People warned me that this would happen.
“Be careful, it’s addicting!”
I shrugged my shoulders and laughed it off every time. I didn’t believe them.
I was wrong.
After running my first half-marathon, I am officially addicted to racing. I’m not sure how long this obsession will last for, so I’m just going to roll with it for now. I find myself constantly checking out races to sign up for, but at the same time I’m trying to hold back because of my very slim wallet.
Which is where Oswego State comes in. Yeah, yeah, they’ve been sucking money from me for the last four years, but at least I get some pretty cool perks out of it. Example numero uno: the eight-week training program for the sprint triathlon. Now, I knew about this program when it first started being advertised, but I didn’t take full advantage of it because I was still training for my half-marathon, so my days revolved around running. But I kept the race in the back of my mind, thinking that I could train for it afterward.
Well, the time has come, my friends. I am officially training for this sprint triathlon.
What is that, you may ask?
- 7,500 yard swim (or 15 laps)
- 12.4 mile bike
- 3.1 mile run
I’ve never done any type of triathlon before. In fact, I’ve never done any type of swimming in a competitive manner (Unless cannonball contests count, of course). So I decided to start with something small and this race fits perfectly because it’s on campus (no travel costs) and it’s free! Well, I paid for it with all of the hidden fees the school tacks on in your tuition, but I like to tell myself that it’s free.
The race also offers a beginner sprint triathlon, which consists of:
- 7 lap swim
- 6.2 mile bike
- 1.5 mile run
Clearly, it’s half of the sprint triathlon. I decided to suck it up and go for the full-distance of the sprint. I’m not looking to do anything amazing in this race; I’d just like to finish. After all, the last time I made that my goal I did pretty well. Plus, it’s something I’ve never done before, so I automatically get a new PR (personal record)!
But this sprint triathlon isn’t the only race that’s caught my eye.
A few of my college friends and I are signing up for the Warrior Dash on August 13 and 14 in Windham, N.Y. By the time the race rolls around, the majority of us will have graduated and moved on to the next phase of our lives, so this will be a great reunion weekend that will allow us to catch up, reminisce and get our sweat on.
Finally, I really think I’m going to sign up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon on November 20. My birthday is November 18, so I’d love to head over there with some friends to celebrate my birthday and explore the city. I think I’ve convinced my two future roommates, Libby and Victoria, to run it with me. Now I just have to win over my older brother, Justin, who’s studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).
He’s extremely athletic, so I’m hoping it won’t require too much pleading. My main obstacle is his school schedule. Being in med school takes up a lot of your time, from what I hear
You may have noticed that I kept saying “I think I’m going to sign up for this.” I’d love to say that I’ve already registered for each race, but I only have for the sprint triathlon. Why? Because the sprint triathlon is the only one that’s free. I’m graduating in one month (woah!), which means I have a lot of financial responsibility coming my way pretty soon. I’ve paid my own bills throughout college and manage my money quite well, but I need to keep in mind that I’m moving to New York City, which is way more expensive than Oswego, and preparing to pay back student loans.
Basically, this all means that I would absolutely love to compete in each of these races, but I’m not going to count my eggs before they hatch. If someone wants to pay my entry fees, I’m all in!
Now, I want to know: Are there any races you’re looking forward to this year? What money-saving tips do you have for a soon-to-be-college-graduate who has this new love for racing?
First of all, I want to apologize for my long absence! After Thanksgiving, life became overwhelming with end-of-the-semester projects and finals, moving to New York City to start an internship and a job, keeping up with my workouts and not having Internet in my apartment. Before I knew it, it was 2011 and I still hadn’t posted! But enough of the excuses, it’s time to get down to business.
I know I don’t normally post about my personal fitness goals and workouts, but I thought the new year could bring a new side to this blog. I’m still going to write often about tips that can help you on your fitness journey, but I also want you to get to know me a bit more! Consider it my version of an online new years resolution.
Speaking of resolutions, I’ve also decided that this is the year I’m going to push my fitness to the next level. I’ve always been athletic, but never a long-distance runner. Sprinting is more my forte. But I’ve always wanted to run long-distance. I played soccer all of my life, but I was a goalie, so my fitness regime was drastically different. In fact, I never had to run more than five miles at a time. This year, I decided that I am going to complete my first triathlon and run my first half-marathon.
I stopped playing soccer when I was a sophomore in college because I tore my ACL and meniscus. I had reconstruction surgery with the intention of returning to the game, but unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for me. Through a lot of mishaps, I developed seven blood clots in my left leg. After a lot of blood testing, it was also revealed that I have a genetic blood disorder known as Factor V Leiden, which essentially means that my blood clots too much (more on this to come later, thanks to my fantastic med-school brother who did an entire thesis project on my disorder). The blood disorder prevents me from returning to soccer because it’s too dangerous for me to play such a high-contact sport. As a goalie, if I were ever hit too hard, then a blood clot could break off and travel to my heart at any time, resulting in a heart attack or a stroke. I love soccer, but not enough to risk my life.
The doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to run long-distance because of the damage the clots had done to my leg. My hematologist advised me to wear compression socks, but it was unlikely I’d be able to run more than five miles. I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do, so I decided to push it. I followed guidelines, paid ruthless attention to the size of my leg when I ran (it swells to about 1.5x the size of my right leg when I run) and ran six miles a year after my diagnosis.
It’s been almost a year since then, but I still haven’t run more than seven miles at a time, which I hate to admit doesn’t happen very often. A part of it is the fear of what will happen if I keep pushing, but also because it just plain hurts. My lungs don’t hurt, but my knee kills. It doesn’t help when at mile three it starts to feel like someone strapped a 10-pound ankle weight to my leg and my foot starts to tingle or go numb.
But I’ve decided this year that fear is no longer going to hold me back. I’ve already spoken with my hematologist about my new fitness goals and he’s cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to complete them. He’s more worried about the half-marathon than the triathlon (as am I), but we’re going to forge ahead as long as possible. With a lot of determination, hard work and a little bit of luck, you’ll see me crossing the finish line of the More/FITNESS half-marathon in April, even if I have to crawl across it!
What are your fitness goals this year?