Sunday, July 10, 2011

Triathlon to Duathlon

I have been busy preparing for my upcoming triathlon on July 17 with quite a few new experiences under my belt in both biking and swimming. One new learning experience was attending an open water swim clinic earlier this month--an hour in the classroom and an hour in the pool with drills for open water swimming as well as an open water simulation. The next step was to swim in a real open water situation, which I did this past weekend by going to beach to practice swimming in the ocean where next weekend's race will take place. Let me just say that after [trying to] swim in the ocean, swimming in a pool is piece of cake!

The surf on Saturday was perhaps a little rougher than usual, but that's not an excuse, because I have to be prepared for any possible surf situation--calm or rough--on the day of the triathlon. It took me a good 30 minutes to get up the nerve to get in the water and get swimming. The waves were pretty big and even after getting past the breaks, which was really tough, the swells were still so powerful. The feeling of being pushed and pulled and tossed about like a cork was so overwhelming for me. I just couldn't get calm enough to be comfortable. I wouldn't say that I was panicking, but I definitely didn't feel confident or in control, and I decided that I'm just not ready for open water swimming in the ocean. So I'm not going to compete in the triathlon next weekend. :(

The good news, however, is that next weekend's event is a multi-sport event that is simultaneously hosting triathlon, duathlon and aqua-velo events. So I'm switching my race entry to compete in a duathlon instead. A duathlon is a run-bike-run event so I'm basically replacing the swim portion with a 2 mile run. I'll be doing a course that consists of a 2 mile run, a 10.6 mile bike, followed by a 3.0 mile run. An aqua-velo event is swim-bike only.

I am still planning on doing the Danskin Triathlon in September as that swim event is held in a bay as opposed to the ocean. I think I'll fare much better swimming where the power of the water isn't nearly as fierce as the ocean.

I felt pretty sad and defeated on Saturday when I realized I couldn't do the open water swimming in the ocean, but once I let it sink in a bit [no pun intended!], I feel so much less stressed out about next week's race and am now spending this week training and counting down the days to competing in my first ever duathlon!  : )


  1. Christine, the Duathlon sounds like an awesome challenge! Competing with the added stress will help you along. :)

    Good luck and best wishes to you. Will be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way on the 17th!


  2. just be glad you didn't get there & find out. You're doing an awesome job & are so inspiring to the rest of us... well, at least me ;)
    Good luck - we'll be thinking of you!

  3. I think you're wise to know your limitations. A stressed-out you would take all the fun out of the competition. The duathlon still sounds challenging and I hope you'll have fun.

  4. You're a brave soul and I think it is awesome what you are doing.

    Sometimes it's best to know what we can do and I'm glad you were able to swim in the ocean and knew later that it may not be the time. You'll conquer that ocean, but enjoy the duathlon, which I never heard of before.

    Kudos and early congrats.

  5. You amaze me, I was the second slowest runner in my high school class. And I don't think I can run more than 10 yards without coughing up a lung!!

    Good luck wit your dualthon! I'm sure you'll rock it!

  6. You haven't failed. You've stepped back and re-assesed and that is a good thing. The duathlon is just as challenging without stressing you out to the point where you won't do well. I have every faith you'll do well in the Triathlon in the Bay!

  7. Duathlon all the way! Don't feel too sad or defeated. As a survivor of near-ocean drowning TWICE, I can assure it was no fun. Not fun at all.

    You've already done awesome! Bike and running. And you've trained so well. Go Chrissy! :D

  8. Thank you all for the encouraging words. I knew you would all be so supportive! I appreciate it so much! : )

  9. p.s. little_alys, you survived near drowning in the ocean TWICE? That's SO SCARY!!! I guess you're extremely cautious of open water now? Grateful you're here to tell your story. xo

  10. Wow - you're amazing! I can't believe how brave you are to even DO the duathlon. Congrats to you.

  11. You know what Christine you still have a sh*t ton more guts than me to do the duathlon with running and biking and running some more. Plus...I'm a bit afraid of the ocean and I wouldn't have been able to go out there and walk in the water by myself let alone swim in it, so congrats for even trying that. Also WAY TO GO for sticking to trying the tri in September, that just gives you more time to practice the swimming in the ocean so yay for you! :-) Can't wait to hear how this weekends event goes for you.

  12. I think it's a good decision. I mean, you have to know your limits and it's better that way. And you're still running a lot.

  13. Thanks, Tracy. :) I'm gonna ROCK that duathlon! :D

    Deanna, thank you!!! The good news about the triathlon in September is that it's in a bay, not directly in the ocean, so the water is MUCH calmer and not as powerful. Omg those swells were just tossing me about last weekend. It was very unnerving. :/

    nath, I feel good about my decision to nix the swimming for Sunday's race. I didn't feel so good about it last weekend when I got out of the water... but as I let it sink in (NO PUN INTENDED) that I wasn't prepared... I felt better.

    Can't wait to tell you all about the race next Sunday!

  14. You will do amazing this Sunday and I think you're being very sensible :) And you're SO inspiring!


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