Long Days and Short Years

just trying to pay attention so I don't miss my life

Why You Need to Do a Triathlon. Yes, you.


Recruiting?  Yes, I am.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who believed that she was not an athlete.  She went to a very big high school where the naturally athletic, the coordinated, and those-who-had-been-playing-their-sport-since-age-three rose to the top and stayed there.  They were the athletes.  She was good at algebra.

The little girl grew up and had two little girls.  For the sake of her mental sanity, she started going to the gym.  She ran a mile on the treadmill and it wasn’t horrible.  She hurt her back (while picking up the little girls who were getting bigger) and had to start swimming.  She got bored easily, and so she started running and then swimming in one work-out.  Sometimes she read books on the stationary bike because running was too bumpy for reading.  One day she was so bored that she ran a mile, biked for 10 minutes, and then swam some laps.

“Oh”, she thought, “I just did a triathlon.”

Something rung in her mind.  Didn’t Pittsburgh have a triathlon?  Hmm… she had done a few short running races by this point, and knew that she was motivated by a date and a goal.  She also knew that she liked to get free t-shirts.  She looked it up on the internet.

(I’ll save you some time here:  http://www.piranha-sports.com/Race266.aspx )

And then she learned about the greatest thing of all: Sprint Triathlons.  Ignoring the implications of the word ‘sprint’, she checked the distances.  600 meter swim.  That’s about a third of a mile.  20K bike.  That seemed long, but half of it was joyously downhill.  5K run.  She had run 5Ks.



The little grown-up girl finished the race!  Here I am running toward my own personal paparazzi.


This picture was followed by one of the greatest moments of my life in which my daughter ran out into the course, and hugged me just before I crossed the finish line.IMG_5817

It still makes me tear up a little.


But enough about me.  Back to you.  Why do you need to do this?  Five reasons:

1) Training for a triathlon provides automatic cross-training.  Cross-training=good (especially when you’re in your thirties or older).

2) Training for a triathlon is less boring than training for a really long running race.  Well, unless you really like running.  I don’t particularly.

3)  If you do it in Pittsburgh, you get to fly down the 279 HOV lane on a bike.  This is really really cool.  And swimming in the Allegheny River isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds.

4)  You don’t really have to sprint a ‘sprint triathlon.’  I prefer to call it a ‘beginner triathlon.’  I’m not the only one.

5)  Aforementioned free t-shirt

Are you convinced?

7 thoughts on “Why You Need to Do a Triathlon. Yes, you.

  1. Jen: you are a motivational blogger..thank you for your post. I am definately thinking about this and want to talk more!!!!

  2. Impressed? Definitely! Convinced? Um…. But I will say that my personal goal for this year is to work up to running my first-ever 5K. The last time (in fact the only time) I ever ran even a mile was in high school so it’s a stretch goal for me. But our church hosts a charity 5K in November and I aim to run it this year (instead of waddling ponderously as I did in the fall — I blame the baby belly!). Maybe next year I’ll graduate to the triathlon!

    • I seem to remember that you are already signed up for a ‘marathon’ this year… doesn’t having a third baby get you Ironwoman status?

  3. I am totally convinced! Ha… Actually, last year was my first and I felt better after a sprint triathlon than I had after any running race. I have come to love running, but the overall body experience of a triathlon is amazing!

  4. Great post, I can totally relate! We used to live in Morgantown, not so sure I’d want to swim in the Allegheny? 🙂

  5. This year maybe my foot will decide to behave! I was really sad I couldn’t join you and Alison last year. You both inspire me!

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