My (irrational) fears about training for a tri
January 23rd, 2012
01:30 PM ET

My (irrational) fears about training for a tri

Editor's Note: This year, CNN selected 7 viewers to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  Each participant is new to the sport of triathlon, and receives all of the gear and training necessary to compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta in September 2012.  Adrienne LaGier is a journalism teacher and mother of two from Maryland, who will be getting married two weeks before the Malibu race.

One of the questions on the CNN Fit Nation athlete questionnaire our coaches sent to us centered around our fears. I've decided to make a list, hoping nearly all of them will prove to be unfounded by the end of the process.

My set of probably totally irrational fears include ...

1) Not looking drastically different after 9 months of training. I want to lose 60 pounds during this process and hope that my trainer will help me accomplish my goal. I've come across a bunch of triathletes in the past few weeks online who are my size now who only ended up losing 15 to 20 pounds after all their training. Not gonna be this gal.

2) Riding a bike on Rt 4. Those of you who live in Southern Maryland know that Rt 4 is a serious highway. Commuters drive into Washington more than an hour each day and Rt 4 is the only way to get them there. There are mysterious bike lanes in random parts of Rt 4 that disappear and reappear without reason. Where is one to go when the bike lane ends? Merge with 70 mph traffic? I don't think so. I grew up in Buffalo, the land of the sidewalks. Whoever was the urban planner in Southern Maryland clearly had not experienced the wondrous functionality of these strips of concrete.

3) Falling off the bike. I had no absolute clue before reading the blogs of last year's members that bikes actually came WITHOUT PEDALS! What the heck?? Clearly, I know nothing about racing bikes. And supposedly you are clipped in to them? From what I've read initially, some have serious wipeouts when they forget to unclip. Poor Kendrick last year had a crash in Kona that required a few stitches. I have an extreme fear of needles and hope to keep the word injury out of my vocabulary the next nine months.

3) Swimming with fish. Sharks specifically, but really any fish that have teeth. Or sting. Or nibble.

4) Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. We've had a bunch of friends contract strange viruses and infections from just wading into the bay. Maybe a wet suit will help cut down on that possibility... but swimming in murky water frightens me. I live two miles from Long Beach, so it would be a shame for me to not take advantage of the open water swim opportunities in my own backyard.

Okay, there they are. I'm sure there are more, but those are the major ones. Time to start proving to myself that there's nothing to fear except fear itself.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Victor

    Funny what you say about bikes coming without pedals. Its true!

    January 23, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Swim Bike Mom

    Adrienne – I am so excited for you! Your #1 really struck me. I am always battling the scale as well, and initially started "tri-ing" for weight loss. You'll soon learn that weight will come off, but often the battle will continue because you will be so hungry from the training and your body wants fuel. But you will notice changes in your body composition, your heartrate and your fitness. Stay the course and you will be SO PROUD!! I am rooting for you. Remember to appreciate the body you have – because it will do AMAZING things for you!!!

    Meredith (a/k/a @SwimBikeMom) 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adrienne

      Thanks, Meredith for your continued support and advice. I truly appreciate it.

      January 24, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
  3. Greg Lopez

    Adrienne I have had the chance to participate in a couple of Triathlons and I made my bike ride with old cage pedals and it was a good experience nothing to be ashamed of. Now that I have grown a bit more I made my move to clipless pedals in order to do that I did quite a research. I came out with a brand that produce the I-click pedal this kind of pedal is intuitive and you can walk with the shoes in any surface(called cafe cleats in France) and the coolest thing is that the pedal stay in mounting position.
    About the weight it will go and will be replaced by muscle and gradually you will lose more weight and gain more muscle that's what the other Triathlete's are talking about.
    About the swimming open water is tricky indeed but you will do fine. You need to bulk up in the pool first get a lot confidence, learn your stroke, coordinate your breathing so when you do your transition and open water sets you will see that is intuitive. Don't worry about the fish with so many swimmers they will just run away. Keep focus you will do fine.

    January 24, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adrienne

      Thanks, Greg! I'm sure hoping you are right about the fish thing... 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
    • Safina

      my dog broke out in hives biggg time today so scary. her eyes were so swollen that they were shut. we were in the woods this arnofteon..must have been a spider, yikes! Benadryl did not work, just made her drowsy. I took her to the vet tonight and they gave her a shot that did work, $150 later.

      March 5, 2012 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
  4. Karen

    Don't worry about falling on the bike! Everyone has either done it or will do it. It is sort of a rite of passage. As kids, I am pretty sure none of our bikes had the clipless pedals and they take some getting used to. Usually, when a person falls it is coming to a stop so you just kind of tip over. No biggie, only a bruised ego (if that...).

    As for the weight, just stick with your food plan. The temptation will be to eat more food (and probably the wrong kinds of food) as you increase your activity level. Just because you are burning more calories doesn't mean you want to be eating pizza every night. OK, maybe you will *want* to eat pizza every night but probably shouldn't.

    You are going to do great, hang in there, you will look back on this post in a few months and wonder what you were ever worried about! 🙂

    January 24, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adrienne

      I'm picturing the tipping over episodes I used to have while cross-country skiing. Are you still locked into the bike when you tip?

      January 24, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse |

    have bike will ride, have car will travel, have brain will use.

    January 25, 2012 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Christine

    Hey girl! There is a local group that does open water swims in the spring. They are based more around St. Mary's but you may be able to join them for some. I'll see if I can track it down for you. Though I totally get what you are saying re: the beasties in the water. Also, Lynn A. asked a bunch of us about bike routes in Calvert that don't involve Rt 4. I'll message you on FB what some other Calvert types came up with if she hasn't already. I'd love to meet up and ride with you! Run on, my friend!

    January 25, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adrienne

      Thanks, Christine!

      January 25, 2012 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  7. Peter F

    Being new into this sport also when I bought my first road bike online and had it shipped, I was like it is missing its kickstand. I went online and saw that they do not come like that. When I repeated the story to a co-worker they were dying laughing. Are you from Buffalo NY originally? I am also, live in Rochester NY now. Let me know if you are doing any events in Buffalo to help in your training.

    January 28, 2012 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lisa K

    Hi Adrienne!

    You an I went to high school together and I remember how motivated you always were! There is not a doubt in my mind that now that you have your sights set on this challenge, you will excel just as you have in the past! You know you have a bunch of displaced "Buffalonians" and Clarence Alumni in your corner every step of the way!!
    Good luck and keep up the great work!

    February 1, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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