Sunday, May 20, 2007

Anatomy of a bike ride

After a morning on my feet, volunteering at Trade Secrets - see my photo blog for details -- and an afternoon in the garden hauling compost and digging out stubborn weeds, I was in no mood to work out. I'd done a short but hard workout yesterday and my thighs hurt. But I have only a week left for hard workouts, then it's time for the famous taper I've heard so much about! (I imagine a tapir - that long-snouted pig-like thing, snuffling around my workout gear!) So - I spent about an hour talking myself into riding: "I should ride. I could ride. I could walk, or maybe I could just clean my room. A nap sounds good. How about if I just ride a little? OK, I'll get some riding clothes on and see how I feel. It's getting so late - I need to start dinner. But this is my last chance to ride for days. It's going to rain - don't want to ride in the rain. I was out all morning, it's not fair to Fred to go out again. But I really need to ride or I'll be a loser and won't be able to finish the triathlon. Don't talk negative like that to yourself! Just ride!" and so on, and on.

Finally I had all my gear on, found the odds and ends of riding shorts, matching socks (not fresh, but who's sniffing?) ate a few snacks and then a few more, futzed around with the bike computer, packed a little backpack (I can't figure out how the thing is supposed to attach to the bike so I just bungee it onto the rack) and headed out, promising I'd be back in 45 minutes. I couldn't decide which way to ride, but ended up on Rte 361 toward Millerton, the way I drive to work every day. Here's the monologue in my head for about the first mile. "I hate biking. Car, don't kill me. Slow down, slow down, come on, this is too fast I don't want to die, Oh I don't want to come back up this hill, this sucks, after the triathlon I'm giving up biking, I know my legs are going to hurt too much, I have no energy for this."

Funny thing - after a mile or two the voices in my head started to quiet down. By the time I passed my friend Gretchen's house, and waved at her as she was pulling her two boys in a wagon, I noticed I was handling the hills just fine, and it sure was pretty out. I crossed the CT-NY state line and thought I'd see how far I could get - I wanted to shoot for 6 miles out so I could do a 12-mile round trip, the tri-distance, which I'd never yet done. All the while, I was checking out possible sheltered places to pee just in case, since I'd downed a large iced coffee and a glass of water just before leaving. About 4.5 miles on, I found myself on a long, long, long uphill. I decided to keep going up til it ended, then turn around, since I knew I had some tough uphills at the very end. I was almost all the way to the village of Millerton when it finally dipped a bit, just shy of 6 miles. The long downhill going back was nice, but ended too soon.

I got a bug in my eye and pulled over, ate a gu, and realized I'd found the perfect pee spot, so ducked behind some bushes and took the opportunity. (These things are important - I'm a bit nervous about that aspect at the event since you're supposed to constantly hydrate! Everyone says to pee in your wetsuit. Eew, but who am I to argue?)

The threatened rain finally came, and I struggled up the last, insane uphill, stopping a few times to rest and get wetter. I got home only about 20 minutes after the time I promised, and like superwoman, I made dinner, read some books to the kids, and am taking only a brief break to write this (and upload photos for my other blog) before washing dishes, making lunches, putting older daughter to bed, and writing that movie review I owe! (Shrek 3 - it's OK but nothing to race out to the theater for!) And by the way, I feel great, happy, and I love the bike! Tomorrow: swim! (I think I'll try to swim 3 times this week since the pool closes Friday and I don't know if I'll get another chance!)


LBTEPA said...

You are going great - I have that conversation with myself nearly every day LOL
Looking forward to your big race? I am!

RUTH said...

Your shilly-shallying reminds me of the srguments I have with myself about cleaning the oven! I really don't think I'd fancy peeing in the wetsuit but I guess if you've got to've got to go. Hope you enjoy your swim; that would be my favourite bit I think.