Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Think I Swallowed A Bug

This morning was the first time that I made it to a Terrier brick workout. That partly had to do with the fact that it's been raining for the last month and partly because the workout starts at 5:30, which is really early. I really wanted to go this morning so that I could practice transitioning from the bike to the run a couple of times before Saturday.

I got there and Robert was coaching the practice. He said that we would be doing a run-bike-run-bike-run workout. The bike portion would be the 4.0 mile loop from the 72nd Street transverse to the 100th Street transverse. The run portion would be the 0.50 mile loop from the bandshell heading south down to the end of the Mall and then back up the pathway just West of the Mall.

The first run I just wanted to laugh at. We were supposed to run with our bikes. The catch was that we couldn't hold onto the handlebars. We could only hold onto the saddle. Turns out that I'm not very good at that part. My bike just kept wanting to turn left. I know that I wasn't doing a very good job at steering. I learned later on in the workout that it is a lot easier if you hold your arm out in front of you, rather than next to you. Somehow having your arm out in front gives you more leverage over the bike and helps it go straight. Either way, on that first run, I was definitely the last person to finish (no big surprise there!), but I wasn't as down in the dumps this time as I was on Tuesday. I blamed my slow speed on my bike rather than my legs. I didn't time that run on my watch - I just included that time in the total bike mileage and time.

I used my new speed laces today for the first time. They're fantastic! Because they're longer, I'm able to lace my shoes all the way up and I still have plenty of give on the laces. My feet felt fine and didn't fall asleep at all. I also felt like my shoes were really secure on my feet, so I think these new laces are a winner.

Transitioning from the run to the bike and the bike to the run went pretty smoothly for me. I know I'm not the fastest person, but as long as I don't get too flustered I think I'll be fine. I even remembered to take my hat so that I could practice putting that on since I want to wear it on Saturday. The weather on Saturday is looking pretty good - it's supposed to be 85 and sunny, but not too humid. I think that sounds about perfect for a race, although since I've never raced before, I don't know for sure.

When I got on the bike for the first time, I noticed right away that there were tons of little gnats out and about this morning. I'm pretty sure I swallowed at least one. I spit out two or three (maybe I should learn to ride my bike with my mouth shut). I also got a bug in each eye. They were everywhere! I've never noticed these bugs in the park before, so I was quite surprised. Maybe all the recent rain has made the bugs come out in full force.

All in all today, my total bike mileage was 11.65 miles (including riding to and from the park and the initial 0.50 mile run with the bike). I finished that distance in 54:44, which is a 12.77 MPH pace. The two 0.50 mile runs (1.0 mile total) was completed in 8:09. That's right. That's an 8:09 pace! I know that I did the first 0.50 mile in 4:16, which I was still pretty happy with. On the second 0.50 mile, I was dragging a little bit half-way through. At that point, one of the guys on the team came up behind me and said, "C'mon, pick up your cadence." That was really all the boost I needed to finish up strong and in record time!

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