I pulled the trigger tonight and registered for IM Augusta. I started cycling at 61 4 years ago, and 2 years ago I linked up with a Tri group riding at 5:30 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was great training, but I stuck with just the biking. But it rubbed off.
Last summer I picked up a Fuji Aloha 1.0 frame from Nashbar and over the summer I built up my TT bike from spare parts and stuff off Amazon and Ebay. It made a big difference in my overall speed, and after much fiddling with fit, I got it down. I also started swimming in my pool, and running the 2.3 mi loop around the canal behind the house. Despite my stamina on the bike, I was amazed how hard swimming and running was. But I stuck to it.
In September 9th, I had my first Sprint Tri. I had done a lot of research online and on BF, and got great ideas and motivation. "Race to complete, not to compete" was the sage advise I heard for first time Triathletes. I was running a few times a week, and was able to run about a mile with out walking. I could freestyle, poorly, for about 25 yds, and then I would breast stroke to rest. And so it was for my first tri. None the less, I managed to place 3rd in my AG (60-64) despite being the oldest of the 8 competitors. I did the breast stroke for most the the 400 meters, and walked/ran for the 3.1 mi run. But it was my very strong bike that pulled me though. But I was hooked.
In October I joined my Tri friends in a 1 hr. Masters swim class M - Th each week. I could hardly swim 25 yds, and it was "heads up" all the way. But with determination and good coaching I managed to progress, albeit slowly.
I've done 2 additional sprint tri's, and managed to place 2nd in both in my new 65-69 AG. But my slow swim and run keep me out of 1st, despite my very strong bike.
My weak swim is the main reason I've been reticent to do an Olympic or longer distance. But the IM Augusta is a bit unique. The swim is in the Savannah River, and even with out swimming a stroke you will complete the 1.2 mi course in 40 min just floating. And it's wetsuit legal. I spoke to my swim coach and he said I will have no problem with that swim. SO...
I just registered for the half Ironman. I had a goal to do a full Ironman by age 70, so we'll see how this goes. Perhaps I can move that goal up a bit...