Monday, August 25, 2008


At about 6:30 p.m. tonight, 108 hours after I began, I completed my birthday fitness challenge. I’m glad I did it, but I’m more relieved that it’s finished. Although, in round numbers, it took only 12 total hours for all three components (1/2 hour run, 5 ½ hours bike, and 6 hours swim), I feel like I’ve done nothing but this challenge for the past 5 days. I could have stuck to my original plan to spread it out over the whole week and do shorter distances each day, but once I got started, I decided it was, afterall, supposed to be a challenge, so I aimed to increase my work-outs and do it in 5 days to make it as demanding as practicable for me. I learned from doing this challenge that I can push myself to do greater distances, but I’m happy I don’t have to maintain this same schedule as my regular training plan.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

bfit update

Since my last report (48 hours ago), I’ve completed the bike part and swum 2.5 more miles, which just leaves 2 miles of swimming to do in the next 3 days. The challenge has gone better than I thought it might. After a one-half mile swim at ACAC Saturday morning, I rode my bike 36 miles at WC in increments of 14, 12, and 10 miles, stopping for water and a snack after each segment. Then for a change of scenery, I did the final 12 miles around my neighborhood after lunch. I had thought about stopping after 26 miles and finishing the bike ride on Sunday, but I decided I wanted to do the whole ride in 24 hours, which meant I had to finish by 6 p.m. Saturday evening. Other than a sore seat and tight shoulders, I felt okay after the ride. Since I didn’t get a second swim in on Saturday, I did 2 miles on Sunday – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Since I usually don’t swim this distance all at once, I was surprised that it was so doable, although I certainly wasn’t setting any records for speedy laps. I plan to do another mile of swimming Monday morning before work and the final mile Monday evening, unless possible thunderstorms close the pool. If that happens, I'll finish on Tuesday, but I'd really like to be done with this challenge sooner rather than later. Next year I think I’ll make up my own version – 6 miles of running, 3 miles of swimming, and 18 miles of biking, to be done over 2 days.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Yesterday I began the birthday bfit challenge. So far, I’ve run the required 2 miles, swam 1.5 miles and biked 14 miles. That leaves 4.5 miles to swim and 48 miles to bike in the next 5 days. Barring unforeseen events, I’m thinking I will be able to do this.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My Life Story in Six Words

Last week a blogger I know challenged her readers to write their "bios" in six words. I'd been mulling this over for a few days, but six pithy words kept eluding me, until this morning when I was biking at WC. The six words that best describe my life: Set goal. Make it happen. Repeat.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be editor of the yearbook. The faculty sponsor taught typing, and she chose the yearbook staff from her best students. So, in my junior year, I took typing. I secured a place as a junior assistant on the yearbook staff that year, and I was chosen as editor for the next year.

When I decided to go to law school, I was determined to make the Law Review. Although my first year grades weren't good enough to be eligible (moving a 10-year-old 100 miles away from her friends into a new environment did not make for a home life conducive to study), I persevered. By the time I was in my third (and final) year, I'd earned a position on the Law Review staff and even had a small article published.

When I started doing triathlons, my goal was simply to finish the event. Then I started trying to improve my times, and I'm still working on that. I'm also considering doing a longer distance race. It didn't happen this year, but the possibility gives me something to work toward.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Birthday Fitness Challenge Ahead, Maybe

My birthday is later this month. Since it’s one of the “milestone” years (like being old enough to vote or to drink legally), I’ve been thinking of how best to mark the occasion of being old enough to start collecting early Social Security (at a reduced rate, and if I weren’t still fully employed). Several of the TGs have done the birthday fitness challenge – swimming, biking and running various distances based on their ages. For example, a 26-year-old would swim 2 miles, bike 26 miles, and run 6 miles – all in the same day for gold, in three days for silver, or one week for bronze. If I were 26, or even 46, I’d do this challenge without a second thought. But I’m going to be 62 – that’s 2 miles of running, 6 miles of swimming, and 62 miles of biking. Certainly, I won’t be going for gold or silver, but I am contemplating trying for bronze.

The run will be the only part I’ll be able to do all at one time. The swimming and biking parts will have to be done in segments, and I’ve been trying to plan a schedule for them. That I’ll be in Iowa the week before my birthday complicates the planning, as that means the next week will be hectic at work. Swimming a minimum of one mile per day for six days should be doable, even if I have to break it up into ½-mile chunks – one in the morning and another one at night.

The bike ride is a whole other matter. Timewise, I won’t be able to divide it into five or six short rides during the week. The most efficacious plan would be to do it in two days, on the weekend after my birthday on Friday. That means 32 miles on Saturday and 30 miles on Sunday – a daunting endeavor, since, to date, I’ve never ridden more than 20 miles at one time. A more practical plan would be one 14-mile ride and two rides of 24 miles each, which I can manage, if I can find a third day to ride during the week.

After I finish the challenge, or attempt to, I’m celebrating with a lemon drop martini, or maybe two since it’s a special occasion.

Geese Speed

As I rode down the FB hill at WC on my bike last Saturday morning, I saw the ubiquitous flock of geese that inhabit the area around the lake. Now, I hate those geese. In fact, due to a bad encounter with a mean rooster when I was 3, I hate anything with feathers, from a turkey buzzard to a parakeet. I don’t even like feather boas. Coach G. was riding beside me. As soon as I saw the geese, I said, “I’ve got to go as fast as I can,” and I took off, pedaling furiously until I was well past the offending creatures. (I later explained my sudden departure to G.) I had so much momentum, I practically coasted up the next incline. It was an amazing sensation to go that fast. I’d like to be able to do it again – sans geese, of course.