With the Austin Triathlon being three weeks away there is a small part of me that wants to register for the Olympic distance after having swam 1200 meters last weekend. This was done almost without stopping. The only time I rested was at 800 meters to say hi to a friend that had entered the pool. I know I’m capable of pulling it off, but not sure how wise it would be considering I only have three more weeks to build up to a full mile and feel comfortable with it.
Chances are I will still just enter the sprint distance, seeing how it is my first triathlon. I’m very excited about it though, and have thoroughly enjoyed the training. I’m still not a huge fan of swimming, but imagine I will continue doing it on a regular basis. Especially since I will probably want to enter an Olympic distance triathlon next. I think the most enjoyable part has been seeing myself become more toned, and feel better overall.
Living in Austin really is a great place to live and train for an event like this. I can wake up early, bike 3.5 miles to Barton Springs Pool and enter the gates for FREE before 8 a.m.; this really helps when you are on a tight budget like myself. After the swim I have my choice of two places to run, and both leave from the Barton Springs parking lot. I can either run the Town Lake trail, or get some rocky trail miles in along The Greenbelt. Lately I have been opting for The Greenbelt, and have been having a blast running the trail in my Vibram FiveFingers.
Learning to swim has definitely been the most difficult part of my training, but learning to run properly in the FiveFingers has also been a challenge. I seem to be fine when running trails, but as soon as I hit the pavement sore calf muscles are an unwelcome certainty. But, the severity of the soreness has been declining lately. They key has been more trail miles, slower pace overall, and gradually building up mileage. Running with my friend John has helped with this, as he has never run more than 4 or 5 miles before and is working up to six miles for his Olympic distance tri.
I guess you could say I have been overtraining for the bike portion of the race. My weekend rides have ranged from 35-40 miles. The sprint triathlon distance is only 16 miles. But, I love cycling around the Texas Hillcountry. Austin really is a great place to live if you are into cycling. There is no shortage of group rides to join up with on the weekend.
On an unrelated note – but then again it is related based on the blog’s name. I have been climbing outdoors in the Greenbelt about once a week with a group called Climbing Buddies. My climbing ability has been slowly progressing back to what it was a few years ago. I am finally able to lead 5.10 climbs again and have been top roping 5.11 climbs. I actually feel that the triathlon training has helped my climbing ability through weight loss (less weight to pull up the rock) and a stronger core.
Having climbing access IN TOWN is just another advantage of living in Austin. I live just five to ten minutes away from all climbing access points. It makes for easy evening climbs as well as longer day trips if you so desire, but being right in town you really don’t even need to spend the entire day climbing. You can easily wear yourself out within a couple of hours. The crags are practically an outdoor gym with quick clips at the top of every route!
The climbing community here too is pretty great. There are a couple of email lists most of the regular climbers are a part of and they regularly message their climbing plans, so finding a partner to climb with is never difficult. The community is even friendly and open to new climbers. You will almost always find people willing to let you top rope climbs they have set up. I’m not even sure such community exists in places like Colorado. But I can’t say for sure since I haven’t lived there.
If you are interested in joining the email lists I mentioned, here are the links:
Also, if you are interested in the Austin Triathlon, here is the website with complete details about registration and race distances.