Sunday, June 14, 2009

Brick, Cops, Skunk, Fingers

First, lets dispense with the formalities.

Saturday's bike ride:
Distance: 26.1 miles
Time: 99:03 minutes - average speed 15.9, max speed 29.8.
Cadence average 74.
Calories burnt: 1746.

Bike Elevation

Brick run:
Distance: 5.07 miles
Time: 50:49 minutes - average pace 10:01.
Calories burnt: 671

Run Elevation

Average temperature 78.8.
Relative humidity 67.6
Body weight gain/loss -2.5#

I understand that this information may not of that much use to anyone but me, well... okay of "no" use to anyone else but me. But dang... isn't technology great!

It was one of the most eventful rides I've had in the two years I've been actively riding the bike. Stuff that happened today could only happen to someone like me. Stuff like this, really and truly is one of the reason why I continue to ride.

I was moving at a pretty comfortable pace down Indian Lake Blvd, paying close attention to the traffic flow for at this time of the morning it was getting pretty heavy. What do I see next? A cop holding a radar gun was waving my way. I thought he was asking me to stop. "Who me?" I asked, "was I going to fast officer?"

I truly thought that he and his partner where going to loose it right then and there. They started laughing so hard that it mad me laugh to a point where I had to stop and re-focus. "Funny, really funny" was all the officer could say.

When you set out on your bike, you better have your reflexes sharp, really sharp. Should you even come across a dead skunk on the shoulder of the road, in front of your path you may just have a micro-second to decide what to do. Should I ride over it, or should I try to avoid it and maybe crash? I can tell you now that next time I will opt for the option of maybe a crash. Not very pleasant riding the remaining distance with that awful smell coming from the tires of your bike.

Stop Thirty Road, in certain places, is somewhat narrow and if traffic is coming against you, cars trying to pass you will have to wait to get around. Such was the case when a fellow who apparently had suffered a terrible accident and lost all the fingers in his right hand... except his middle finger, was waving at me as he went around. How very thoughtful of him, I remember thinking. These folks sure are friendly on Saturday morning. I hoped he wasn't looking at me through his rear view mirror and if he was, I hoped he couldn't read lips.

Note to self: I cannot keep on forgetting to put Body Glide on my nipples. I really can't continue to do this. Good Gosh, that hurts!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mach Tenn Triathlon... Mission Accomplished!

As usual, the days leading to this event were nerve racking. Why? It's the same ole' story. The Swim! Although I have been very diligent at working on this, I still feel (or rather felt) that this was (or still is), my weakest event. This is not to say that I have become an expert cyclist or even an expert runner... far from it, but I do feel very comfortable in those two disciplines.

Friday night we went to carb-load with a group of friends for our team, HEAT. It was a wonderful time. Went to bed around 10:30 after checking and double checking all my gear, and loading up the van. All was set.

Again, as usual, I could not sleep. I remember waking up several times throughout the night looking at the clock. 11pm, 12am, 2am, 3am and finally at 4am I just got out of bed, took a quick shower, fixed a small snack and something to take on the 90 minute drive to eat later. We left promptly at 4:45, for we were to meet our friends and car pool to Tullahoma.

As we left the house I realized that I had left my cell phone behind. No problem. My wife had hers. As we arrived at our meeting site, I realized that I had also left behind my billfold, along with my picture ID and USAT ID card. Without these, I could not participate in the triathlon. So we headed back to the house and told our friends that we would just meet there. So much for being prepared... or could this have been a tremendous case of nerves?

We arrived promptly and with plenty of time to spare before the race. After registering, receiving my packet and getting my number 261 and age painted on my leg and left arm, I proceeded to take my bike to transition area stopping briefly to get the tires checked. Good thing I did, they were tremendously under-inflated.

Next adventure came when it was time to put on the wetsuit. I had done this a couple of times before, so I'm not sure why today, it became so difficult. Nerves?

I was set. Ready to go. Felt good and confident. Met up with my friends and hit the water for a warm up. Water felt nice. Although only 74 degrees, it still felt great. Sweetest announcement I ever heard over a PA system: "the race is wet suit legal"!

I went to the first buoys which I estimated to be about 75 - 100 meters away. This felt just right! I was calm, cool and collected. So much so that I decided to go for it again.

Then it was time to get ready and line up. Made my way to my spot and waited for my turn to go. When it did, I still felt ready!

Then the first swimmer took off and every swimmer there after went every two to three seconds. Time was going faster than expected, time to get psyched and set. Which I did. I was thinking at this moment how good it was that I had been able to do a warm up in the water.

And then I went. Slow, steady, relaxed. Oh, this was great! Then I arrived at that first buoy and turned right. Upon doing this I looked up to make sure I was in course and I remember seeing that last buoy which I estimated to be about 25 miles away and thinking: "c**p that looks far"! And knowing that that would be just half of the swim, for once I got there, I'd have to return!

You cant see how far the swim course was from this picture, but this is somewhat what I saw!

Later in the afternoon I found out that my swim time was 24:30. Although slower than molasses in the winter time, my goal was under 30 minutes, so when I saw this I was elated. My ultimate goal for this triathlon was to improve on removing my anxiety in the water. I do believe that this was accomplished today.

The bike went splendidly. I was reaching for under one hour (16 mile) and I came in at 57:34. Again, not even average for my age group, but well within my ability at this point in time.

The run was hard. Hilly would be an understatement. Still, was shooting for 40 minutes (4 mile run) and came in at 37:30. As with the bike, not anywhere near average for my age group, but again, I was happy.