Posts Tagged ‘training’

thoughts on the swim and bike

One of the things I like about running is how easily I can zone out and just run.  I don’t know if it’s a product of my many years of running or the fact that running really is just putting one foot in front of the other over and over again, but I can often run for miles and not quite realize how much time has passed.  It’s a beautiful thing.  This triathlon training thing, on the other hand, requires sports that demand my attention much more.  In swimming, there’s a constant need to turn around (hello, 20 yard pool).  In biking (or “cycling,” as the legit people like to call it), I’m hyperaware because I’m terrified of getting hit by a car or person or dog.  If you haven’t yet read the “75 Thoughts Every Runner Has While Out for a Run,” you probably should.  In the meantime, here are some thoughts I’ve had while swimming and biking.

thoughts on the swim

image This is the picture of the pool on Equinox’s website.  This is not even close to what it looks like.  Three lanes in the basement, ha.

  • Oh, there’s a swim class going on…probably should have checked the class schedule before showing up at the gym.
  • Only five more minutes in the class?  Perfect!  I’ll take my (required) pre-swim shower and be all set to go.
  • (Sitting dripping wet after shower, on a cloth chair [the only kind available, this is Equinox, you know]) – Why didn’t I wait to shower until the class was over?
  • Okay, class is over.  Hopefully I can put on my swim cap on the first attempt…
  • Which lane should I get in?  A girl who was in the “slow” lane (that’s how the gym marks the lanes…slow, medium, and fast, I’m not being mean!) moved over to the medium.  That guy looks faster than me and he’s about to get in too…guess I’ll get in the slow lane.
  • Counting laps…1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8……………….wait, was that 8?  Or 6?  Did I finish eight laps, or did I think lap eight was coming up?  Alright, I guess we’re swimming for time today…
  • Let’s try to breathe on the right side today.  (Body sinks and I don’t get a good breath of air) – Alright, hopefully just being able to breathe on the left side will be good enough.
  • I feel great!  Maybe I’ll swim for 40 minutes today – solid long swim day!
  • …maybe I should have eaten a bigger breakfast.  I’m hungry.
  • The guy in the next lane has decided to work on his butterfly.  At least these waves simulation open water?  Or race day?
  • Do people do butterfly anymore?
  • Ugh, I’m tried – okay, maybe we’ll do 30 minutes.
  • How long does it take to swim a mile?  Maybe 32 minutes?  Let’s swim 34 minutes just in case.
  • Alright, that guy looks like he’s going to join my lane.  No worries.
  • Wait…why is that guy swimming breaststroke in the middle of the lane??
  • Please don’t kick me please don’t kick me please don’t kick me.
  • 20 minutes down.  Over halfway there, no worries.
  • I need a wetsuit for race day.  Do you practice in that beforehand?  Should I wear it in a pool?  What if I can’t swim in the wetsuit?
  • He’s still swimming in the middle of the lane.  And I just stopped behind him.  This is annoying.
  • 25 minutes down.  26 minutes down.  27 minutes down.  Is time slowing down? 
  • Just keep swimming just keep swimming just keep swimming.
  • Okay, guy swimming in fast lane left.  Time to get away from middle-of-the-lane-breaststroke dude.
  • 30 minutes – home stretch!
  • Watch your form, Susan – don’t get tired now.
  • 31 minutes…32 minutes…33 minutes…
  • DONE!
  • This goggle-smashed-into-my-face look really isn’t all that attractive…

thoughts on the bike

image What I look like on the bike! Just kidding, it’s the female winner of the NYC Tri. aka not me!

