Saturday, May 19, 2007


Actually, that's exactly what my legs felt like. Is that where the term came from?

This was my first outside brick. I have done quite a few spin classes and followup treadmill runs, but I haven't even been outside with it yet until today.

This also completed my recovery week from the 25k and my first triathlon training week.

As a recap:

Monday, 1 mile swim (41:08); 20 min. walk.

Tuesday: 30 minute walk.

Wednesday: 1 1/4 mile swim (50:09).

Thursday: 30 minute run, with 20 minutes of alternating sprinting with easy running.

Friday: Off.

Saturday: 1 hour bike; 20 min. run.
Sunday: 1 hour 15 min. run.

I really thought I would go farther than the 1 hour bike, but it was extremely windy, and while I was hoping for a tailwind coming back, oh no, the wind decided then to become a headwind again. Always happens.

Going for a ride in mid-afternoon, I suddenly remembered why I was a little apprehensive about riding in traffic again. The route from park to park is quite heavily traveled, and while the speed limit is supposed to be 25 mph, you would be hard-pressed to find 1 out of 10 cars doing the speed limit. It is also a direct route for all the heavy duty gravel trucks going from one pit to another, so during the week and Saturdays until noon, you have to deal with those just about blowing you over too. No way are they doing 25 mph. The worst jerk though was one of those huge diesel trucks, probably a 5th wheel type, who decided he had to do a U-turn about 500 feet from a parking lot driveway, but because his truck was so huge and there is only a sharply sloping shoulder, he had to back up, pull forward, back up, pull forward, etc. several times, blocking the entire road in the process, so there I am on my bike with cars backed up behind me 5 deep, all of us getting irritated, and cars on the other side, backed up as well. Just when he finally gets his sorry self turned around, and I wait a minute for all the impatient idiots to pass me, he pulls ahead and parks on the shoulder, directly across from the parking lot, totally blocking me again. I was beginning to think he had a target on me, because when I finally decided to venture past him, while he is blocking the shoulder and part of the lane I'm in, he decides he needs to back up for whatever reason. I couldn't believe what he was doing, and his motives weren't clear, so I quickly pedalled past. To say my heart wasn't racing would have been a lie.

My main goal right now with the biking, at least for a couple of weeks, is to practice this cadence thing and try to get it down. I definitely see where my speed goes up when my cadence goes up, but for more than half of the ride, I struggled.

By taking gears off, I could get my cadence up, and my speed went up slightly too. But I felt like I was pulling up so hard I would come out of my shoes to achieve even an average of mid-50s cadence. Near one of the parks, I took a detour around the park, instead of through it like I intended, hoping to avoid one of the nasty hills. But there was a woman who had been riding her bike who, no kidding, had to stop mid-path for a smoke break! So I decided to just stay on the road.

Doing this, I was forced to dig a little deeper to achieve even a moderate cadence, because the route is slightly and deceivingly uphill. I tried, I really did. I didn't let myself slide a bit, but I was getting discouraged. I kept thinking, "there's no way I can do 56 miles in a half IM in a couple of months." I resisted "mashing" gears, yet I wasn't achieving more than an average of 13.5 mph. Sigh.

I went past the park, to the main road, and did a U-turn and headed back to the bike trail. I don't know what it was, the ever so slight downhill, or what, but suddenly things clicked and I was flying! My cadence went into the mid-70s and stayed there. My speed went up to 16.5 and I held it. Suddenly, the pull up concept started to work. I started digging in and pulling up, forcing those heels down, pulling back forcefully, and something was changing. I know some people say just do it, don't be so technical, but I'm one of those people where form matters and I feel I must get it right.

I was forced to slow down at a stop sign and then had to turn into a small path next to a locked gate to the main bike trail. I decided to get a drink here and lost my water bottle, forcing me to stop and go back to retrieve it.

The smoking lady passed me here, and two guys in full biker gear came through the "inlet" onto the bike path. I was regretting my need to stop, because now it meant getting behind this slow woman, but I tried the new-found pull up technique and soon passed her and came up behind the other bikers. Something was working! Something was going right. Was I actually figuring this whole thing out??

I'm always going back and forth on whether I will run after biking, but today I decided to stick with the plan. It was such a beautiful day, even being late afternoon, so the only thing to do was head out.

Yow! My legs really were feeling it. And my feet hurt too. I'm sure they aren't totally recovered from the 25k, and with the more intense bike workout than I have been doing, it should have been expected. I was really glad I was only doing 20 minutes. And the funny thing was once I got the first 5 minutes over, the rest of the time flew by. I'm not saying I was comfortable and couldn't wait to stop, but it just went by faster in my head than I thought.

Today's longer run went fairly good also. I was moving slow, I'm sure, but I stuck it out, hills and all, and even added a couple of hills in the middle to give me more time out there. Once again, glad I did the workout but even more glad to be done!