It seems like about the only triathlon I do anymore is the YMCA Busy Body Triathlon, which is roughly the same distance as an Iron Man but gives you eight weeks to finish.
To be honest, I was kind of irritated when Colleen insisted we sign up again this year because despite our best intentions, it seems like we always have to scramble to finish everything up the final weekend, when we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on.
A week ago, I didn’t think we were going to make it because neither of us had even started the swimming. I’m a slow swimmer, so I need multiple sessions to go 2.4 miles. And you never know if lanes are going to be open when you need them to be.
Then Colleen had the brilliant idea to try the rowing option instead. I’d never tried the rowing machine before, but it was kind of fun – and MUCH faster. The downside was, I didn’t make any progress on my goal of getting better at swimming. But we got it done, and for once we didn’t have to push deadline to make it.
Unlike a race, finishing a fitness challenge isn’t about endurance and toughness so much as planning and follow through. At some point you’re likely to fall behind, and then you’ve got to brainstorm an emergency backup plan.
Finishing this one didn’t provide a morale boost so much as a sense of relief that we didn’t drop out. It felt like a strategy coup more than an accomplishment.
But we can always try to do it better the next time around. If we hadn’t nailed that finish, there might not be a next time.