In the months preceding my first year of university, my then-boyfriend once gave me a tip.
“Just make sure you don’t talk too much about exercise and you’ll make friends just fine,” he said. I was somewhat taken aback. What was he trying to say??
Apparently I enjoy talking about exercise-related topics, and apparently there are few who care to listen. However today marks two months into my training for a half Ironman, and if you’d all humour me, I’d briefly like to talk about it. Then I promise to zip lip (unless provoked).
As some of you may know, my parents and I have registered for the half-Ironman in Providence, Rhode Island on July 8 (just shy of my 23rd birthday). I’m not big into New Year’s resolutions, but it happened around that time and I guess the shoe fits.
Being a healthy 22-yr-old, I naturally and ignorantly take my body for granted. If I want to climb a mountain, my body takes me to the summit. If I want to go on a bike trip with no previous training, my body begrudgingly complies. It’s a subservient machine designed to do my bidding no questions asked. But there is significant disparity between what I ask it to do and what I pay it in return.
I give little thought to balanced sleeping, even less to balanced eating. Seeing as how “balance” is an essential pillar of yoga, you can understand why I never got into it. As a chronic fidgeter – I know, we’re the worst – I automatically reject anything telling me not to move. What do you mean I have to focus all my attention on that little dot on the floor?
It’s never long before my mind wanders to my to-do list, what I’m going to eat for lunch, an article idea, a boy, or how few animals actually resemble the poses that bear their name (I’m looking at you, eagle and camel.) But since I’m terrified of getting injured before this whole half-ironman foolishness, and yoga supposedly helps reduce the chances of that, I’ve decided to give it a second go. A long-winded tangent, mostly just to ask if there are any yogi friends out there willing to take me under their wing?
I mentioned fear. This is in fact the main thing forcing me to stay on schedule. While my body has carried me through a good many endeavors sans training, I know I won’t be able to do a half-Ironman in under 8.5 hours unless I practice. Rigorously. Balancing my diet probably wouldn’t hurt either.
By the way in case some of you are unfamiliar, a half Ironman is 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run. I’m hoping to break 7hrs. (Before you go thinking that’s impressive, I’d urge you to check last year’s winning time for the 18-24 girls. A Ms. Katie Quinn clocked in at 4 hours and 52 minutes.)
Anyway, I promised brevity, so I`ll wrap it up. Last Monday I started the new training schedule that will lead me all the way to that summer Sunday in Providence. A lot can happen in four months, but for now I’m feeling good and sticking with my schedule (with the exception of a week-long hiatus in BC to cover the AAAS conference.)
If you’d like to keep up to date with mine and my parents’ progress, let me know. Otherwise I will heed my ex’s advice and keep the fitness chatter to a minimum :).