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Become a Triathlete!

You are an active person. You remember you run 5k when you were at the college.  You liked cottage bike rides along the lake.  You can swim ”fake breast-stroke” for  50m.
You are ready to become a triathlete!

No kidding!

First when you hear what is an Ironman distance you think it is crazy! Who could do that?
Then you are invited to cheer on local race for your friend or relative.
You see normal people racing. When I say normal, I mean all ages and complexion, women and men.
The excitement is in the air. They smile, jump and hug on the finish line. You feel jealous. You want to share such excitement.
Then you go to the bigger events: 70.3 Ironman, Ironman…
You observe couple of thousands fit, healthy and tan people. Everyone looks like he/she came to win the race. You learn their language. You meet their legends. You read everything about the races: routes, grades, pace, equipment, food.
Only difference: on the race day you will stand on the curb.

That was me three years ago.
I loved the idea of triathlon right away. The only problem: I could not swim free style. And what I call breast-stroke wasn’t actually that J
I was afraid of riding bike on the roads with traffic. And I did not have one.
I am a very slow runner.
Today I am still a slow runner.
I am still afraid of cars, dismounts, hills, descends, holding bike with one hand.
But I learned how to swim 2000 m freestyle. In one year. Slow. But steady. In the pool.
I had one full year of guided training with the coach: twice a week of swimming, twice a week of cycling, twice a week of running, and twice a week of resistance training.  Not much of skipping any J

That was enough to be courageous to register for my first race at Guelph Sprint Triathlon in June : 750m/20 km/ 5 km.
And to start my first Triathlon Racing Season!
5 Triathlon Stars Team members were racing as well, so at least I knew a big crowd will be cheering for me at the finish line J
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I was very confident, nobody really helped me with set up a  transition, or guided where to go, and what to do.
My wave started before the wave of strong 40-49 men, so that was only thing that bothered me – they will kick!
Well, this first tri-ows-swim was kind of a disaster. I almost did not swim free style through the 750 m course. Only when I saw the shore, I relaxed.  I knew, I will get there J
There were two ladies that almost all the time swam behind me and chatted. That gave me the feeling, that I am not a worst swimmer J
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I definitely love to ride the bike on empty roads! The bike leg with 20 k was short and fast. Well, my version of fastJ
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Run with 5 k did not sound like a big challenge, but day before, I found race report, that described, some annoying rolling hills all the way through the route. I was happy that I read it. It made me ready to struggle.
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Was happy to be at the finish line!
Ok, now I can officially call myself a Triathlete!
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But failure at the swim really bothered me! I knew I can do better!
So I registered for Sprint distance at Welland Sprint with Milk, MultiSport Canada series for upcoming weekend: 750m/ 30km / 7.5 km. Longer bike and run legs looked very attractiveJ
I can say this will be my favorite swim course forever! Swim happens at Welland Recreational Waterway that is narrow.
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That means you swim along the shore that gives you feeling of support. Seriously!
And start was time-trial, so not so much of kicking, especially because I was in the very end of long line of athletes due to my late registration.
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Otherwise it lined up from young to more mature athletes.

It wasn't fast swim, but it was steady, relaxed and confident swim. Exactly how I wanted it. That day in that canal I could swim 2000m easily.
06

Bike… Bike was flat. Flat means FLAT. Completely. Little bit of head and cross-wind felt as a good challenge J
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I thought that run will be the scenic along the Waterway. Well I was wrong… It was exhausted as the day became hot, and it was may be total 200 m of shadow  for the entire 7.5 k route.
After the finish, my first thought was: I do not want any longer races! But it was only for the first 10 minutes.
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Milk offered Veggie hamburgers, chocolate milk and great entertaining Award Ceremony, that we enjoyed a lot.
Real local Canadian Flavor! Did I say they have a slogan: “100% Canadian” ?
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So I liked this Family-feeling atmosphere that I decided to sign up for one more Sprint from this series. That time my husband joined me as well.

It ended up a great Saturday race together. Everything worked: weather, driving distance for morning ride, quiet water, bike route with rolling hills that just add some spice, but were not too challenging, and easy run on park trails.
belwood lake damb

Swim was not the best again, this time I was not sure why. Seems I do not like to swim towards nowhere, that how I feel in big lakes. Well, something to work on for OWS sessions.
I felt great on the bike, and it seems like my favorite leg, in case there are no huge hills, cars, dismounts, and no need to eat.

And it is very romantic to be greeted by your loved man at the finish line
J, when his finish time was good
J
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The season is not over, and I hope to race Olympic distance, if everything include the weather will cooperate.

If you know how to ride the bike, can run 5 k and want to learn how to swim, you could become triathlete as well.
It is a great experience, and a great community.
You do not necessarily need to race long distances. Be a recreational Triathlete … for couple of seasons…at least.
We have beautiful parks around Toronto, it could be fun day for your family and friends!
Come out to the Start Line of local races.
Be 100% Canadian!

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