Saturday, March 10, 2007

Benevolent Bitch

Triathlon is like a benevolent but ruthless goddess - she turns you into more than you ever thought you'd be, but she isn't above regularly kicking your ass to keep you humble. Today, the goddess and I did a little dance.

The Swim

The swim was . . . OK. I feel like I've lost some ground since I got sick and since I've been working on the form adjustments Major Payne (credit to Bolder for the monicker) gave me. However, I also feel like I'm gaining it back. I was able to get in a mile total with a few rest stops intermingled. It was fine. Nothing stellar. The frustrating thing about Saturday morning swims is the limited time available. The gym opens at 7:00 am - and the pool usually doesn't open until 5 or 10 minutes after that - and the lap swimmers have to make way for the water aerobics class at 7:50. So you have about 40, maybe 45 minutes to get a good swim in. But, it is what it is and I'm not too unhappy about the way it went down this morning.

The Bike

Ah, yes . . . the bike. Pyro is the Lady Triathlon's favorite instrument for teaching me humility. At the start of my ride, I decided to experiment with unclipping my right foot to stop rather than my left - for some reason this pedal is much easier to unclip from, though the bike guy said he set both to the lightest resistance - that so didn't work. I'm not sure why, but when I stopped, I immediately tipped over to my left and reskinned my knee. Pretty.

After my spill, I picked myself up, got it together and took off. The very best news about my ride is that I had fun. The trail is flat and there are no cars to worry about except for the places where it crosses streets and those all have traffic lights.

I was able to keep the speed at about 15mph without a lot of effort and still felt like I had control. Once, I opened it up and got up to about 18mph before I decided that it was too scary. Still, though that took more effort, I felt like I had plenty of juice to go faster, just not enough guts. So thats cool.

Then, there was a near wipe out. It went like this: I was getting thirsty. So I reached for my water bottle. I'd done this successfully twice on my ride, so I was starting to believe that I could do it. Wrong. I think that I was thinking too much. I slowed down too much. I couldn't get the bottle back in the cage. I freaked out. I started swirving all over and started to travel in the direction of the ground - rubber side was threatening to go up. Thankfully, my right foot was instantly free of the pedals and on the ground, desparately trying to stop my forward/sideways trajectory. Then, a miracle occurred. I remembered that Pyro came equipped with brakes. Two of them, to be exact. One for the front, and one for the back. Miraculous. I used them. I stopped. I didn't cry. I did however sustain an injury. When my foot went down in a desparate attempt to brake "Flinstone Style", I came down pretty hard on the top tube (I don't even know if that's the right terminology, but you get the idea). If I was a guy, I wouldv'e racked myself. I've never been more thankful to be female. I did however inflict a nasty bruise in the upper thigh area, dangerously close to my tender parts. Ouch. The bike seat managed to put much unwelcome pressure on my new owey. Double Ouch. I made the executive decision to cut my ride to one lap (16miles) rather than the two I had planned (or really hoped for, I know better than to "plan" when it comes to a bike ride. I plan to start. That's the best I can do). I made it back to my car, probably making more of the discomfort than I needed to - but damn that pride hurt. There's that bitch Humility again. Bite me, humility.

The Run

Since my bike was cut short, I decided to go for a bit more of a run than planned. 5k to be exact. And this run was my moment of glory for the day. The run was Lady Triathlon's way of building me back up before I had to go back out into the "real world". The morning had warmed to a glorious sunny 60 degrees. I changed into my running shorts and pulled off my layers down to my short sleeves and took off. I ran a negative split by heart rate and managed to come in at 31:13. And I didn't stop the stopwatch at the traffic lights. So I figure I did it right around 30 min. That's my best 5k time. Ever. After I swam a mile and biked 16. I was officially feeling like a bad ass again.

Thanks, Lady. I needed that.


Bolder said...

wow! what an exciting time for you Phoenix! satiating your hunger with protein. making it official by reg'ing for the Oly. workin' the clipless, and doing a mini-tri with a 5K PR!

you're making it happen. mark my words, you'll look back at this post with fondness when you are descending in the bars doin' 45!

keep workin' it, you are doing great!!

Vickie said...

You sound like your training is going great. The way you're going now, you will surprise yourself at your first race. Depending on what your training plans call for, you could taper for the 5 mile race by just not running until that day, maybe swimming the day before, take a day off 2 days before. If you are supposed to be building mileage, then it won't hurt to go into it a little less rested, similar to what your weekly training would be like. If you're going for speed, taper.

Fe-lady said...

wow- you just went out and did a sprint (more than a sprint actually!) triathlon ON YOUR OWN...?
Very cool. You should be proud of yourself!
I wouldn't run the day before the race...maybe a mile just to keep loose... :-)