Q. If a triathlon dual training session is called a brick, what do you call a session that incorporates all three elements — swimming, biking and running?
A. A “trick.”*
*OK, so I just made this up. But it does feel like some kind of trick to pull this off….
We’re almost done with the biking portion of our triathlon training triple play when Traci informs me we’re taking an alternate route for our run. It seems she doesn’t want her friends waiting to pick up their school kids to see us struggling.
We’re only planning a 2-mile jog today. But after a 500-meter swim and a 4-mile rapid-pedal ride to the Greenway bridge and back, we must look completely bedraggled.
My ponytail’s still in place, but I can only imagine what my chlorinated, wind-dried hair looks like at this point. The shorts I pulled on over my soaked swimsuit bottoms don’t match my swim tank. And my sports bra is definitely not the kind female soccer stars wear when they pull off their jerseys after winning Olympic gold.
Luckily it’s nearly impossible to fret over appearances when it takes all our energy just to keep our legs moving. This time, at least, we knew what to expect when we dropped our bikes, flung off our flip-flops and donned our running shoes. It’s not easier, exactly, especially since this time we added the swimming component. Yet familiarity with this feeling does seem to help. That and knowing we only have two miles to go.
“You know,” I say, “this is like experiencing gravity in three entirely different ways.” Traci nods in agreement.
It’s also vaguely reminiscent of the first time we jogged down Traci’s street, huffing and puffing, only to walk back and then jog, walk back and then jog. I was 50 pounds heavier at that point — yet another weird gravitational experience.
Tough as this is — and tough as it was back then — one thing hasn’t changed: The knowledge that we’ll get there eventually, if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other.