Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Tuesday race

Stats for this week’s race:

Time: 54:55

Distance: 23 miles

Average speed: 25.2

Average HR: 167

Max HR 180

Cadence: 93

I finished this one instead of dropping out to watch the ending; I felt like keeping on, and so I did.  I felt tired during my warm up, but got over it enough to ride my fastest race of the season.

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Swim lesson

I had my first swim lesson today and now feel thoroughly confused — I mean, in a good way, because I know it will take a while to get used to swimming the right way, or at least closer to it.  We worked on some drills – the zip drill, the catch-up drill, kicking drills.  I learned I don’t have the elbow position right (probably no new swimmer does?), my hand doesn’t enter the water soon enough (reaching too far out of the water), and that I need a stronger kick.  I’m sure this is just the beginning!

Sunday ride

I had a very nice not quite 2 hour ride today; I finally felt like my legs could work after two rides where I felt sluggish, so I rode pretty fast and worked hard.  It helped that for the last 7 miles or so I was riding with a guy I caught up with, who (unlike the last guy I caught) politely asked if he could draft.  Because I passed him fairly fast (and just because) I wanted to keep going fast, so I pushed it hard, and he did the same when I drafted on him.  The dynamic that develops when I run into strangers on their bikes is amusing — invariably when I pass a guy he speeds up and either stays on my wheel or passes me again.  And I don’t want to get passed, so I work hard no matter what.  It leads to some very fast riding.  We are generally nice and polite to each other, but are equally determined to look as strong as possible and not to get dropped.  This has never happened with a woman cyclist, although I don’t think I’ve ever caught up to one who was riding roughly at my pace.  They are either way faster or way slower.

Training

I went on a 1 1/2 hour ride this morning and then did a short swim this evening.  I’m looking forward to starting swim lessons so I can learn how to use my time in the pool well — it’s useful just to do laps, I’m sure, but I want some specific things to work on, drills, etc.

I rode yesterday and today and both times felt pretty sluggish.  This is probably partly because I’m recovering from Tuesday’s race, but I don’t remember being tired for this long after a race earlier in the season.  I think the issue is more that I’m all the sudden doing all this other work, the swimming and running, and I’m not used to it.  The total time I spend doing those things isn’t much, but I guess that doesn’t matter as much as I thought it would.  Anyway, it’s all right because I don’t have to be riding fast right now; all I plan on doing for the rest of the summer besides easy short rides are the Tuesday night races and then some long rides now and then.  I have no major bike races ahead of me.

Swim lessons

I’m going to start swim lessons on Monday!  Yay!

Tuesday race

I’m so used to racing these Tuesday night races that I don’t get nervous about them anymore — although part of the reason I don’t get nervous is that winning simply isn’t going to happen, so I feel no pressure there, and I haven’t gotten dropped all this year, so I don’t worry about that much either.  The race is simply a good intense workout and some experience riding in a pack, and that’s it.  I get more nervous thinking about how Hobgoblin will do than anything else, although even that is turning out to be unnecessary, as he’s leading the series by over 30 points, and it’s becoming more and more likely each race that he’ll win it.  I’ve taken to dropping out of the race in the last lap, partly to avoid the danger of the sprint and partly so I can see the finish.  This week turned out to be a good week to watch the end instead of participate in it, as Hobgoblin won once again and I got to see him cross the line.

Distance: 21.4 miles; speed: 24.4 mph; time: 52:36; average HR: 166; max HR: 177.

Updates

I spent much of yesterday online following how all my triathlete friends were doing — I knew two people in the NYC triathlon and four people in the Lake Placid Ironman.  Everyone seems to have done well — yay Jenny!  —  and the friend in the Ironman with whom I’ve done some training got 4th place in her age group and qualified for Kona!  I’m very excited for her.

I did my own little ride yesterday, 1 1/2 hours, and felt much better after last Thursday’s non-century; my heart rate was back to normal levels and I had some strength in my legs.

I’ve put in a call about getting private swimming lessons.  I don’t know for sure if they are available, but if so, I’ll be excited to learn what I’m really supposed to be doing when I’m swimming laps … I’ve been out to the pool four times so far and am having fun.  I don’t swim long or far; I’m just trying to build up some basic endurance.  The motherly woman I met my first time at the pool told me my stroke is getting better.  I’m not entirely sure she’s trustworthy on that score, but I’ll take the compliment.

My feet, both of them, having been feeling strange, with little aches and pains in several places.  I don’t know what’s up, and I won’t see my doctor until Wednesday, but I’m hoping it’s something I can get through quickly.  I guess I have to build up running endurance very slowly

No century for me

Hobgoblin and I set out to ride 100+ miles today, but it just didn’t happen; I started off feeling sluggish, which isn’t that unusual, but what is unusual is that I never got over my sluggishness, even after an hour of riding.  As I went on, I found myself with less and less energy and my heart rate was unusually low — after riding up one of the God-awful hills that I can’t avoid around here, my HR was only 158, which is at least 10 beats lower than usual on a hard climb.

After 1 1/2 hours or so, I decided to cut it short, and Hobgoblin and I decided to try some new roads as a shortcut back home.  With the route we chose, the ride ended up being decently long anyway, at about 55 miles, and we saw some new roads that were beautiful (and hilly).  At one point we weren’t sure which way to go and had asked some people for help who weren’t able to help at all, and then one of our triathlete friends just happened to show up, right when we needed her.  She was on her way to the Lake Placid ironman this weekend, but stopped long enough to write out directions for us.  We were very grateful.

The good thing about this ride is that even though I felt sluggish the whole way and couldn’t have ridden fast if my life depended on it, I was pretty cheerful the entire time.  That made the over 3 1/2 hours bearable.

So now I need some serious rest, so this doesn’t happen again …

Busy days

It’s been a busy past few days — I raced on Sunday, raced yesterday, will ride long tomorrow (I’m planning on a 100+ day), plus the swimming and running I’ve been doing. It’s a lot, and I will try to rest more this weekend to make up for it. I feel fine, though — no excessive fatigue from the racing, although when I get on my bike tomorrow I may think otherwise. The run and swim sessions are very short, which makes it all easier. I do like doing all three sports at once! Or, not at once, exactly, but near each other.

Swimming!

You all may not believe this, but I actually got in the pool today. My running has been going well enough that I felt I could take the risk of starting to swim (if I can’t run, I’m not doing triathlons and so no need to swim at all), so I bought a swimsuit, joined the local Y, and headed out for a swim. It was a little scary, as I haven’t done laps in a decade or so and then I didn’t stick with it long, and I haven’t had swimming lessons since I was something like 8. The scariest part wasn’t the actual swimming, though; it was negotiating the pool itself — not knowing where I was going, not knowing the etiquette. But I told everyone everywhere I went that I’m new at this, and they helped me out, especially the motherly woman I shared a lane with, who answered all my questions about how things work.

Once I actually got in the lane, I felt like half my work was done, so I stayed only a little while, long enough to do 300 meters and remind myself of what it felt like to move around in water. I’m looking forward to going back …