Monday, August 11, 2014

The world's most experienced beginner triathlete

I get asked so often "Is this your first race" that I don't even get upset about it anymore.  I know that I don't look like someone who has done multiple triathlons, but by my count, I have done 17, including two Olympic-distance races. Still, the body has not transformed itself into what people think a triathlete should look like.

I get it. I definitely see what they see when they look at some of my race photos.  I don't look like a superhero when I put on spandex like some of the other racers.  I have started telling people I'm "just the world's most experienced beginner." There are people in my triathlon club who make tri training their first job, and then whatever they do for money fits in around their training schedule. They are definitely admirable, but that isn't me. My goal is to be able to keep doing this for a long time. There was a man racing yesterday who was in his 70s. He wasn't moving fast but he was doing it. I'm racing to be healthy and fit and to have fun.

I know the people who ask about whether it's my first race are just being friendly. They aren't trying to insult me. My first triathlon, the one I wasn't sure I could even finish, was still my favorite race. I was so proud of myself for just crossing that finish line.  For a while, I lost sight of the fun. I tried to race to be impressive and to make training my job. That wasn't fun and I resented all the work I was putting in to not feeling good enough. Now I'm still pushing myself, but with the goal of keeping it sustainable and fun.  I want to remember what a gift it is just to be fit enough to do this sport.

I'm proud to be the world's most experienced beginner. Beginners are amazing.  If you are a real beginner, I can't promise you will get an awesome triathlon body, but you an have a great time.  And if you choose the right races, you can get cool medals and t-shirts.


  1. Love this. I'm probably the world's most experienced half marathoner :) I've done 2 triathlons and I didn't get bling. This upset the bling-whore in me and I decided I don't have enough fun doing something that I don't get bling for so I dropped all the tris from my schedule this year to focus on my marathon. We all need our motivations, right?

    1. This race didn't have nice medals like this the last time I did it. I think race companies are starting to realize that a medal can be a draw. My first Danskin medal was super-cheap in comparison to this one.

  2. I love a great medal! :) I don't anticipate ever having a great tri body, but I know my body feels amazing when I'm tri training. For me, that's what's most important.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07