I can officially scratch through the word wannabe.  I am now a triathlete.  This past Saturday I participated in the Gary Kirby Sprint Triathlon in Raleigh, NC.  Actually, to be more precise… it was in actually in my neighborhood of Bedford.  How much more convenient could it be?  I put this date on the calendar back during the first week of February.  It was then that I decided to get moving again, to inspire myself to do better – To inspire my kids – To impress my wife – To be a more fit father – but most of all… to be proud of myself by taking control of my life and pushing towards a goal that before seemed out of reach – not because I didn’t think I could do it… but more because I was too lazy to even try.

When contemplating what to do for my “I am no longer lazy” target, I decided to go for a triathlon.  At that time, I didn’t really know anything about them… other than the crazy long Ironman race in Hawaii.  But with a few clicks I could solve that lack of knowledge… I quickly jumped to the Internet for some education.  I came across a great website (www.beginnertriathlete.com) that educated me on all the ins and outs of triathlon.  It was then that I learned that there were such things as a sprint distance triathlon, Olympic distances and even half Ironman distance races… all which cut the insane Ironman distance down to a more reasonable level.  I then decided that my “I am no longer lazy” target was to complete a half Ironman distance triathlon, which is a 1.2 mile open water swim, a 56 mile bike ride followed by a 13.1 mile run sometime before the end of 2013.  The half Ironman distances were all out of reach for my current state of fitness, but I have completed a 13.1 mile (half marathon) run just two years prior, so I felt that I could do that again with some training.  The other disciplines… well, they seemed near impossible back in February.

So, with a target of completing a 70.3 mile race (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) in 2013 as my official “I am no longer lazy” target, I built out a plan.  I found out that my neighborhood hosts a sprint race in early June – that would be the perfect first step towards attempting a 70.3 distance race.  That would be a great secondary goal… Complete my first Sprint triathlon before I turn 40 in late August!   Then I found an Olympic distance race in September 2012 to do – check.  Next is identifying additional sprint and Olympic distance races for the spring on 2013 followed by finding the perfect 70.3 for me to do in the later part of 2013.

But let’s get back to the race this weekend.  I have been training for right at four months for this first race.  While it is a short race (300 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run), it still wouldn’t be easy.  So, with much dedication and a lot of support from the family, I trained – and I trained.  I was up at 5:15 many mornings, I was away from the family for my long rides and runs on the weekends, I was probably cranky some days and euphoric on others.  I am certain that my only conversation around the dinner table that I brought up was about my training, my race, my research or something else triathlon related.  So, I greatly appreciate my family bearing with me through these first four months of this journey.  Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.

So – let me walk you through the race.