The last couple of nights have been seasonal allergy hell for me. Little to no sleep… can’t breathe… sneezy, itchy, family fun sized amounts of drainage, the whole deal. So I forgave myself my sin yesterday morning of not getting up and going to the pool on two hours sleep. But as with any true addict, I just couldn’t stay away and by the end of the day I had guilt so I decided to make myself feel better with a slow motion triathlon.
A slow motion triathlon is all three sports in one day but the transitions usually involve a bathroom to change in and a drive across town to get to the next group activity. I even managed to throw in a fourth sport, fishing, as a bonus when I got done. Kind of a redneck thing… Y’all wouldn’t understand.
Open water at Stephen’s lake. Six laps of a roughly 40 yard roped off area, plus the swim out and back came out to about 500 yards in race kit (wetsuit) and pace. My tracking was wild and it didn’t help that the lane lines were loose so I ran into them on just about every lap as they drifted around. I didn’t have anyone to play with so it got old quick. My wetsuit seems to be just right in the fit department, but I am noticing that my arms tend to fall asleep on long swims. Hopefully this is just a fad that will pass as I get more long swims in. My suit is also easy to get out of and shouldn’t slow my transitions down by more than 10 or 15 seconds, so I’m cool with that. After my “transition” out of the water (which included a romp through the splash park in my wetsuit… heh… hey. I had to clean it off… right?). I loaded up and drove across town to part two.
Will I ever get any stronger on the ride…? JEEEZUS on a Cheeto I’m slow. The ride was hill repeats on a one mile hill. I knew I was going to run afterwards so I only did 4 of them and with the ride out and back I put in about 15 miles. I’m really trying to be more efficient with my pedal stroke and pull up as well as push down. Maybe it’s making a tiny bit of a difference, maybe not. I have no idea. I have sweat so much on my cyclocomputer that it has failed. I don’t know if I can save it. My downhill, however, has never been in question and I am very fast here. One thing I have noticed about my bike is that it doesn’t like to turn. Since it’s a cyclocross bike, the geometry is not very responsive to road race conditions. I have to countersteer it (turn the bars in the opposite condition of the direction I want to go while leaning the bike in the direction I want to go) to get it to handle some of the more technical turns. Again, it’s the old “plowshare into a sword” thing. Now if I could find a triathlon with an all downhill, no turn bike route…? I would OWN that course.
Felt like crap for the first mile… as usual. I watched my time closely though, and though I felt slow, I really wasn’t. I ran 8:10, 8:05, 8:00 for the three mile route and I wasn’t pushing it. I think that first mile is more mental and I just need to get past it and ignore it. I might need to start taking in a few calories (like a Gu or something) and some fluid on the bike because I felt like my right hamstring wanted to cramp. I don’t have much to say about running anymore on triathlons. It’s still my favorite part of the event and I’m always happy to see my running shoes in the transition area.
Family total was 10 fish in an hour. Four bluegill (two of which were HUGE), 5 perch and 1 bass. One of the big bluegill nearly yanked the 5 year old into the water. It was worth the price of the fishing license just to see her wrestle the monster (all of maybe a pound) in with her Snoopy fishing pole. Awesome…
This morning I went to the group run with the club after ANOTHER sleepless night (I was answering email at 3am…) hoping for a decent outcome. I was pleased with the outcome of 6.8 miles at a 7:45 pace (on a drippy, sloppy morning…) and I noticed a few things. First, bike hills make me a stronger runner. No question. I now get to the top of hills that used to destroy me and I have energy. Second, my endurance is obviously getting better. I seem to be tracking people down in the last two miles of every run that used to drop me. Finally, my pace really seems to be consistent (another nod to endurance). I’m not burning out at the end of my runs anymore. All good signs.
Tonight is bike intervals, tomorrow is a pool swim, and then there are some rumblings of open water swims Saturday and Monday. Next week is a taper week for me, which is good since I am going to be out of town for three days… 😦 Then Saturday is Innsbrook! My first open water swim, my first mass start race, lots of bike and run hills. Sounds awesome… Can’t wait!