what’s beautiful: facing my fears

**This post is written as part of the FitFluential and Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign. Feel free to follow me as I complete challenges along the way, or start your own and join a team.**

I’ve had a triathlon on my Fitness Bucket List for awhile now.  Ever since my stress fracture 7 years ago, I’ve been contemplating training for a triathlon.  I think after any runner faces an injury, they think about or start doing triathlons since cross training usually occurs on a bike or in the pool.  Seven years have come and gone, several injuries have occurred since then, and guess what?  I still haven’t even started training for a triathlon.  *sigh*

One of my goals for the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign is to train for an complete a sprint triathlon.  But, I talk a big talk.  I say that’s my goal, but honestly, I’m scared to death to actually go through with it.  I’ve gone back and forth about actually attempting my goal, for a few reasons.

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1. The bike.

I know I’ve talked about it before but I’m scared to death of the biking part of the tri.  Mostly because of my fear of falling or being hit by a car.  I know it’s going to be my weakest sport, and I’m totally OK with that, as long as I survive.

But, the bike is also an issue for me because I simply don’t own one.  I have a really old mountain bike that I rode around in college – that’s really not going to cut it for a triathlon.  The fact is, I’m cheap.  I don’t want to spend a ton of money on a road bike if I’m only going to train for 1 triathlon (we’ll see if I actually like it enough to train for a second one).  I’ve been scouring Craigslist for used road bikes, but I really have no idea what to look for.  I checked out Walmart and found 2 that looked decent and weren’t ungodly expensive, but I still have to check the reviews.  There’s a lot of what-if’s hanging around this one issue and unfortunately, it is holding me back a little from putting my heart into training for this.

2.  Losing my speed.

I am a runner through and through.  I’m a self-proclaimed addict to running.  I need it in my life.  While I’ll still be running while training for a tri, I won’t be running nearly as much, and I definitely won’t be doing nearly as much speed work as I usually do with my running.  And that scares the heck out of me.

I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am in regard to my running.  I’ve trained my little rear off to get back my speed after pregnancy and I’m so happy with where I am at right now with my running.  I still have that dream of breaking 20 minutes in the 5K again and I know that despite not wanting a second child right now, the clock is ticking as to when we start trying again.  And I really want to break 20 again before then.

Training for a tri means less time running and less speed work.  I am so scared that I am going to lose that speed.  It’s so dumb, I know, but I can’t help but thinking that.  Like I’m going to go crazy because I will be running one less day per week than I normally do.  Who says I can’t do speed work while training for a triathlon?  No one, but for some reason I think this.  Seriously.  *sigh*

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But, I’m going to do this.  This is my time to do it.  I have all summer to train.  I have a triathlon picked out for mid-August.  I have my training plan set and ready to go (I’ll share that next week).  I can get around not having a bike for awhile while I search to find the right one for me.  I found a swimsuit that will be perfect for lap swimming as well as transitioning into biking and running.

I’m determined to do this.  To achieve my goal.  To overcome my biking and training fears.  Now’s my time to shine and prove to myself that I can push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I will.

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What fears do you have about training for athletic events, like races or triathlons?  How do you overcome those fears?

  • My husband is a cyclist and worked in a bike store for years- feel free to shoot me a message if you have bike questions. He will have an answer and can tell you if what you are buying is crap or not. Have you been sized for a bike yet? I’d start there to make sure you are riding one that fits you properly! 🙂

    • Kristen

      I haven’t been sized yet. Matt and I are thinking about sharing a bike since we’re right around the same height/leg length, but we’ll see! I’ll let you know if we have any questions!

  • MIZ

    Im still fearing–so Im VERY IMPRESSED.
    MIZ recently posted..MIZ on a pole.

    • Kristen

      Ha! Thanks! 🙂

  • AMAZING!!! I am doing my first sprint tri in the Fall. I have loved having a different focus on my cross training day. I am definitely a runner. But Triathlon training has been amazing! So who knows…maybe I will become a convert. I would definitely have to invest in a better bike though haha
    Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) recently posted..My Halifax Family Adventure

    • Kristen

      Thanks! That totally gives me hope that I’ll like it! 🙂

  • i did one sprint triathlon a couple years ago and LOVED it!! i took swimming lessons so i could learn proper form… biking was my least favorite, but itz doable. good luck!!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..HERSHEY’S Family Play Day in St. Louis

    • Kristen

      Thanks Lindsay! Hoping I don’t die on the bike! I wish I had a trainer to help me with my swimming form. I haven’t swam since my 2nd undergrad (I love PE courses!) and got a ton of training that way, but it would be nice to have someone critique me again.

  • Dana

    If you’re only really planning on doing one triathlon and you don’t care how you do on your bike, I’d say just use the old mountain bike. I’ve done quite a few tris and I’ve always felt a little weird because I use the hybrid bike I use for commuting to work. But you know what? I’ve NEVER been the only person on a non-road bike. There have been hybrids, mountain, one guy on a BMX bike (ok, that one I wouldn’t recommend) and someone on their kid’s bike.
    And if you decide you love tris then you can get a nice road bike and you’ll feel like you’re flying!
    Good luck!

    • Kristen

      I’ve considered that. I might borrow my parents’ bike for awhile until we find one we like. The hubs and I are both wanting to share one so we are looking into something that will last awhile.

  • I think that you will be surprised. By adding in the other sports, your running will probably improve. You really only have the time for quality runs – no more junk miles! Swimming really helped me to be a faster runner. My breathing improved, and I was much stronger. Don’t let the increase in training scare you! You are strong and you’ve got this!

    • Kristen

      Thanks Mary! You’re a fabulous runner, so it’s nice hearing that you think it helped you become a better runner!

  • Jen

    I definitely think tri training will make you faster IF you train smart — specifically not like I did when training for my first tri. I ended up keeping up my regular running routine and adding swimming and biking on top of it. This lead to a lot of 2- and even 3-a-days. Which was fine for a couple months but then I was always sore and got totally burnt out from it all. I definitely over-trained.

    I wish you lived closer so I could lend you my bike. Jeff builds bikes so if you want him to look at one for you, just let me know!
    Jen recently posted..Busting out of my running rut

    • Kristen

      I’m SO glad you said this! I was actually thinking about doing just that – following my 5K training and adding swimming and biking on top of it. You’re probably right that burn out would happen.

      I wish we lived closer too just so we could run together! And so W and MacKenna could date. 😉