The hills on that bike ride sucked as badly as ever, but I got up them without having to stand and grind, now that I figured out the right seat height. Low gear a lot, check. Loving and feeding off the support of fans, both mine and some of the random volunteers and spectators? Check. I got through it not in danger of being last, plus getting to pass and be passed by my new next door neighbors a bunch of times made it a little bit fun. After each of the first two legs, I was able to catch my breath fairly quickly, and didn't feel too awful, which was surprising. I was glad my friend Chuck and I had practiced a "brick", because your legs really do feel like lead after getting off the bike. But between having practiced that initial running shuffle and knowing it would get easier, plus leaving at the same time as a girl who looked twice as fit as me but was no faster at all made it better. The very best part was getting to see my dear friends and family up close, cheering me on wildly with signs, kids, and the whole bit, despite having to stand around in the heat. It also warmed my heart to see how happy my kid was each time I went by. I did have to walk some here and there, but I was always running past my fans, and I kept the walks short. The finish line volunteers met me with popsicles and smiles, and there was a table of free Dunkin' Doughnuts, which I am allergic to but appreciated the thought. After collecting myself and my stuff, I had enough gas in the tank to pedal the bike back home, and not feel like I was going to die. It was a wonderful day.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Even though that phrase has been ruined by a certain modern politician, it describes my weekend perfectly. I started and finished the tri, despite the hip injury, the recent training horrors and reductions, and despite it being the very first day we've had this summer of miserable, typical August humidity and heat. But it was still great. I did not meet my goal of under 2 hours, and I did not meet my goal of not walking any of the run. Nor did I lose the weight I had planned to beforehand. (On the contrary, sidelined a bit and frustrated, I actually gained those 5 pounds back again...) The swim had to be without a wetsuit due to temps, which helped with the breathing but meant you had to work a little harder, plus it was in the 50 long lap lanes instead of 25, which I'm not used to. Yet I fit in just fine with my 10 minute prediction and didn't have people piling up behind me.