Friday, April 15, 2011
Another SPer asked me about my bike and my bicycling. I wrote a pretty long response and thought I'd create a blog post based on it.
I am now 41 and hadn't rode a bike since I was a child. That changed in June of this year shortly after I started running Couch to 5K (C25K). I was going on vacation with my sister-in-law (and other family members) to New Mexico. We had a house that included 2 bikes. My sil had started riding as part of her weight loss/getting in shape plan. So, we decided to both run & ride while in NM.
We went on 2 rides through the foothills of NM. The first ride was 4 miles and the second was 7.5 miles. The views were spectacular!!! From the mountains to the sunsets to the birds, the lizards, and the groundhogs. It was amazing!
I had to learn basic biking communication AND I tried to learn how to grab my water bottle while riding... it wasn't easy!
I debated a lot about what bike to buy and didn't end up buying a bike for several months. In early October, I bought a Scott Speedster. (And, I love it.)
Just a few days after buyiing my, I got in a wreck with my daughter. I had a banged up hip and scraped up arm which hurt for months and scared. A few weeks later, I went out with my trainer (a biker) twice and he had a bad fall. It took months (through the winter) before I was ready to get back on again.
I think I started back in January with a bike at the gym. Then, maybe in Feb started riding. Now, I'm still only riding on my 'real' bike once a week and then at the gym another time.
I am trying to increase my 'long rides' and have went from struggling with 7 miles (I found out that just because I could run for a long time didn't mean I could ride for a long time!). I increased to 10 miles... then 15... and 2 weeks ago (right before my tri) I did a 20 mile ride!
So far, all of my riding has been by myself except for those 2 rides with my personal trainer AND my 2 rides last weekend - the triathlon and the beginners clininc the day before. I am planning on doing my longest ride ever next weekend - 30 miles in hilly Oklahoma while we are there for vacation. It is an organized ride and that weird skeleton on my background is their logo. Pretty creepy! (And, I hope my foot does NOT have a stress fracture like I fear it does... or I might not be able to ride next weekend.)
My goal is to do a long, 2 day ride this fall. It is 75 miles on Saturday & 75 miles on Sunday. (It's called Bicycle Around the Bay in Galveston, TX) I'd LOVE to do it! I'd also like to do the local MS 150 next year. It takes place this weekend! So, I have a year to train. It is 2 days and covers 180 miles from Houston to Austin.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'm lying here on the couch with my foot elevated. My foot started hurting a few hours ago and I'm not sure what's wrong with it. It hurts on the top of my foot. Anyway, I'm hoping it is very temporary and might have something to do with the shoes I was wearing while shopping today.
I've had a very busy week since my tri on Sunday. I took Monday off and then jumped back into training on Tuesday. I have only about 3 1/2 weeks until my next tri!
On Tuesday, I had my weekly session with my personal trainer. Later in the evening, I did my first trail runs. I loved them! I also figured out how to use my Garmin watch as a trainer and set it for 1/4 mile intervals. I did 8 of them with a 30 second walk in between. What a great way to work on speed!
On Wednesday, I got up early and spent some time on the Expresso bike at the gym. I chose a hilly, challenging course and rode for about 45 minutes. Wednesday night was my swim class. I swam 850 yards in the 30 minutes including a 350 yard segment at the end. It felt great!
I woke up early today and ran outside. Again, I set my Garmin for intervals but this time for three 1 milers with a 1 minute rest in between. I felt like I was zooming along! I did pretty well, but not as good as I thought. Anyway, it felt good to work on speed.
This evening, as I mentioned, my foot is hurting. I know I need new tennis shoes - maybe that is part of my problem, too. I was debating about taking tomorrow off or swimming tomorrow morning. With this pain, I'll just take the day off! I have a busy workout schedule coming up.
This weekend I'll do a long run (7 miles - have to prepare for my HM on June 5th!) and a brick workout. On Monday, my daughter and I are trying CrossFit... I'm really excited! I'll swim either Monday or Tuesday morning and have my trainer Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday is my swim class and Thursday I'll get to run 'the hills' while my daughter is at an activity. On Friday we are driving to another state for a week off... and I'm doing a 30 mile organized ride with my sister-in-law on Saturday! I'm exctied about it! It'll be a lot hillier than what I'm used to, and I'm excited about the challenge and seeing how I'll do!
Monday, April 11, 2011
(P.S. I have lots of photos but have so much trouble uploading them to SP! I'll try again later. Grr!)
I did it! Yesterday I competed in my first sprint triathlon. Wow!!!
So, how was it? It was great! It was hard! It was WINDY! But, I did it! And, I AM a triathlete.
MORNING: I woke up a little before 5 am and went through my bag one more time. I grabbed my breakfast (I was too nervous to eat) and loaded my bike on the back of my car. And, I headed towards the community center.
