On a positive front, I’ve managed to avoid any additional falls on my bike. And before you ask, naysayers….. yes, I’ve actually ridden. (Easy to avoid a fall with your bike hanging nicely on a peg in the garage). But no, not me. My love affair with the bike and open road continues (sorry Herb, but getting to the gym 35- 45 min in advance of the class is hard to rationalize to an already pressed for time working mother of three). But now that the weather has apparently broken (dare I hope after Sunday’s Mother wind) and the camaraderie (and cocktails) of Rode’s and Saturday morning rides call…. well I’m sold! That said, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was incredibly nervous rolling up to Rode’s on Wednesday night. However, I want to assure all newbies, or anyone debating on clipless pedals, to go for it! Sure the two falls at Action Wheels (and the future falls that are inevitable as I continue to get acclimated) suck, but the actual ride with clipless was so much better. The feet falling off the pedals, the gripping of your toes in your sneakers, it’s all gone. You are free to focus on your ride- increasing your speed, learning your gears and hopefully, one day becoming coordinated enough to take one hand off your bike and grab a quick swig from your water bottle (if that is not a sign of a confident cyclist I don’t know what is)! So the biking is all good.
Running. Ah, my old friend running. Running and biking. They’re like silver and gold. (One is new and the other is old). Luckily I have Broad Street next weekend to keep me focused and dedicated to turning the weekly miles. If I didn’t, I am sure I would have forgone the 8 mile run on Sunday in the brutal wind in favor of something more enticing. Like a nap. Or a root canal. But Broad Street looms and the motivation that so many of my fellow MHWTC friends were competing in Riverwinds served to keep me on track. I am pretty sure that once Broad Street is over, I will scale back my weekly mileage in an effort to better master the swim.
Which leads me to my nemesis. If running is my old friend and biking is my new love affair, then swimming remains my thorn. How much of that is self imposed as I continue to belabor it, you decide. I have my own opinion and battle with the mental game of it all. In truth though, while I feel the biking is an easier take off from running, swimming is actually progressing to some degree. This week I swam a 1/4 mile easier than I ever have (and by ever I mean this whole 5 or 6 weeks I’ve been doing it) and I met an encouraging fellow triathlete at the gym this week. He’s training for an Ironman and like me, struggles with regulating his breathing while swimming. So he’s doing it with a snorkel. (This is, apparently, USTA approved). Now I’m not advocating this (for me especially. He is, after all training for a 2 mile swim versus a 1/4 mile swim), but it was refreshing to talk with someone who struggles with one aspect of the tri. But it clearly hasn’t stopped him. And it definitely won’t stop me. Maybe our conversation was exactly what I needed prior to my swim that day. The right dose of humility, acceptance and determination I feel most athletes need to face, overcome and thrive in their sport.
So the training continues. Less than 3 months to Queen of the Hill! Hope you’re all finding your stride, swim and pace as you begin your season. Happy Easter all! Catch you next week-