Sunday, June 16, 2013

Of Trails and Whales

Week 7 is history. Am I really this close to having to actually do this whole swim/bike/run thing? *gulp*  I feel like there's no way I'll be ready in time.

Monday, June 10th:
Another open water swim in Fleawaukee Pewaukee Lake with my fellow newbies - this time with a wetsuit.  The nice people at a local bike/tri shop held a wetsuit clinic on the beach last night and not only helped us determine what size wetsuit we needed, but instructed us on how to put them on/take them off, and encouraged us to wear them into the water. Talk about a great way to "interview" a wetsuit!  Once I was all suited up and ready to go, it was like a whole different experience in the water. It's amazing what a difference a few millimeters of neoprene can do for a girl.  First of all, I was much warmer - that water is still pretty chilly. Second, I felt a lot more calm in the water since the weeds were hitting the suit, and not my bare arms/legs.  Don't get me wrong, I was still a little freaked out since the water is really murky and I couldn't see 2 feet in front of me, but the wetsuit at least took the edge off my anxiety.  Finally, the extra buoyancy the suit provided almost completely negated the need to kick. I only had to flutter my legs a little bit every so often to keep them afloat, which saved a load of energy.  I have plans to go back this weekend and try on another size since I'm right on the cusp between sizes and acquire a suit of my own.

Of course, the wetsuit didn't solve all my open water problems - like my inability to site worth a damn.  I think the picture below sums it up better than words ever could.

After we returned the wetsuits and dried off a little, myself and 3 of my fellow newbies piled into my car in order to take a quick tour of the bike course. It may only be 14 miles, but holy $#!% it's really hilly. I can see that I'll be doing my long rides out there from now on or I'll never make it!

Tuesday, June 11th:
The Iron Cheerleader's plan called for a bike/run brick tonight, but in all honesty I'm still a little sore from Sunday's bike ride - if you know what I mean.  I decided to move Friday's rest day to today in order to recover a little more before tomorrow night's 5k and to do some long-neglected grocery shopping. I desperately needed to restock my cabinets and freezer - or risk succumbing to the siren song of the Qdoba up the street. 

Wednesday, June 12th:
Super(Soaker)Run 5k - This race was ridiculous enough to deserve its own post.

Thursday, June 13th: 
Tonight I had the opportunity to attend a bike clinic put on by my favorite bike shop owner/fellow tri team member/former Olympian, Brent Emery.  As it turned out, myself and one of my fellow newbies were the only ones able to attend, so we got a lot of one-on-one time with Brent.  We rode a lot of slow loops of a local playground, learning to control our bikes one-handed (accomplished by riding with one hand stretched out and touching Brent's shoulder), riding very close to another rider, group riding skills, and a whole lot of other good stuff.  I also learned that I'm not starting and stopping correctly.  After a little practice, one near tip over from a dead stand still, and multiple chain tattoos, I started improving.  If I learned nothing else tonight, this little gem alone was worth it.  He also took each of us out individually on a little jaunt through a neighborhood with a massive hill to work on our gear shifting techniques.  I've never felt that good going up a hill and it was fun riding with someone who is so talented.  I'm grateful that he was willing to give up his time for a couple of newbies.

Friday, June 14th:
It was back out to the lake today to test out another wetsuit - and this time Mr. R&R came with me!  After I got all suited up - quite the project - we did a short swim together so I could see how the smaller wetsuit felt compared to the one I tried on on Monday.  Honestly, the smaller suit fit better in some ways (around my torso/hips/thighs), but not as good in others (felt kind of bunchy in the arms and legs and pulled a little across my shoulders). Ultimately, I went for the medium. I'd rather have a suit that's a little too big in a few spots, but allows for greater freedom of movement.  Here's hoping I made the right choice because it was a final sale!  Funny enough, when I first started looking at wetsuits, I said I only had 2 requirements: I didn't want any pink on it and I didn't want the word Orca printed across my chest.  Go figure which one worked best for me!


Saturday, June 15th:
Mr. R&R were going to go for a run, but it started raining buckets about two seconds before we were going to leave.  My only thought was "Oh hell no! I just got my shoes dried out after Wednesday's insanity." We parked it on the couch.  I did download Triathlon for the Every Woman by Meredith Atwood to my Kindle. So far, it's really good - which doesn't surprise me since I'm a huge fan of Meredith's blog: Swim. Bike. Mom.

Sunday, June 16th:
I was supposed to meet some teammates at the beach this morning and we were going to ride the 14 miles of soul crushing hills that make up the Pewaukee Triathlon bike course, but somehow I managed to oversleep and couldn't quite get it together fast enough to meet them. Rather than writing off the workout completely, I loaded my bike up and drove over to the trail that Mr. R&R and I rode 2 weeks ago.  I realized that I had never gone on a solo long ride, so this ride was long overdue.  I started off nice and easy, just spinning easy and letting my legs warm up.  I'm glad I was going slow too, because within the first mile or so, a crazy deer kept running back and forth across the trail! I wasn't messing with that, so I stopped my bike, stopped my watch, and waited until he was done with his little game of Frogger since I'm pretty sure that in a deer vs. bike collision, the deer would win.

After that, I picked up the pace and was thoroughly enjoying myself - taking in the scenery and feeling unbelievably grateful just to be out there.

If you look closely, you can see a family of geese on the water
I was cruising along happily until a bee flew into the partially open zipper on my jersey, down my shirt, and eventually stung me in the ribs. It felt like a tiny white hot poker in my side. I stopped to make sure that a) the bee was out and b) the stinger wasn't still there.  I don't think I've been stung by a bee in at least 25 years so I also wanted to make sure that I wasn't about to have an anaphylactic reaction.  Once I figured out that I was okay, I doused it with some water from my bottle, and pedaled on.  That'll teach me to keep my jersey zipped up all the way - heat be damned!  I turned around just before the 8 mile mark and headed back toward my car.  On the way back, I was on fire!  I clocked a mile at just over 20mph and it didn't really feel all that difficult! The return miles flew by and I made it out to the end of the trail and back to my car in just under an hour.  What a great first solo long ride!

Week 7 Totals:
Swim: 350 yards
Bike: 22.13 miles
Run: 3.1 miles
Total Time: 2 hours, 59 minutes

1 comment:

April said...

Sounds like things are looking up! That suit doesn't have THAT much pink in it!