I completed my first triathlon in June, 2004 -- the Danskin Sprint, Austin TX. I was 200lbs, and just looking for a goal to get me motivated. A tri was just the ticket. I worked all through the summer, completed a second one later that year, and chopped off 30 minutes from my original time (not to mention losing 20 lbs). Then onto my 3rd one in 2005, another run at the Danskin. I loved it. I thought I was headed for lifelong tri-dom.
And then life happened. You know the story, I got lazy. I gained my weight back. Got too busy at work. Moved to a new city. Had to find a new gym, a new coach/trainer, lose weight... some day...
This past November I hit an all-time high in my weight. Disgusted with myself, I started menu planning again, and stuck with it. I joined a gym. In Jan, I had lost 15 lbs and exercised 3-4 times per week for a couple of months. I treated myself to a series of personal training sessions. I browsed the training samples available here on www.beginnertriathlete.com and found the "When Big Boys Tri" 22-week Sprint Tri Training Plan. Hmmm, 22 weeks would put me in June—that's Danskin Tri time.
So, here I am folks. On the road again!
I'm determined that this next tri will be my best ever. So far, I've hit a long-held personal goal -- run 1 mile continuously, no walking. That may not sound like much to most of you, but for me, this was HUGE. When I started to "tri," I couldn't run more than a minute at a time. Orthotics, better running shoes, and 6 months of strength and endurance training later, I can finally RUN.
I hit another personal goal just last week -- completing 3.1 miles (5K) in 40 minutes or less. Again, for someone who hadn't been able to run for more than 2 minutes at a time just a year ago, this is an enormous accomplishment.
I enjoy the challenge of setting small attainable goals and hitting them every few weeks. It keeps me motivated, and improving constantly. Yes, I have big goals too -- completing an Olympic tri, for instance -- but since I only do 1-2 tris a year, it may be a while before I hit that one. If you don't set regular "intermediate" goals for yourself, I highly recommend it!
And for all of you out there who have "fallen off the bandwagon" like I have... pick a race, set a goal, and get to work! You don't have to wait for lost pounds, a new bike, more time to train, etc. Work with what you've got right now, and go for it!