Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Question:  How do you eat an elephant?

Answer:  One bite at a time.

This time a year ago, I could barely run a single mile without stopping.  I was preparing to SIGN-UP for my first triathlon.  Training for one was still in, what seemed like, the distant future. 

The first bite was diving in and actually committing (by signing up and paying for) a triathlon.  The next bite,  waiting for the 16 week - pre-race training to start.  One by one, the bites became managable.  I was able to organize mine and my kids schedule to fit my training schedule.  I took a fitness swimming class twice a week, to LEARN how to swim.  I got on my bike for the first time in 8 years (another story in itself).  Open water swimming was introduced.  A five-mile run was accomplished (not well - but completed).

As the bites became palatable and ENJOYABLE, I needed a bigger bite.  The 16-week training time proved to be too long.  The only way to learn sometimes is by actually stepping out and taking a huge bite.  You may end up spitting some of it out, but most likely you can get it down.  It's those big bites that I enjoy most.  The challenge.  I completed my first tri three weeks earlier than the scheduled first tri.  Boy am I happy I did.  The confidence I gained carried me through those - I've been training for 3 months and I have NO idea if I am ready for this - thoughts.   I finished my first elephant.  What's next? 

The next elephant was just getting through the season and learning more and more about the triathlon world.  I continued to train through the winter (thankfully Michelle was there to keep me company) by running and biking which allow me to outline the next big goals or elephants on my horizon.

I am scheduled to complete my first 1/2 marathon in less than 40 days.  Thanks to Michelle for adding a little countdown reminder.  13.1 miles.  Longer than I have ever thought of running, until recently.  I bit off and swallowed my first double digit run a few days ago.  Wow.  That bite tasted good.  Having completed that, I now know what I need to do differently and what I need to do the same on my next long run.  But most importantly, I know that I can do it.

The Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride is just that, a ride from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR - 200 miles, in either one or two days.  Michelle & I are signed up to complete that ride in July - countdown forthcoming.  Our recent 1/2 century (50-miles) is the longest one day ride I have ever completed.  Again, 100 miles in one day is getting more realistic.

It is the little elephants that I chew up and consume which makes the big elephants seem achievable... 

...one bite at a time.


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