  • i hope i don’t get a flat i hope i don’t get a flat i hope i don’t get a flat.
  • Alright, helmet on, Garmin on bike mode, cadence sensor still doesn’t work.  Let’s go.
  • Right foot clipped in, no traffic coming, to the west side we go!
  • First stoplight half a block from my apartment.  Unclip.
  • Green light!  Clip back in.  Should I go over to 5th Ave?  Let’s try going down Park instead.
  • Traffic is moving well.  Stick to the right…WHAT IS THAT CAR DOING??
  • Let’s cut over on 77th St.  Sounds good.
  • Bump bump bump bump bump bump…these roads are the worst.
  • Into Central Park, excellent.  Time to get across the transverse without getting hit by oncoming bikers or horse carriages.
  • Up the hill to the west side! 
  • More stoplights.  No worries.
  • Down the hill to the Hudson River Path.
  • Please keep the dog on your side of the path please keep the dog on your side of the path please keep the dog on your side of the path.
  • Alright, straight ahead for awhile, let’s ride.
  • Ugh, Citibikers.
  • WEAR A HELMET.
  • It’s such a nice day to ride!  I could do this forever.
  • Bump bump bump bump.
  • ON YOUR LEFT!!!  Okay, apparently my voice isn’t loud.
  • Oh, they’re biking and wearing headphones and not wearing a helmet.  Stop that.
  • Pedestrian stopped in the middle of the path.  Whyyyyyy?
  • Alright, getting way uptown!  This park is so nice.
  • I hope that toddler doesn’t run across the path…
  • Wow, those guys are cycling fast. Nice calves!
  • I really should come up this way more often.
  • Why are people walking four across in the bike lane??
  • Ahhhhhh, the GW!  You’re so pretty.
  • Time to head back south.
  • It’d be so much easier to ride here if I lived on the west side.  Hmmmm….
  • Bump bump bump bump.
  • Okay, it’s more windy going south.  No worries.
  • Is that women really riding in heels??
  • No, really, why don’t people wear helmets?
  • Gotta get up that hill.
  • Oh…someone is walking their dog down the path and a motorized scooter is going  up the path…maybe I’ll just walk my bike.
  • I hope the bike course for the tri isn’t hilly…
  • Alright, back crosstown.  Clip out, clip in.
  • I’m rocking this clip in shoes…why didn’t I get them sooner?
  • That probably means I’m going to fall soon.
  • Alright, back through the park!
  • Bump bump bump bump.
  • Ah, the First Ave bike lane, hooray!
  • These delivery guys are so quick.
  • Construction in the bike lane…fail.
  • Stoplight stoplight stoplight.
  • PERSON IN THE BIKE LANE.
  • Ah, home stretch.
  • That wasn’t so bad.

 

So many thoughts, it makes miss my blackout zone in running.  However, I definitely need to pay attention more while swimming and biking because I’m not in tune with myself yet.  I’m not sure when that will happen or if it will happen, but at least I keep myself entertained in the meantime.

What are your random thoughts on the swim/bike/run?  Anything similar going on in your head?

13

08 2014

adventures on a solo long ride

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to the cycling thing.  It’s a bit of learn-on-the-go situation, which I’ve certainly had to embrace over the past couple months.  And it makes me appreciate the ease that running has – or at least the knowledge about running that I’ve accumulated over the years.  But as for cycling, I’ll just smile and nod at whatever I’m told.  Or say, “Ohhhh….yeah, I should have thought of that.”

Since I’m working all weekend (hooray!  Fake enthusiasm!), I decided to get my long ride (the keystone of this triathlon training) in on Thursday.  I had great plans to get out in the late morning and then enjoy my afternoon, but these plans were derailed by the fact that I have completely given my life up to night shift.  I can’t seem to fall asleep before three or four in the morning, which makes wake up before noon difficult.  This is why I slept until 1pm today and why I didn’t get out to start riding until 2:30pm.  I’ve given up fighting it.  But anyway.

When I ran with Abbe in Miami last week, she wore a Spibelt, which triggered a thought in my head—I should use mine when I ride!  You may think that the answer to needing to carry stuff with me on the bike would be to buy a bike shirt with pockets, but I’m cheap and have an obscene amount of drifit running clothes.  I’d been stuffing things in the back of my bike shorts and/or my sports bra…but that little Spibelt fits quite well in the small of my back, doesn’t move, and holds enough stuff.  VICTORY.  I ride with my cell phone, credit card, some cash, keys, and fuel.  Spoiler alert:  This is not enough stuff.  On we go.

I had great plans to ride between 40-50 miles, hoping to hit 50 but being okay with anything above 40.  Traffic in the late afternoon on a Thursday is busier than on a weekend morning, so I dodged some cars and yelled at a bunch of cars outside of NYP Columbia…such a disaster.  Life was looking pretty good when I finally got to the GW…until I saw a sign that the southern side of the bridge was closed.  NOW WHAT?

I consulted Google Maps and headed over to 179th St to investigate how to get on the north side of the bridge.  Found the entrance, immediately followed by stairs.  Newsflash:  Going across the north side of the GW is a bit of an obstacle course.  One that requires upper body strength (to carry your bike) and balance (to try and walk on not-so-flat surfaces and stairs in your clip in shoes).  It wasn’t so bad, but I did miss the nice view of the city from the bridge.  I did not appreciate the stairs that were basically mesh, as I have a fear of heights and almost panicked.   But I made it.

Going across the bridge, I was trailing behind a man and a woman, and we chatted at each set of stairs.  Once we got across the bridge, she asked if I was heading up 9W.  (Is there another choice?  The Palisades?)  I told her yes and she asked how far I was going…to which I responded 40 to 50 miles and immediately thought “WHO AM I??”  She told me she had “some training to do” (not sure what that means?), but we’d be out there together.  Lo and behold, she and her riding buddy were maybe a quarter mile in front of me the entire way out.  I probably should have made friends.

