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Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I did get one serious 45 minute swim in at a lap pool in Kauai, Hawaii. It was a rainy day so we decided to go to the local athletic club. I at least had earplugs this time. I practiced keeping my head down, butt up and doing bi-lateral breathing. I felt like I had made some progress, although the pool was shorter than my gym and I still got out of breath. At least this time the whirlpool didn't tempt me to cut the workout short.

As I watched the New Years fireworks over Poipu beach, I thought about what my New Years resolutions should be. I wasn't quite ready to declare I could do a triathlon. Upon returning home, I started researching triathlons and reading more about swimming techniques and watching some swim videos. I couldn't believe that the NYC triathlon and a local CT triathlon sold out the day they started accepting sign ups.

I return to the pool. Uh oh - I realize what it will take to do a triathlon swim is actually double my original calculation. Perhaps a classic beginner's mistake - a "lap" is a really 2 "lengths". I focus on improving my breathing. My reading revealed a tip to start breathing out immediately when my face returns to the water as I realize that I've been holding my breath and therefore building up CO2, causing me to get out of breath. I make some progress.

I've decided I better just go ahead and sign up for a triathlon. Otherwise, I may miss out and, besides, it will motivate me. As I search, my mission is to find a short swim. I'm confident I can handle the bking and running distances of any sprint triathlon, but the swim is going to be tough. Once I realize I will be committing to an overnight stay, I decide to search Pennsylvania thinking that I could at least see my family. And then, it hits me - wouldn't it be great for my sister Barb to join me. She's in good shape but like me, the swimming will be a challenge.

I'm delighted she's agreed to sign up with me for a June 5 sprint triathlon in Quakertown, PA, which is a approximately a quarter mile swim, a 10 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. With a lot of practice and commitment, I think I've found a way to fulfill 3 New Year's Resolutions:

1) Successfully finish a triathlon
2) Engage my creative side by writing about it
3) Stay connected with family

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