Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tri Season Starts....NOW!

Bye bye Marathon...Hello Triathlon!

What better way to kick off tri training than with a boot camp?? Nothing like three days of hard workouts to awaken those long lost muscles (since I took a very generous vacation from cycling anything significant since October...) and to remind the spirit of what a brick really feels like. Oye.


We started on Friday with a running workout of Wilke repeats. Somehow last season, I'd managed to miss each one of these workouts...somehow. ;) But not this time, we bucked up with the instruction to do minimally 2...but would really like to see 4-5..or until people couldn't go anymore...or until 6:25, whichever came first. After 5 repeats, Panther told us we did great and we could stop. I looked at my watch...it said 6:20. But I wanted to set in my own mind that this year was going to be about working hard. No sandbagging. No mailing it in. No quitting early. I said Hell No..Let's do One More!! We rallied and did 6!!! Personally, I think we could've done more...hell, Triscuit and Glenda were talking on the way up...the steepest part...of the last repeat! I thought about cracking skulls and getting everyone to do one more, but I knew we had two more days of hard training ahead of us....best not to blow up on day 1, right?


Day 2 found us pedalling through the pines on the Bastrop ride. Oh my, is it gorgeous out there! WOW! The only bummer was that in the super hilly section in the first 15 miles or so, the roads were really congested with riders....and bike walkers...and fallers. Seriously, it was like cyclocross or something. At one point on a steep hill, there were people walking their bikes on the right hand side, two separate piles of cyclists who had fallen over on the left hand side AND a string of cyclists spanning completely from the left to the right of the narrow road...all fallen over on the ground. As we approached I just kept saying over and over...I just need one little bitty path through, that's all I need, just a few inches that I can shinny through... Fortunately, just as we got to the line of people, some had managed to untangle, unclip and right themselves and their bikes enough to let the other riders pass through without suffering the same fate.


The anxiety when approaching each hill was higher worrying about who's going to crash into you versus how the hell you were going to pedal up the hill.


Fortunately, we all made it through without a scratch. When we got to the first rest stop, I thought to myself. Oh my...if the rest of the ride is going to be this hilly...I'm in serious, serious trouble. Lucky for me..it wasn't. As soon as we popped out of the park, it was pretty much wide open spaces on Hwy 71. Our "nice and easy" ride had us cranking along around 20-22 mph. We had a blast pacelining our way past the beautiful countryside...and other cyclists. ;)


I even got to bridge up Triscuit to the group when she had fallen back a bit. It was really cool, because you don't really get to do a lot of "team" types of things in triathlon. I slowed down a bit until Triscuit caught up to me. Then I did what others have done for me, which I remember being ever so grateful for. I told her, "Get on my wheel, I'll bridge you up." She said ok and snuggled in behind me. I settled into my aero bars, put my head down, peaked over the top of my shades and started pedalling. The group was still going at a good clip, there was wind and a little bit of a rise. It felt good to be working hard though. Every now and then, I'd peek back to make sure Triscuit was still there, then I'd face front and keep pushing.


I like being a chaser. It is cool to close the distance, hawk someone down and reel them in. I had a blast bridging her and I felt like I'd helped out a teammate. That was also the kind of tone I wanted to set for my season. I miss being on a team. It's kinda hooky, I know. But I really like the whole dynamics of team sports.


Anyway, it was a great ride and we followed that up with a one-mile jaunt through the neighborhood. Wow. I'd forgotten how bad bricks felt. YIKES! It pretty much took the whole mile before my legs felt like legs and not cinder blocks.


Day 3 found us out at the veloway for some more riding. We warmed up, worked on some cycling drills and then did a time trial. Round and round the veloway we went. I started a little behind Kris and Triscuit because I wanted to use them as rabbits. I saw Glenda briefly at the start, but after the second turn I pretty much didn't see her. (I think she said she averaged 22mph!).


I was able to keep Kris and Triscuit in my sights and actually close a little on them. But big kudos came to Erin who started behind us all and then pretty much blew us out of the water on the back straights. That girl can fly people. Make no mistake about that!!!


I ended up with 8:46. I have no idea what mph that is. (I can't wait for the Garmin 405's to come out..I am SO getting one.)


We followed that with a 10-k run at an "easy conversational pace". Ok..keep in mind that Panther, Glenda, Triscuit and Kris are in this group. Their easy conversational pace is my 10-k Goal pace. I kid you not. But I surprised even myself and hung with them the entire time. Granted, I was not conversating nor was it easy for me, but I hung on with them the whole way. (YAY ME!) Well, except for the sprint at the end...I had no sprint, they had tons! (BOO ME.)


I'm really looking forward to getting tri season underway. There are a few things I need to think through regarding the season...more that's for another blog entry...


In the meantime, here's a pic from the ride on Saturday. YAY US!

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