It was a pretty good day to ride.  Cloud cover and a coolness in the air that made me wonder if it was going to rain.  (It didn’t.)  Legs felt a little tired, but nothing too bad.  The mile clicked off and I hoped to hit 50 miles for the day.  I got past the NY/NJ state line (19 miles from my apartment), went down the gigantic hills that followed, almost missed the turn the takes you into Piermont, checked google maps, rerouted back to the turn that I missed the first time around.  Which is when I noticed my back tire seemed a little bumpy.  Uh oh.

I pulled off the side of the road and checked my back tire to find that the air in the tire was pretty low.  So I did what any damsel in the distress would do.  Actually, I don’t know what a damsel in distress would do, but I wondered how far you can ride on a mostly flat tire without killing your rims.  Then I hoped another cyclist would ride by so I could play damsel idiot in distress.  But, it was a Thursday afternoon so that didn’t happen.  Then, I had a stroke of genius (the only one all day) and checked for the nearest bike shop.  Piermont, which was only a mile away, has one!  Victory!  Hop back on my bike, hoping it will last the mile, and have some guy pass me saying, “Strong lady, how you doing?” to which I wanted to reply, “HELP ME!” but instead said, “Great!  How are you?”  Fake it til you make it?

Which is exactly what I did at the bike shop (Piermont Bike!).  I walked in, the repair guy said hi, and I spotted a pump.  “Can I, uh, use, uh, this?”  “Sure, do you know how?”  “Maybe…Maybe not…we’ll find out.”  (Why I can’t just ask for help is behind me.  I’m too awkward for life.)  Pump up my tires, head outside.  Mentally battle with myself as to whether I should head out a couple more miles or just count my blessings that I found a bike shop and head back home.  Then, I check my back tire and it’s lost a lot of air.  Back into the shop I go.

I can only imagine what the bike repair guy was thinking the entire time I was in there.  He asked if I lived close, to which I said, “Is Manhattan close?”  He laughed.  He pumped up my tires, which apparently I had done all wrong (slash didn’t put enough air in).  I hung out in the shop a bit just to see if the tires would stay inflated or I needed some more work.  Meanwhile, we chatted about the fact that I need to carry more stuff with me (a pump?  really?  This cycling thing is a lot of work…) and that I should probably ride in a group until I get more experience.  (Anyone want to ride on a Thursday afternoon?  Anyone?  Bueller?)  He also mentioned that my bike (while a nice one!) was possibly too small for me…or I need to raise the seat.

I’m learning so much.

After thanking the bike shop people SO SO SO much for helping me out (seriously not sure what I would have done otherwise…), I started to head back to NYC.  I checked my route once, then started climbing the hills to get back…those hills going south are so hard.  They will break you.  Or at least they’re break me, since I’m apparently not a good hill climber.  (Truth be told, I’m not that good at going down them either, since I’m terrified of going too fast, hitting a bump in the road, and flying over the handlebars.  I’m an ICU nurse, okay?)  But I get up the hills and back to the state line.  My legs are on fire and I don’t feel that great.  Having only had a banana with peanut butter and some coffee in the 16 hours leading up the ride, I scarf down the PowerBar energy chews I brought with me.  I usually spend way too long chewing them in races (chewing at race pace isn’t the easiest…), but I think I ate the whole back in less than two minutes.  Sugar, please.  Must work on my nutrition.

So anyway, I spend the rest of the time alternating between thinking about how awesome biking is and wondered how must a cab from NJ back to my apartment would be.  (I think the answer is $50 – flat rate.  But how would I get a cab?  Pick me up at mile 11 on 9W?  Maybe not.)  Luckily, I made it back closer to the GW.  I stop outside Strictly (bike shop on the Jersey side of the GW) to check my tires – good to go.  Do the obstacle course in the opposite direction back over to NYC.  Ride home, still impressed by how fast the delivery guys on bikes on.  Feel bad about how slow I am.

Feel better about covering 45 miles.  Wonder if I’ll feel stronger on the bike by race day.  Wonder if bike repair guy thinks I’m an idiot.  Because I probably am.

image I would like to run a marathon in 3:11.  Please?

Take Aways

1)  I’m slow at city riding, mainly because I’m terrified of being hit by a car.

2)  I’m slow at climb hills or when panicking about a flat tire.

3)  I really need to either start watching YouTube videos, bribe Baker with beer to teach me everything, or take a basic bike repair class.  Because I really I was stupid today.

4)  Must work on nutrition.  In life and on the bike.

5)  I should be more concise in writing.  So many words, so few pictures.  (I make no apologizes, but props if you read all that!)

How did you learn bike maintenance/repair?  Any tips/basics I need to know?  Anyone ride at weird hours?  Or run at weird hours?  Let me know if you’re in NYC!  (Or Jersey for riding, I suppose.)

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18

07 2014