said I would but have been doubting myself ever since I agreed to it.
A girl came into the bike shop the other day with a Trek hybrid–a step-through frame, and super heavy to boot. She was looking for a way to attach two bottle cages to it. When I asked her why, she said, “Well, I’m doing an Olympic triathlon on it.” I must have looked surprised, because she got shy and said, “I know…but it’s the only bike I have.” She was somehow doubtful and confident at the same time, and her quiet resolve was gigantically inspirational. So I decided to bite the bullet, pay an annoyingly large amount of money, and sign up for an Olympic distance triathlon in Quakertown, PA in August.
.9 mile swim, 24.6 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run.
It’s no Iron Man, and this blog might be more interesting if it were, but just thinking about that distance makes me want to die. But goddammit, I’m going to do it. I’m fortunate enough to have an amazing group of friends who are either training with me directly or providing inspiration from afar, and oddly, all of their names are some derivation of “Kate” (Hi Katie, Kate and Katherine!). Plus, I need something new to write about, and the “training” trials and tribulations of a somewhat reluctant athlete seem as good as anything else…