This morning I met Drew in the park so that I could do a brick. I had been planning on doing the full sprint triathlon distances, so I was a little unsure of how it would go. I was even more unsure when I got to the park to see that there was a 10K race going on in the park and about half of the lanes were reserved for the race.
I realized that since there wasn't anything I could do about the circumstances, I should just go and have the best ride that I could. My ride to meet Drew was 2.54 miles and took me 13:20 (11.43 MPH average), so I knew that all I could do was improve from there!
We started the loops at the 90th Street entrance, so that when we stopped, I'd be at a good starting point to get to run around the reservoir. Of course, starting further North also meant that we had to tackle the Harlem hill almost right away. Unbelievably, I actually caught up to Drew on the hill the first time around. I've told him before that if he foes slowly enough, I eventually will catch him!
The rest of the first loop passed rather uneventfully. I looked at the bike computer and it was about 24:30 to ride 6.12 miles (14.99 MPH pace). We passed lots of racers along the way. By the time we got back to start our second loop, a lot of the racers had finished, which made it harder to navigate since they were meandering all along the road. Most of them were eating Popsicles and the thought crossed my mind that I'd like to punch one of them in the face (the bad walkers, of course) and steal a Popsicle. Instead, I just kept riding my bike.
The second loop made me realize just how uncomfortable the bikes at the gym are. I think that I might have to get myself some actual bike shorts for the gym. I spent the rest of the second loop wishing that I had some better protection between me and the bike. I finished the second loop in 48:27 total time and went 12.14 miles (15.03 MPH average).
Drew had sent me this article a few days ago about transitioning. I thought the part at the end about standing up on the bike in order to get the blood to the bottom of your legs was especially interesting. Of course, everytime I tried to practice that, I was sure I was just going to fall flat on my face. I felt like it would be easier to do if I was in a very hard gear, but all that shifting doesn't seem worth it to me.
When we got to where I would be transitioning, I hopped off my bike and Drew promptly told me that he wouldn't help me all, which was fair since I won't have any help at the race. As I was trying to pull my running shoes out of my backpack, my legs were definitely shaking. I had tried to time my transition, but I was in such a rush, apparently I forgot to press start on my watch. I managed to get my biking shoes off and my running shoes on, remembered to take off my helmet, and ran over to the entrance to the reservoir path.
My legs actually felt pretty good once I started running. I started out a bit faster that usual, but realized that I probably needed to settle into my regular pace in order to be able to finish the full distance. Once I was rounding the corner towards the finish on the first loop, I did think for a moment about whether or not I would need to do the second loop. Then I realized that I would be really disappointed in myself if I didn't follow through with my original plan.
I kept on running for the second loop and finished the 3.2 miles in 32:01 (10:00 pace). I couldn't believe it! 10 minute miles even after the bike? The main thing that I learned from this experience is that I need to drink more on the bike. I was really thirsty while running. I'm guessing that there will be water stations during the race (although the race reports I've read have said that the water stations aren't that great) so it's probably better to make sure I'm slightly more hydrated on my own.
Once I had switched back to my bike shoes, Drew and I got back on our bikes and headed to his apartment. The last thing I wanted to do at that point was get on my bike, but Drew only lives about a quarter mile from the park so it wasn't too bad. We had a smoothie, played Killer Bunnies, took a nap, had another smoothie and then I needed to head home.
When I got downstairs, I realized that it was raining really hard and I wasn't very excited at the prospect of riding in the pouring rain. However, I realized I might as well do it since there is a chance that it will rain for the triathlon. The ride home was miserable. The water splashing up from the street, the rain coming down from the sky, yuck. The worst part was that once my hands got wet, it was really slippery on my handlebars and I was nervous about that. Also, when they were wet, my brakes got very loud and squeaky. I'm not sure if I should be worried about that or not since they always stopped just fine. When I got home, I was covered in dirt from the waist down and my backpack was covered as well. I do not like this rain. Now I'll have to clean up my bike, which is never my favorite thing. At least I had an awesome workout!
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