Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

A New Ride

April 15, 2010

Since last summer, I have been doing triathlon training.  That means that twice a week I do a combination swim, bike, and run.  It has been going fairly well, and it has helped to lower my cholesterol to acceptable levels.

The bicycle that I have been using is a Schwinn Traveler, manufactured, I think, in the seventies.  I bought it at a garage sale for five dollars, six or seven years ago.  It works fine as far as I am concerned.

A friend of mine, who works at the gym, is an avid bicycle rider.  He has been telling me from the beginning that I needed a better bike.  I would laugh and tell him that mine worked fine, he could look for one for me, but it would have to be in my budget, which was very low.

Yesterday, as I am doing my weight routine, he comes in with a name and a number for me to call.  He thinks that he has found a bike for me.  It is listed for forty dollars, which is within my budget.  I called the man,and went to look at the bike.  As I am looking at the bike, the man tells me that he had bought it at a garage sale and that he just didn’t like it.  He must have thought that I was hesitating, because he offered to take thirty dollars for it.


The bike is a Trekker 520.  I brought it back to show my friend from the gym, who informed me that I do not realize how good a bike I have just bought. He has helped people look for things before, but this is the best deal he’s found for someone.  I laughingly asked him how many pastors he has previously helped.  

He is right about me not yet truly appreciating the quality of the bike.  I don’t know very much about them.  He had to tell me how to put air in the tires.  (They are not standard tubes or nozzles.)  I will take it for a ride a little later this morning.  

I thank God that I have been blessed with a great bike for my new ride.

This Old Marine

September 22, 2009

When I was young I enjoyed going for long runs.  While I was in the military I often ran five miles over the lunch break.  After the military I moved into a new neighborhood and went for my first run on city sidewalks.  Running on the concrete hurt my knees.  I could hardly walk up the stairs to my house.  From that point every time I tried to run, as soon as I reached any kind of distance, something would hurt.  My back, my knees, my hips, something would force me to stop running.  I didn’t run for years.

One day I decided that I wanted to try running again.  I ran a half mile on an inside padded track.  It was ok.  I slowly built up to a mile and did that at the end of my weightlifting workouts for many months. 

One day, my son, who was planning on joining the Marine Corps and was running a lot in preparation said to me “Dad, don’t Marines run three miles?”.

I was challenged to try again to build up to a three mile run.  I very slowly increased the distance that I ran until after many months was again running three miles.  I felt very good about the fact that this old Marine could once again pass the Marine Corps physical fitness test.  (The situps and pullups are not, and never were a problem for me.)

This past summer I wanted to try something different.  I thought that I would try doing the triathlon routine.  I swam, biked and ran: first for twenty minutes each, and then for thirty minutes each.  It then occurred to me that if I was going to enter a triathlon, I would have to run on something other than an inside, padded track. 

The first time that I ran outside I was very concerned.  I ran on the grass or on the gravel shoulder as much as possible. 

It worked.  I was able to run outside again without hurting.  I have been routinely doing this triathlon training now for a few months.  It feels good.

On Labor Day, the gym was closed.  I couldn’t swim, and I had the urge to try for a longer run.

I ran for an hour.  It went really well.  I checked out the distance with the car and I had made 6.6 miles!  That was the longest run I had made in over twenty years. 

The problem is… now I want more.  I am going to try going for long runs every other week.  Yesterday, I ran for an hour again.  This morning there are no ill effects.  I am going to try adding four minutes the next time that I run.  I will continue to do a long run every other week ( in addition to other shorter runs in between) adding four minutes every other time, until I reach the ten mile mark. 

We’ll see how it goes.


July 21, 2009

For over thirty-five years I have exercised regularly using a variety of forms of exercise.  I believe that it is important to maintaining health and managing stress. In addition it helps enhance quality of life issues.  I am able to participate in a wide variety of activities which I enjoy.  I am not so much a competitor, but a participant.

My latest venture has been simply a change in my training.  I have long incorporated running, swimming, and more recently, biking, in my exercise routine.  My town sponsors a triathlon, so I thought it might be fun to give it a try.  First, I thought that I would see how it would go if I combined the three activities in a single workout.  The first try was: swim for twenty minutes, bike for twenty minutes, and then run for two miles on the indoor (cushioned )  track.  That went so well that a few days later, I tried: thirty minutes swimming, thirty minutes biking, and thirty minutes running (a little over three miles ) outside .  I hadn’t run outside for years.

I was amazed at how good it felt!!  Swimming, no problem!  Biking, no problem!  Running….well, that was a switch!!!  The transition from biking to running was rather strange.  My legs felt all wobbly for about the first five minutes.  After that, I noticed that running outside involved hills!!!  It was difficult, but it felt really, really good.

This morning I was expecting to be stiff and sore with possibly pain in my knees,  back or hips. 

I feel great!!!

It turns out that I won’t be able to participate in the local triathlon this year because of a schedule conflict, but I think that I will incorporate this training into my regular routine. Next year I will be fifty and that sounds like a good age to participate in my first official triathlon. 

We’ll see what the next year brings.