Friday, June 16, 2006

The Long or Short of It

On August 13th, the Oshkosh Area Triathlon will be held. Participation in this race is a given, for several reasons. First, it is an opportunity for my bike (which appears to have been named The Pol-R Express) to redeem itself by performing flawlessly. Or at least without breaking. Second, two triblog friends, Lisa and Veeg, have suggested they will most likely be there. I know that at least one training partner will race this event, and I'm confident that several members of the Fox Cities Triathlon Club will race. It promises to be a fun event.

Of course, what good event isn't preceded by lots of serious training, at least a little bit of soul searching, and a good dose of questioning what one is doing. That's where I'm at, now. Personally, I thank Veeg and her race dilemma. It's either that, or the co-worker whom I am trying to motivate to run a half-marathon. As I try to motivate people to pursue longer races (which I am confident they can complete), it forces me to examine my race choices.

The Oshkosh Tri has a sprint course (1/4 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 5K run) and an Olympic course (3/4 mile swim, 28 mile bike, 10K run). (Are those distances right for an actual Olympic distance race?). The original plan was to race the sprint course. But, of course, the thought of racing the Olympic distance has now edged it's way into my brain. (See Neoprene Wedgie for further discussion of this newly identifed disorder.)

The challenge is determining a reasonable jump in race distances. My first (and only) triathlon was an 1/8 mile swim. Assuming the Oshkosh race is actually 3/4 mile (instead of 1500M), I will have to swim 1320 yards, roughly 800 yards further than the longest swim (without resting) I've completed to date. In 8 weeks, can I reasonably go from 600 yards to 1300 yards? More importantly, without knowing the answer to that question, do I throw caution to the wind and sign up for the long course? Or do I accept that discretion is the better part of valor (and sanity) and sign up for the short course?

I must say that Mrs. Pol's confidence in my swimming ability is greatly appreciated. When I discussed the distances involved in the long course, she asked if the bike distance seemed doable. That she didn't laugh when I said 3/4 mile swim shows how much she must love me. I'm still trying to decide if I shouldn't be laughing at myself for considering the long course. Of course, it's a mental disorder. Mr. P at Neoprene Wedgie has it, too. As do, I believe, a great many others.

So, what are the comments from the peanut gallery? Short course and near certain survival? Or the long course and the possibility of seeing a triathlete doggy paddle a large part of the swim?


Veeg said...

I'll commit to the Oly if you will. . . .

Veeg said...
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Iron Pol said...

How can that sort of motivation be passed up? Done and done. Registration for the Olympic Tri is complete. Now all that remains is figuring out how to swim 1600 yards without drowning somewhere in the middle.