Oh, geez: My first triathlon is in exactly one month.

As Health.coms resident fitness blogger, Im used to trying new exercises and challenging myself to stay in shape while balancing work and a personal life. But a triathlon? Six months ago this was just a crazy idea in my head—and now its almost here.

It all started when I ran my first half marathon last year. I did finish and I did learn to enjoy it, but once it was over I quickly became lazy again. I couldnt motivate myself to get out and pound the pavement regularly without a goal in mind. And soon, I was struggling to run just three miles at a time. How could all the progress Id built up have wasted away so quickly?

So I knew I needed something new to strive for; something, preferably, that didnt involve so much running. A triathlon seemed perfect: I love swimming, I love biking, and, well, I can tolerate running. A few friends were signing up for the Nautica New York City Triathlon—then still half a year away, far enough to not really think about—so I tagged along to the organizational meeting, not really knowing what to expect.

Its been a long few months, to be honest, but completely worth it so far. Im training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societys Team in Training, one of the largest fundraising athletic organizations in the country. And in return for raising money for their cause, the LLS gives us coaches, practice schedules, and even a wetsuit. I have to say, its a pretty sweet deal.


Ive kissed my Friday night social events good-bye and swapped them for 7 a.m. Saturday practices in the park. Ive grown fond of the lingering chlorine smell that sticks with me after my morning swims, no matter how long my showers last. And Ive actually learned how to change a bike tire. (Its harder than it looks!)

Having a structured workout program back in my life has been a welcome change. When Im following a routine, I feel like Im more productive throughout my whole day, because I have less free time and I value it so much more. I go to bed earlier, eat healthier (healthier quality, at least, if not quantity), drink less alcohol, and generally feel more energized. Ive never had a drug or alcohol problem, but I can totally see what these former addicts mean when they cite their new fixation on triathlons.

So now, with one month left, Im back in pretty good shape—I can swim a mile, bike 25 miles, and run six miles, all with relative ease. Only problem is, I still havent tried to do all those things back to back. And during these last 30 days, I know I really need to concentrate and stick with the program.

To do that, Im adding a new element to my training regimen. Im determined to blog at least once a week from now until the race on July 26. To me, its extra incentive to keep up the hard work and resist the urge to quit while Im ahead.

Ill share my tips and strategies leading up to the big day, and hopefully will have a full recount when its over. For more frequent updates, you can follow me on Twitter, and check out my teammate Jenna's blog over at Shape magazine, too. With your support, we'll both make it to the finish line. Wish me luck!