I’m sorry, but fake news seems so popular now, I thought I’d try my hand at it LOL. Actually, I am a double hip replacement, and I did do my first triathlon, and I wasn’t last in the race or my age group. So, perhaps that’s what makes fake news so believable, there are elements of truth mixed with “other stuff”. So I would not say I “rocked it”, but I did much better than I thought I would.
I’ve not blogged about my journey for these last 3 months as I needed a break from blogging after almost 3 years of writing for Cycling Fusion and the Post Gazette, a few months off seemed reasonable. So here is my summary of what I thought was not attainable once I got my first hip replacement (right hip). That was about 20 years ago. Oh yeah, then I got my second (left hip) replaced about 10 years ago, and I was glad I had no interest in triathlons since it was now certainly out of the question.
Well, then I met my crazy girlfriend that, despite being the same age as me, still acts like she is 30 years younger and continues to push me to do the same. Clearly swimming was not going to pose a health risk, but I was never taught the right way to swim or do laps. My first 3 swim practices I looked more like I was drowning than swimming (my coach’s words not mine). I eventually, after multiple lessons, learned how to breath and do the correct freehand stroke, but that didn’t change the fact that I felt like I needed a defibrillator at the end of each pool length – a mere 19 meters. How in the world would I swim a 50 meter length 14 times at the start of this triple endurance event?!?
I knew it would get better though, and yes I improved to the point where I could go out and back before feeling exhausted and having to stand and catch my breath at the end of the pool for 15 to 20 seconds. Still, that was only 40 meters – best I could do and I would have to just “deal with it” when the event day came and forced me to swim 50 at a pop.
When I tried to “train” for the run, it was everything from comical to very sad. I could not run more than an 8th of a mile before my hips would be in excruciating pain. So I tried to run just an 8 count of steps/pacing and then walk some. That didn’t work very well either. Then it hit me. I can play 2 to 3 hrs of tennis without hip pain. Why and how did I do that?!? It’s because in the back court you are taking side to side shuffle steps, not running per se except when approaching the net, and that was just a few steps. So, I found a pattern of running forward, and then shuffling sideways, going forward, and then shuffling the other way (first time right leg first, the second time left leg first). I called it “ruffling”.
Yes, people did look at me strangely, as Cathy and I did some group workouts with others training for the same event where we would ride our bikes for so long then get off and run. Surprisingly, I could do about 13 minute miles on the first mile, then the second one would increase way up to 18 and I could never get past mile two as I could not even walk after that. So like the swim, on the event day, I would just have to deal with that last mile somehow.
The day before the event, we went to yoga at the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden to keep our taper and mellow mindset on track. Afterwards we went to get our race packets and get “painted”. Yes, we got numbers written on our legs and arms – making my girlfriend declare “now we are real athletes” LOL. Tru dat.
On my next blog post, I’ll give you all the dirty details of how we survived the event.