CHECKING IN & SETTING UP: I had been there the day before for a first timers event. (More on that later.) So, I knew pretty much what would be happening and where everything was set up. I brought my flashlight (great idea as I had to pump up my tires in the dark parking lot!) and went over to get my markings. The guy marking my leg heard me say "31" instead of "41" so he had to rewrite it. It was really messy and unreadable. Oh, well! I got my area set up according to everything I'd read and the Saturday class. I ate my banana and went and got my ankle chip. Then, I walked the exit & entrance to the bike & run several times to make sure I could find my bike. I was 2nd from the end, and got really good at finding it.
SWIM: There were about 600 participants and I was number 487. I was told they'd put someone in the water every 5 seconds, which should have put me around 7:25. But, I didn't get in the water until 7:45. It was a LONG wait, and I was wishing I had more 'fuel' to eat. I stood around talking to one of the ladies I'd me Saturday and the guy who was next to me on the rack. He actually trains some triathletes, so he was a great person to ask questions! (Oh, and I learned that they close the transition area -something I hadn't read - so you have to get whatever you need out of there!)
It was finally my turn to start & I jumped in. I'd predicted my swim team, for the 275 yards in the pool, would be 7:30. I hadn't practiced jumping in and was afraid my goggles would fill up with water, but they were fine. I hadn't warmed up at all since I knew there'd be a long wait until I started swimming. But, I immediately felt at ease in the water. That is, until the guys behind me caught up to me on the 2nd lane. For about 5 laps, they passed me one after another. And, they were bumping into me, pulling my legs under, and just messing with me! I was proud of myself for staying calm. I flipped over on my back twice, but just for a couple of seconds. I ended up swimming slightly faster than expected with a time of 7:24! And, I realize now that I actually probably swam 300 yards instead of 275 since you are also swimming the entire length of the pool. So, I was swimming faster than ever! Yeah!
T1: My first transition went well. I really had trouble 'running' from the swimming pool and it was a slight jog instead. My plan was to stand up and put my socks & shoes on, but my socks weren't going on easily. So, I sat down and got them on. I also grabbed a few Honey Stingers. I had a good time at just 2:41.
BIKE: I'd rode one loop of the 2 loop bike route the day before with the first timers group. And, Saturday had been kind of windy. But, race day was VERY windy! And, the path was hilly! (At least compared to the flat lands I ride on!) I am very proud of how hard I worked on the ride. I pushed & pushed and gave 100%. There were times we were riding directly into the wind and we were barely moving. And, we didn't get the benefit of the wind because we were behind some buildings when it should have been at our back. Overall, I'm very happy with my bike leg, especially since I haven't been riding very long. My time for 13 miles (which I showed as about 13.5 miles) was 59:21.
T2: I had a quick transition. I know I could have been a few seconds quicker by putting my cap on while running, but I was so tired and wanted a few seconds break. I also grabbed a big drink of water off of my bike and a couple more Honey Stingers. I had one of the fastest T2s in my age bracket at 1:14. (But, I didn't have to change shoes since I ride in my tennis shoes.)
RUN: I was so tired by my run. It was hard to get going. I walked a lot more than I expected. I think I walked 5 times and they were pretty long walks. I had just given almost all of what I had to give! My run time was the 2nd slowest in my age group at 40:16. But, my fastest 5K to date is only 37something, so this was actually pretty decent for me.
So, my total time was 1:50:38. I placed 26 of 28 in my age group. I placed 150 of 175 out of the women. As in every other race, I came in at the back of the pack. Yes, that is frustrating for me. But, I think I did an incredible job and I know I gave it my all. (Well, I might have held back a little during the run.) I need to keep working on all 3 sports and I will get better! Right now I'm a little frustrated that I have a half marathon I'm training for, too, so it'll be harder to work on speed, but I'll do my best!
That's it! That's the story of my first triahtlon! I hope, if you are considering doing one, that you'll get out there and give it a try. It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
Friday, April 08, 2011
For the past few days, the weather report for my first sprint triathlon on Sunday has been looking bad. It was at 30% chance of t-storms. Yesterday, it went up to a 40% chance AND "Windy!" I am not prepared to compete in a thunderstorm. I would (and have) run in the rain, but I'm not that confident on my bike yet. So, I was contemplating skipping it...
Until this morning! The weather report now shows only a 10% chance of scattered thunderstorms! But, it is still WINDY! 20-25 mph. (Does that mean sustained winds?)
So, I'll be doing it! (Whew!) And, because of the wind, I'll not even worry about my times. (Another, whew!) I know I shouldn't, anyway, since it is my first... but I had certain times I wanted to hit and felt I could/should. But, the pressure is off! I'm going to have FUN and LEARN during my first tri!
I hope you all have a great weekend, too!
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