Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Explorer, I Am Not

This morning I slept in until the very late hour of 8. Even though it's not that late, it still felt like a bit of a treat. I got up and putzed around for a little while to get ready for my bike ride. I had asked Drew if he would want to come, but since his calf still isn't feeling so great, he opted to skip the ride. Instead he decided that he would go to the gym. He was going to check out the other one that is close to my apartment that neither of us had been to yet. He did say that he was thinking of just going to the regular one since he wasn't sure if he wanted to go out of his comfort zone, but in the end he did go to the other one.

I decided tht I would go for a ride up the West Side. I'm not sure that the ride helps me with my speed a lot, but it is just a really beautiful ride and after doing mostly loops in the park, it's nice to have a change.

Laura and I were talking yesterday about going over the George Washington Bridge and riding in New Jersey, but I think we are both a bit intimidated by the bridge itself and getting over and back safely. From what I've heard you are able to pretty much follow everyone else, but it still makes me nervous to think about getting lost.

So, I headed out up the West Side on my ride. On my way North, I noticed the swim start for the New York City Triathlon tomorrow. They were also setting up the transition areas and getting ready for the race. I think that it would be such a fun race to do in my own city, so we'll have to see how next year goes.

When I got to the base of the GWB, I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep going and ride up the very steep hills. I stopped for just a minute at the bottom of the first hill, had a squirt of Gatorade and decided that there is only one way to get ready for this Westchester triathlon. And that is to practice hills when possible and spend more time in the saddle itself. So, up I went. I'm not going to lie. When I got to the last (extremely steep) hill and I rode past someone who was walking their bike up the hill, I felt a lot better about myself.

At the top of all these hills is a pedestrian walkway that heads to the entrance to the GWB. I thought about going up there to see what it was like and how confusing it might be, but instead I just kept riding. I got to the end of the pathway and turned around to head home. Again, I passed the pedestrian walkway heading to the bridge. I really wanted to go up and see what it was like, especially since I was already there, but I just couldn't push myself that far out of my comfort zone today. All I can say is maybe next time.

It was really interesting to me that all along the river, people were already staking a claim to the picnic tables available. All before 10 AM! I guess that there must be a lot of competition for them and families must have big BBQ spreads. I'm sure it's a fun way to spend the day, but I'm not sure I'd want to get up quite so early to have a BBQ!

All in all, my ride was 17.07 miles, which I did in 1:18:58 (12.97 MPH average).

I got home from the ride and Drew reported back that the other gym had a very small cardio area, but a bigger weight room. We quickly took showers and then headed out to the NYC Triathlon Expo. I've never been to one before, so I didn't know quite what to expect, although I was hoping for some free samples.

The Expo was held in a hotel ballroom. We walked in and just started filling out little sweepstakes forms. For the record, I fully intend on winning a computrainer as well as a trip to Jamaica! We got some free stuff too: race belts, Muscle Milk, Cytomax recovery drink, and t-shirts. Definitely a fun time. Toga (LBS) had a booth at the Expo and Will (the guy who sold me my bike) was working there. When we walked by the first time, he was really busy, so I just waved Hi. The second time, when we were heading out, we were able to stop and chat with him for a bit. He said that the Westchester course is really tough (which made me extremely glad that I did those hills today). I also asked him what he thought about my bike and doing IM Switzerland. He said that my current bike could have aero bars put on and it would be okay to get started, but once I really start to increase my mileage, my bike just isn't designed for all that wear and tear. He said that I should also really consider doing a half Ironman before jumping into the full thing. While I'm glad to have his thoughts, especially on the bike, I feel that this is mostly a personal decision that I need to come to on my own first about putting in the time for the training. Drew suggested today that I should look at some sample Ironman plans and see what the workouts look like. Pretty smart idea, I think.

After the Expo, we dropped our loot off at my apartment and headed down to Union Square for a brunch made from goodies we got at the Farmers Market. After that we headed over to Paragon in order to check out all the bike/tri gear for Drew's upcoming duathlon! We got lucky because all of the bike and tri clothing was 20% off! He got a new pair of Pearl Izumi bike shorts, I got myself a pair of Pearl Izumi tri shorts, and best of all, I got a blinking red light for my bicycle! It's actually really cool because it can clip onto the bike or I can slide it onto a clip that I could attach to my shorts in case I needed it while running or not on the bike. I feel a lot better about riding in the early morning hours with this little light! A very triathlon filled day. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and going to cheer on my Terrier teammates in the NYC tri. I'm also hoping to see some of the pros and elites compete and dream about being on their level.

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