Some time ago, Nat wrote a post about how activity has always been valued in her family and her amazing stamina was probably hereditary (because Beau is tireless too). Quite the opposite is true in my family. In fact, my prior titles for this post were "What are You Running From?" and "That Shit Ain't Natural."
Prior to the marching band in high school and summer league swim team, my only athletic endeavors were the alternate years of summer tennis camp at our local rec department. Our afternoon workout during the school year consisted of three hours of intense TV scrutiny with microwave popcorn ladders (that's a running joke, people). Once my dad remarked about my expanding girth (after some school friends had already done so), I realized that I had to get moving. I wasn't one of those people who could eat whatever they wanted and remain a normal shape (like my sister or Whitney Houston - who was all over the magazines at the time talking about her thinness). Fine. I kept busy with after-school activities like the band, joined a tennis team (at which I sucked) and the swim team.
It wasn't until law school that I started running. After the fourth in a series of unexplained weirdo illnesses (all-over body rash, eyes rejecting contact lenses, neck stuck on one side, long-term diarrhea) a nurse at the health center said "uh - have you considered exercise?" I had taken classes and joined the gym while in college, but I was too poor and too busy (I thought) to do it during law school. Wrong. The stress was too much for my body. So, I started to run. I started at the track on Lumpkin Avenue in my old tennis shoes (the ones you use for tennis) going one mile. Then I rode the bus to the Student Activities Center and ran around the indoor track three days a week. I'd come back to school for class and tell Doug my progress on that new-fangled email. I ran my first race. Other than some minor falling off of the track when work pressures got too great, I've run or gone to the gym for kickboxing ever since. It keeps me sane and keeps Fat Stef away.
Anne commented on a previous post, asking who I'm doing the triathlon for, because I wrote about how I'm disappointed in my estimated finishing time and how I'll never catch Nat. It's not just Nat that I'm trying to catch. I'm trying to catch the good Steph. The one who is strong and happy. And who is good enough not to care where she places in a race.
Sun: 20.71 mile bike at 14.9 mph in the hills
Mon: 1200 yard swim
Tues: 1200 yard swim, 400 yd time trial in 7 mins; 13 mile bike at 16 mph pace at the river
Wed: 4.01 mile run at 8:01 min/mile pace in the flats
Thurs: 1200 yard swim
Fri: 3.1 mile run at 8:20 pace at the park with stroller
Sat: 7.02 mile run at 10:23 min/mile pace while listening to the new Harry Potter
Totals: 3600 yds swimming, 33.71 miles biking and 14.12 miles running