I Am Awesome

Less than 2 months until the big (little) race. Here is a (confusing) diagram of the race course:

The dotted line in the water is the first leg... a .25 mile swim. The solid line on the left is the second leg... a 6.2 mile bike. The dashes to the right of that is the final leg... a 1.5 mile run.

I've been feeling especially lazy and slow recently. I needed something to jolt me out of that. I needed something to get me over my plateau and on to bigger and better things.

As I've said before... I'm not fast. I'm not good, and I can't go long distances in any of the three events. So keeping that in mind, today was a huge personal breakthrough.

I woke up and it was 69 degrees, overcast, and raining a little. It was the PERFECT day for a run. And I figured I'd follow that up with a swim (since I havn't swam in over a week).

I felt good and I felt motivated, so I mapped out race distance for my run:

It starts and finishes at the same location (the Y). It's funny how short 1 1/2 miles looks when you plot it out like this.

So I got to the Y, checked the clock in my car (I forgot my watch (the clock said 11:45)), and started running.

The cool air and the drizzling rain felt great. I decided to leave my IPod at home (I'm not allowed to use it during the race), and I was suprisingly okay with that.

At .3 Mile, my shorts starting riding up.
At .7 Mile, I got a cramp (yes, I'm a wimp).
At .9 Mile, my shorts starting falling off.
At 1.1 Mile, my cramp came back with vigor.
At 1.2 Mile, I was thoroughly bored.
At 1.4 Mile, I envisioned stopping.
At 1.5 Mile, I envisioned how proud I would be if I didn't.
And at 1.55 Miles, I crossed my imaginary finish line, smiling.

I ran the full 1.55 Miles without stopping once. I didn't even do any of those fake stops to "tie my shoes" or "stretch my calf." And immediately after I finished, I got into my car and checked the clock... 12:00 on the dot.

I estimate that if you total up the time it took me to tie and untie my car key from my shoelaces, it would be about a minute. So my final time was 14 minutes.

That comes out to a little under a 10 minute mile. It's not fast, but I did it without any stops... without any help. And I didn't feel like I was going to die at the end, which is always a good sign.


After beating my personal best in running (at least, since high school), it was time to swim. And I had this crazy thought that maybe I could beat my personal best in that too. Maybe I could swim the race distance without stopping. All the other times that I swam the 7 1/2 laps, I stopped at least once to rest my arms and catch my breath.

So I hopped in the pool and, still tired from my run, I began to swim. I had 7 1/2 laps to swim... also known as 15 lengths of the pool.

At 1 Length, I had second thoughts.
At 4 Lengths, I felt great.
At 7 Lengths, it was a steady pace.
At 12 Lengths, I was counting down.
At 14 Lengths, my form was sloppy.
And at 15 Lengths, I had completed 2 personal bests in one day.

I swam a quarter mile without stopping, and without pushing off the wall when I turned around. To my surpise, I found that I was able to keep up my stamina and swim longer when I did not do my flip turns. I didn't realize how much those were wearing me out when I practiced.

Total, it took me 7 or 8 minutes, which is a very admirable time. Now I just need to keep that time once I hit the open seas (aka Lake Michigan).


Day 5 of the bike search.

It seems to get harder and harder each day. With each new peice of information we learn, the decisions get more complicated. Every option has its good and bad points.

But I finally found the perfect bike....

Eh. I'm a liar.

My parents' trip to two bike shops this afternoon resulted in a more difficult choice. They think I should steer clear of road bikes. The reason are the wheels. They are small and thin and don't handle rough terrain well. I've never riden a road bike for an extended period of time, so I'm not sure exactly how rough "rough" is.

The salesman showed them some hybrids. Those are basically a road bike frame with mountain bike-like wheels. It seems great in theory, but most (if not all) hybrid bicycles come with flat handlebars (like on a mountain bike), when I really have my heart set on drop handlebars (the ones that curve forward).

During my extensive bike research on Google, I found a third option... cyclocross. They are bikes made for this crazy cyclocross sport where the athletes ride their bike a lot and then carry it through a lot of mud. I'm not exactly sure the difference between Hybrid and Cyclocross, but the cyclocross bikes have drop handlebars AND rougher wheels... all plusses in my book.

Here is the Redline Conquest Sport. It's a Cyclocross Bike that runs for about $650 (perfect):

... The problem is now going to be finding a cyclocross bike that I can take for a test drive. They don't seem to be common in our bike shops here. Gah.

Today is Sunday. I have the next two days off. By the end of my "weekend," I want to have a new bike.

1 comment:

Steve Stenzel said...

YEAH for crossing the line with a smile! Nice job!

And you would totally ROCK on that penny-farthing bike!!

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