Monday, June 22, 2015

I'm Totally THAT Girl! We All Start Somewhere...Fitting the Newbie Part!

Exercising the writing muscles post #4.  I'm on a roll here.  And it's helping...I feel my writing brain waking up out this deep sleep.  There's still plenty of goop in my writing eyes but daily writing exercise is clearing that up quite quickly.

I have 20 minutes tops here (post note:  didn't make that 20 minutes so came back to finish later) since today is the start of some new summer camps for my kiddos so I have to have them all out the door with clothes on and food in their stomachs in a half hour.

Goals for this morning:

  • Write something
  • Get the kids to where they need to be ON TIME
  • Plan for my son's 6th birthday party this week!  How did he get to be 6?!  I remember writing about him so much on this blog when he was 2 and 3...oh, boy oh boy, did he make good writing material!  
  • Pencil in at least 2 days this week where I can practice an open water swim in the Deschutes River and a bike ride up and down on the course where my potential first and untrained (properly triathlon trained) triathlon will be.  If I can do these things somewhat successfully without freaking out, dying, drowning falling off my bike, burning my brakes out, and having my crotch fall off from my old needs-to-be-replaced bike seat, I'm IN for a newbie, try-it-out Olympic triathlon in 4 weeks.  
Speaking of triathlon newbie.... I'm a runner.  Through and through.  I've run for as long as I can remember.  My first race was when I was around seven.  My dad, brother, grandfather, cousins, great grandfather...they all ran.  I guess you could say running is in my blood.  Running feels natural and is something I rarely go a week or even a few days without.  I know what I'm doing when I go to a big race.  I'm on auto-pilot these days when I make it through the expo, packet pick up, corral line-up, and water stops.  I have my system down for pre-fuel, pacing, warm-up...all that runner and racing stuff that goes with running.  HOWEVER, yesterday when I rolled up my driveway on my old bike after a ride to test out some rolling hills and my new (ugly) clip-in shoes, I laughed when I saw how ridiculous I looked! 

Who needs fancy bike socks when you can wear the cotton neighbor boy's socks you found on the floor by the door?  

I'm THAT GIRL.  And I will be THAT GIRL if I jump in this triathlon.  I'll be that person that is so painfully and honestly a NEWBIE who is not only clueless but doesn't give a rip about how she looks doing this new sport!  I'll be far from fitting in and looking legit when it comes to a triathlete.  It's quite funny really.  Just a few things I noticed yesterday when I caught a reflection of myself in the car window:
  1. My old bike.  I originally bought my Trek 1200 as a beginner bike to train for a triathlon way back in 2003ish.  I thought a triathlon sounded cool but never actually did it.  Instead, I used my bike to commute from downtown Portland to the suburbs where I taught (part ride, part train).  Since then, it has been used for commuting and local riding.  It needs new tires, brakes and tune-up for sure! 
  2. See previous bullet about bike but add the commuter bike rack I've been cycling around with!  This will look a little silly in a triathlon (and does now even when I'm cycling with my cycling friends) but you know, I think I'm going to keep it there just because!  It adds to the character of this whole first timer thing.  
  3. Regular running visor under my helmet.  My helmet is probably a youth size Huffy helmet or something.  Okay, kidding on the Huffy.  Remember Huffy?  Who had a Huffy bike?  
  4. NOT-so-hip cycling socks.  Yesterday I wore some random boy socks left here from the neighbor boy.  Good ol' cotton boy socks.  
  5. Handle bars leave my hands black...must get to the bike store and buy some new tape to wrap those babies up! 
  6. My husband's camel back NOT cool.  But it does the trick:  hydration PLUS tools for my bike just in case!  The extra weight is just making me stronger, right?  
So, when it comes to jumping in my first triathlon, I will most definitely fit the part.  I'll be THAT GIRL!  Oh, and you BET I'll be that girl doing the breast stroke for most of my swim portion.  Or better yet, I might be floating on my back or hitching a ride with one of the paddle boarders or tube floaters.  Maybe I'll look the part for my second triathlon if I make it that far.  

I desperately need new bike tape for these handle bars!  

I think I should keep the commuter rack on this bike for this potential triathlon...just for kicks!  It surely makes a statement of some kind.  

