Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Needed A Reason...Or Two.

It's been a weird summer.  I haven't really had the motivation to workout because I had absolutely nothing on my calendar to train for.  In some ways, I think I'm still recovering from the burnout I was suffering at the end of last year and in others, I think I've just been kind of lazy.  Don't get me wrong, I've still been running here and there and I've spent a lot of time on my bike, but it was all 'just for fun'.  I needed a goal.  A Reason.  So I found two.

That all changed about two weeks ago when I accompanied Mr. R&R to Emery's in search of new pedals and bike shoes.  While he was deep in the process of figuring out what kind of shoes/pedals he wanted, I wandered around the store looking at bikes.  Well...some women are susceptible to shoe sales.  Apparently I am susceptible to bike sales.  I wasn't really planning on upgrading to a triathlon bike (at least not any time soon, but I've slowly been stashing money away thinking it was a possibility), but there just so happened to be a few bikes that caught my eye, so I hunted down the owner, Brent, and asked him about them.  The next thing I knew a brand new, shiny Quintana Roo Kilo was locked in a trainer and I was perched on top of it, pedaling in flip flops.  While this was going on, Brent was telling me about a used bike, a 2014 Trek Speed Concept 7.0, that would be available after the weekend (it was being rented out for USAT Nationals) that I might be interested in as well.  I'm pretty sure I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  A brand new Speed Concept 7.0 was way out of my price range, but the used one was about the same price as the QR Kilo.  I promptly made an appointment to come in and test ride both bikes the following week.

I arrived at Emery's on the appointed day, which just so happened to be the day and time of Mr. R&R's pedal and cleat fitting, and Brent set about getting both bikes 'rough fitted' to me and then handed me my helmet and instructed me to take the QR outside for a test ride.  GULP.  Mr. R&R accompanied me for a painfully slow loop around the neighborhood while I figured out how to ride in the aero position (nearly laying down on the aero bars).  It was definitely a really cool, and really nerve-wracking experience.  As soon as we returned to the shop, Brent handed me the Speed Concept and I repeated the process. I was still slower than molasses in January, but I felt much more stable on the Speed Concept - enough to take a corner almost completely in aero.  It felt like I was trying to ride a bike for the first time since the shifting, braking, steering, and riding position are all completely different from what I'm used to.

After a little discussion of my likes/dislikes about both bikes, I took the plunge.  I bought the Trek Speed Concept and set up another appointment to come in for a more detailed fitting.  That fitting involved a lot of precision measurements and adjustments, pedaling my ass off for almost 2 hours, a different saddle, and some serious anxiety when I was sent outside alone to try the bike out one more time, but by the end of the night, my new bike came home with me and I was dying to try it out.

I got my chance to do just that bright and early on Saturday morning.  Mr. R&R and I loaded up our bikes and drove out to Yada Yada's house about 45 minutes away.  Yada Yada rides a similar style of bike and had generously agreed to provide some coaching.  Another friend of Mr. R&R and Yada Yada's, EuroGuy, also came along for the ride.  I was a little apprehensive about riding with all those guys, especially since I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be riding my usual speed while I figured out my new ride, but they were all totally cool about my turtle pace.  It's a good thing too, because Yada Yada took us on a route that had all the hills and corn fields.  I definitely figured out how to ride aero while climbing and on the few flats that existed.

Photo Credit: EuroGuy

 In total, we rode about 22 miles, with a stop for breakfast at the half way point.  After bidding Yada Yada and EuroGuy goodbye, Mr. R&R and I drove over to the little lake Yada Yada had shown us last summer and jumped in for a short, cool down swim.  I'm happy to say that I didn't wear my wetsuit and I didn't have a panic attack!

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I'm kind of missing the multi-sport life, but hopefully I won't be missing it much longer.  If I can get in a few more solid outdoor rides (and back up to a decent rate of speed) I'd like to sign up for the Lake Country Duathlon - a 2 mile run/17 mile ride/ 2 mile run.  It sounds like it might be a good place for my new ride to make its racing debut.

Next up is running.  Obviously I need to step up my running game if I'm going to do the duathlon, but I haven't done any real distance training since Rock 'n Sole and fall usually provides my favorite kind of running weather, so I decided to register for the Discovery Run 15k on October 31st.  Yes...the day after then end of Hell Month.  I figure it's as good a reason as any not to go out and pound martinis after work that Friday night!   I've never raced this distance before, so it's an automatic PR, but I'd like to do a little better than that, so I have a training plan...let's see what happens!

I'm also looking forward to the Discovery Run because it always has a theme and this year's theme is Rocky Horror Picture Show.  A bunch of my tri friends are planning to be there and the race director (who you all know as the Iron Cheerleader) has promised that he will be dressing up as Dr. Frankfurter.  This should be long as he doesn't expect me to do the Time Warp at the finish line! Oh who am I kidding?  I should probably add "dance rehearsal" to my training plan.

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