Triathlon Chronicles: Freaking Out

June 9, 2012

It's been a while since my last triathlon update and that is mostly because I've been in the really boring part of the program. Run. Bike. Swim. Run. Swim. Bike. Run. Bike. Bike. Swim. I could just end my post right there, but what fun would that be? Plus, you know there had to be some craziness in here somewhere.

More importantly, the Tri-Goddess is TWO WEEKS AWAY and I am in mild freak-out mode. Epic Races, the Tri-Goddess organizers, have been helpfully sending emails each Tuesday (Tri-It Tuesday! How cute is that?) mentioning all the things I should be doing but am not - yoga, rope courses, 5Ks, weight training, Pilates, marathons, karate, meditation, half-ironmans, primal scream therapy. Wait, I think I was screaming just the other day about something...I know, it was about feeling compelled to workout every single day now. Which I am NOT doing, which in turn leads to the mild freak-out mode.

So, I am back to the original goal of just finishing the damn thing, with the secondary goal of "with no catastrophic injury."  And I am trying to ignore the little voice in my head that is a little more competitive than that. At least, until race day.

Why The Swim Is First

It's kind of obvious, but the reason became brutally clear one day when I decided to do all three activities. I biked 12 miles in the early afternoon, came home and ran about 1.5 miles. That evening, I went to adult lap swim. Thank God for lifeguards. Seriously, I did about 4 laps and was inhaling chlorinated water that someone's kid probably peed in earlier that day. I felt like I had lead weights on my arms and legs, and the single, horrifying thought in my head was that this is how people who swim pretty well end up drowning. I crawled out of the pool before humiliation, stupidity and death - not necessarily in that order -  became realities.

Partner in Crime #1 and I signed up for an Open Water Swim at Waterloo Rec Area's Portage Lake next weekend. The swim course is set up with timing so you can see how you do in an open water setting. We are also going to swim in one of the local lakes this weekend, which has the added benefit of some boating and a beer afterwards. Did you know Map My Run works on water? It's not even called The Jesus Feature. I think they are missing a marketing opportunity there.

A Very Short Running Update

June 6th was National Running Day. I biked.

Oh, you want more? The good news is that my so-called running has improved and I can run the entire 1.5+ loop in my neighborhood without stopping, including the little Brentwood hill. Bad news is that I still hate it and I think I only have one speed: slow. I can run 2 miles on the nice flat LakeLands Trail, and that is marginally more enjoyable. But it's a little like eating fresh Brussel sprouts is somewhat better than eating frozen ones, when you hate Brussel sprouts to begin with.

Got Biker Butt? I Know I Do

Partner in Crime #2 rides a road bike, which forces me off the trail and onto M36. It's not all bad, and is certainly more like the triathlon bike course, plus I have to push myself on my slower hybrid to keep up with her. I'm not much of one for athletic specialty gear, but padded bike shorts and gloves have made the riding significantly more comfortable. Until today, when I ended up on the LakeLands Trail west of Pinckney.

I decided to head west on M36 today because I was tired of half the town telling me they saw me on M36 and thought I was nuts. I figured no one goes west on M36, because, really, what's there? No offense, Unadilla Township. I discovered, however, that people do indeed go west on M36. Lots of people, mostly in trucks. The paved road shoulder is not as wide, and the road kill count is very, very high. Four raccoons, one skunk, three unidentifiable furry creatures, two frogs, and a deer - and that was in the first mile or so. Anyway, west of Kelly Road, the Lakelands Trail crosses M36 and, tired of breathing the dead-animal miasma, off-road I went. Onto a soft, gravelly, chopped-up trail. It is so bad that bicyclists have made a track through the grassy edge where possible, to avoid the mind-numbing ride over the hoof-prints, the ATV tracks, the small critter holes and the six-inches of soft gravel and sand. I bumped along, wondering how far it was to Kelly Road so I could get back on M36, and hoping I could get there before I ended up with a migraine.

Turns out, my head was not the body part I should have been worried about.