In all sincerity, as much I really do notice and acknowledge how silly I do and will look, I have never been one who gets caught up in having to look a part.  I don't get too wrapped up in the fashion show side of sports (or life).  A runner who is wearing generic cotton shorts and tanks and an old pair of Reebok shoes can just as easily kick ass as someone decked out in Lululemon and boutique running apparel.  I believe this is true with a triathlon as well.  Yes, good gear makes a difference!  A faster bike would be worth the investment if I were going on to more serious triathlons.  So would taking the commuter rack off the back of the bike!  It would also be worth my investment to get all-around better  gear eventually.  But in the big picture, it isn't about how legit and decked out we look that makes us a good athlete.  I have no doubts that if I do this triathlon, I will work hard and give my best that matter how untrained or ridiculous I look on race day!  I'd rather look like a silly newbie and do it with authenticity than be a pretentious poser! 

What about you?  Have you ever felt ridiculously new at if you stood out like a sore thumb?  

Mostly on Instagram with my blog these days with pictures and long captions.  :) 


  1. You are such an inspiration!! I am a runner and swimmer at heart. Ive never thought about doing a tri but this post is making me think about it for a hot minute. Thanks for your motivation!

  2. i love it! i'm a newbie too -- well kinda. i've been running most of my life but never really got into racing until recently. excited to get more races under my belt! :)

  3. A few years ago, I took a CompuTrainer class in the winter for cross training. Me and my mom bike. Next to all these Ironman triathletes. I was so naive. And so intimidated. And they were so nice to me. One of the women and I became really good friends, and she inspired me to push myself harder. I signed up for my first marathon and the rest is history. Well, no triathlons tho...

  4. Oh my goodness. Girl, I did a sprint tri a few years ago, just a few months after my 3rd baby while training for a pro figure show and half marathon. I did this on a whim to help get back in shape. Lol. I found my recap which I'm sure you will find amusing and hopefully helpful!
    I do hope you follow through with competing as a newbie for the triathlon. You might get hooked!or not. Lol.
    The more I read of you posts the more I am considering getting back in the saddle next year as my town offers a 5 race tri series locally until then I
    Will be cheering you on from the sidelines!

  5. There's such a thing as cycling socks? I just figured you'd wear running socks. And yeah, you really do need to fix those handle bars.

  6. I get you. I totally refused to take off the reflectors off my mountain bike wheels because I figured why try and look cool when I'm so not. :)

  7. I am much like you, except in a worse off situation... :)
    I just signed hubs and I up for a try-a-tri yesterday. One family bike ride and I go making crazy decisions! Problem is I haven't run since oh, last September! I'm a decent swimmer but by no means awesome. And I will be riding my mountain bike, no clips, and with my commuter tray thingy too. We will be in the middle of nowhere and I just care that I'm going to try it, don't really care what I will look like! Plus it is a super small thing, so I'm okay with that. I'll be following your journey eagerly too!

  8. just have to do this triathlon.... I'm looking forward to you doing it... for all of us out there who are runners and scared to do one... you lead the way... who cares about your clothes or doing the breast stroke or your socks... just commit to it... What have I done where I looked ridiculous? I tried surfing for the first time last year on my 41st bday, and I fell one hundred times and was a mess, but felt exhilarated... planning to do more in the very near future... probably my 42nd bday coming up in a couple of weeks... But you get to an age and a point when you don't care about how obviously of a newbie you are.. .. you just want to do it.

  9. It's scary but a little fun to be a newbie - no expectations; no pressure. I hope it's an amazing experience!

  10. Dangit! Just lost my comment when I tried to sign in! I'll try again.

    First off, good to read you here the last few days;) I missed the days where I could get caught up on Amanda by checking in here! And I've always loved to read your writing!

    Laughing at your description of yourself:) Throw on a sparkle skirt and you'll be set! Although I'm pretty sure your nice fit HSB legs are going to take most of the attention away from your Huffy bike helmet! There are newbies in every race but with your level of fitness you are going to fit in just fine!! You'll probably pass a few people with $4k bikes and Golden bike helmets-ha!

    Good for you for challenging yourself! I've considered this so many times over the years! Perhaps when I'm 40. Something for the new decade. Although I'm in the same boat as you. My bike is circa 2007 I think and desperately needs a tune-up, I don't even own bike shorts or a wetsuit!

    Hope you get that opportunity in a busy week to work on your open water swim and bike! Oh, and good luck with the party planning! Time sure does fly!! XOXO