While working at Runner’s High, I have met a lot of first-time runners and first-time tri-athletes. Having fallen neatly into each these categories in the past few years, I tend to overwhelm these newbies with encouragement, exuberant enthusiasm, and information about what to expect.
Of course, offering up expectations is ridiculous. The experience of a half-marathon or a triathlon varies for each individual, and nothing I say can really do much in the way of letting you know what your event will be like. Some people knock back a latte and banana before they run, while others, like myself, prefer to run their tank on empty. It’s important to remember that while I have experience for what I need and want, you will have to go out and discover your own style and desires. Maybe you need to sport a hydration belt. Perhaps you like using BodyGlide or TriSlide. These are not things I tend to recommend because they are not things I do, but I they are certainly useful tools that can help a runner.
And again, the same hold true for training. I’ll be writing more about my preparation for the Long Beach Triathlon and the Hermosa Beach Triathlon (while will probably include stories of my sneaky and ludicrous methods to get Ken out of bed to come swimming with me in the morning), and while it’s a training course that holds true for me and my style and goals, use it as you would sound advice. Consider it, even follow it, but don’t be afraid to forge your own path and do what feels right for you.
I guess that is the point that I really want to make. You can take all the advice in the world, but it is useless if it does not work for you. And the only way to know is to go out in the world and try a variety of ways until you find yours.
This is starting to sound very Sound of Music’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Which used to be my least favorite song in the musical, but I have grown into it. Whenever Mother Superior belts out “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, ‘til you find your dream!” I am more leaky than a thirty year old garden hose.