Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 1 - JB Tries Not To Drown

Hi. I'm Justin. You might remember me from such well written and entertaining blogs as The Atwell Arsenal's Tough Mudder site( I'm one of the fools who's signed up for a long day of pain next June, to say nothing of the training that will go hand-in-hand with it.

This blog will serve as a chronicle and record of the journey to race day. Other people from our group will be contributing stories of their own training experience, recipes for post-workout meals, and maybe some ju-jitsu instruction from Conrad to fend off pesky hoodlums that might otherwise interrupt your run.

I can also say with confidence that I'm the worst swimmer in our group. I've done plenty of long bike rides and runs, but never had the guts to take on a triathlon on my own because I've never been brave enough to attempt the swim. If you're reading this and have always wanted to try a triathlon but were hesitant because of that whole water part, then you know exactly where I'm coming from, and hopefully this blog will serve as inspiration that you too can go from barely able to tread water to gliding effortlessly through the waves for miles at a time.

Conversely, if you suddenly see the updates stop you'll know that I drowned, in which case I'd encourage you to stay on land. Let's get to it.

Saturday, September 1st. Day 1!

On Saturday morning I met up with Elyse at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. (

Our group comes from a variety of athletic backgrounds, each of us with strengths and weaknesses in the various disciplines. Elyse is probably the group's strongest swimmer. She recently completed the Nuclear Mile in Harris Lake with a personal PR, and is a long time swim teacher and coach. Before we started, she reassured me that none of her previous students had ever drowned under her watch. She didn't say how they did once the lessons were over, and I didn't ask.

The facilities at TAC are gorgeous. They have two pools. The Olympic-sized competition pool was divided width-ways into 18 25-yard lanes to allow for more swimmers. We went to the smaller, warmer training pool with 10 25-yard lanes for our practicing.

TAC Competition Pool
Elyse led me through a number of kicking, paddling, and breathing drills. If I may brag for a moment, I have the rare ability to progress backwards while kicking with a kickboard. No, this will not help on race day.

After over an hour or so in the pool we called it quits. For at least the first several weeks I'll be considering any swimming session that doesn't require the lifeguard getting wet, CPR, or a life-flight to be a complete success. So for Day 1, mission accomplished. 280-some days to go.
Hurray!  No one died!

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