Saturday, February 12, 2011

Does Trail Smitten Mom Need a New Moniker?

Trail running was my muse when I started blogging last year.  I had fallen head over heels in love with the sport and was eager to keep a record of my adventures on the trails.  Trail Smitten Mom seemed like the perfect pen name since I transformed into a giddy girl every time I stepped foot into the woods.  It didn't matter what the weather was like, whether I ran solo or with others, was training or racing, running short or long, hilly or flat, I was guaranteed a pleasant time in my playground and sanctuary.

Early in the summer, things changed. I got injured and I was no longer able to run.  After spending half my summer sulking and brooding, I decided to broaden my interests and activities.  Now that I wasn't running 30 to 40 miles a week, following a rigorous training regimen to prepare for marathons or 50Ks, I had an enormous amount of time, energy and freedom on my hands.

I tried on other sports and activities on for size. Surfing was pretty awesome and gave me that same euphoric feeling.  Unfortunately surfing isn't something I can just wake up, do and report back home for working mom duty. I'm hatching a plan to make that dream a reality, but for now, I needed more accessible activities.  To stay fit and be ready to run again as soon as the doctor gave me the green light, I begrudgingly swam and cycled.  I had no intention of actually "liking" those sports.  I was a runner dammit!  

Some of the best things in life happen because of a wrong turn, an accident or a set back.  This is one of those instances.  Before I knew it and much to my surprise, I found myself actually looking forward to my swims.  My early birthday present was a kick ass road bike.  The first few times I rode my bike, I thought, this sure as heck isn't running, but it'll do.  By the third ride, this fickle girl was won over.  I found my heart skipping a beat and my soul aching for a ride just at the sight or thought of my bike.  By golly, I was more than a recovering runner.  I was becoming a swimmer and a cycler!  As soon as I was able to start running, triathlon season had come and gone.

I was eager to try out my new multi-sport skills so I planned my own "do-it-yourself-triathlon".  I tried to get others to join me but no one was interested or available.  I embarked on my journey on my own.  I swam a half mile in my gym pool.  I was super stoked to have not just one, but all three lanes to myself that day. That was rare indeed.  I swam as if my life depended on it.  After 16-1/2 laps, I hopped out, toweled off, pulled on my cycling shorts and made a beeline for my van and drove to a nearby park for my cycling leg.

After donning my cycling jersey and shoes, I pedaled off for my 15 mile ride.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to go from swimming to cycling.  I had a ton of energy and what felt like fresh legs.  While riding I was able to suck down some water and a Gu for energy and call Steve to let him know that I would soon need his bike-bouncer services.  He and our daughters were there as I pedaled back to the van.  They took my bike, I shed my helmet and shoes and like a total newbie, I changed into running clothes.  Three kisses later, I was off for my running leg!

3.1 miles sounded easy.  I told Steve that since I was out there anyway, I'd just do my regular four mile Pre's loop.  Going from bike to running proved to be much more challenging than going from pool to cycling.  My legs still felt like they were spinning on the bike and were heavy, tired and awkward.  I glanced at my Garmin to check my speed and distance.  Geez, I was only a mile in!  There was no way I was running even a tenth of a mile longer than I needed to.  I was running my heart out and there wasn't much left in the tank.  Could I finish?  I knew I wasn't in running shape after having the whole summer off, but c'mon, it was only a 5K!  Please let me finish what I set out to do!  I was getting closer and could smell the finish line.

As I rounded the final corner, I could see Steve and the girls, my trusty cheering squad waiting for me.  I did it!  My legs were wobbly, my arms felt like limp spaghetti, but I was grinning from ear to ear!  I will always remember this day as the day Trail Smitten became tri smitten.  This is the year of the triathlon for me.  I am officially registered for a sprint tri, an open water swimming clinic and have my eyes set on a mid summer open water Olympic length triathlon.  The question is am I Tri Smitten or am I Trail Smitten?  We will soon find out! Hope you stick around for tales of my multi-sport adventures.


  1. This is a great post. Missed my trail smitten spouse a lot when you were really down with injury and couldn't do any of it. So happy that the (bike) shoes and (imaginary) swim fins fit. I think the 'tri' smitten may be the best monker due to the 'try' aspect of it. You are still pretty new to the whole focused sport thing - having gotten into it less than 3 years ago. Watching you try, love and excel at so many of these activities is a joy. Whatever your current choice to do we will be there cheering you on. Somehow I sense that the trials aren't over - challenges will be met and overcome, new activities or versions will be added (distances, courses, terrain) and you will love them all. Is an off -road (trail) tri in this girls future?

  2. You are my super-star inspiration girl! Can't wait to read more of your tri-trail adventures!