Week 11: A lot of time in the saddle

I spent a lot of time on my bikes this week since it’s a bike-focused week in my training plan. Honestly, by the end I had a painful saddle sore and a tired neck. And I was very ready for the run-focused week.

Monday: 1500 yard swim a.m., 19.5 mile bike p.m.

Nothing exciting, but I discovered this lovely bruise inside my elbow from the thin lanes at the outdoor pool on Sunday when I was trying not to bump into the sweet older woman sharing my lane.

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Tuesday: 17 mile bike a.m., Pilates p.m.

I got caught at a train crossing on my morning ride, but luckily the train didn’t take long to pass.

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After work, I tried out a yoga/Pilates studio called Patanjali’s Place. It’s near Crossfit Durham and Fullsteam, so I see their sign every Wednesday when I go to the group run. I saw that they offer a free first class, so I convinced a friend to join me and we enjoyed it! I enjoyed the class, and the studio was welcoming, and they offer a wide range of classes at various times of day.

Wednesday: 1400 yard swim a.m., 60 minute (~7 mile) run p.m.

I got caught up at work and didn’t make it to the group run from Fullsteam. Instead I ran on my own, and I’m glad I did. This run reminded me why running will always be my favorite of the three disciplines of triathlon. The Pilates class from the previous night reminded me to keep my back straight and abs tight. And the run was just easy and enjoyable.

Very exciting news: I finally actually registered for THE triathlon! I hear REV3 races are the best, and I’m looking forward to it!

Thursday: 20 mile ride p.m.

A lovely evening ride with the Luna Chix group. At one point we were rolling up to a stop sign and heard sirens. Within seconds, a car followed by two police cars in hot pursuit blew straight through the intersection from the opposite direction. They were polite enough to move all the way to the edge of their lane and stayed away from all of us. Thanks guys. Later in the ride we heard and saw police cars coming in from various directions.  I never found out why they were chasing, but I hope they figured it all out.

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 35 mile ride followed by 30 minute run

My plan called for a 90 minute ride plus 30 minute run, and I decided ahead of time to extend the ride to about 2 hours. I was not pumped for this workout when I woke up. I had my coffee and oatmeal and watched a couple episodes of The Hills on #RetroMTV. But eventually you just have to get out the door. The ride can only be characterized as “meh” and boring. But then I got home and got to run for 30 minutes. Again, running was the shining star of the day.

Sunday: 64 mile ride

Again, my plan called for 2 and half hours of riding, and I decided to do at least 4 hours. I’m not sure why I extended my rides two days in a row, but the planned rides just seemed short, and I’m a little nervous about how challenging this bike course will be in October. I started out the day thinking I might try to ride my second century of the year. I’m not sure when I’ll have another good opportunity, and I don’t want to count on the late October/Halloween ride I did last year because of the unpredictable weather and general lateness of it. Again I was pretty iffy starting out on Sunday. I had never ridden my tri bike more than about 2 hours I think, so 6+ hours was definitely ambitious, more for my back and neck than anything else. In the morning I loaded up all my snacks and water bottles with an open mind for the day. My planned route was a figure 8, and I thought I’d just do the outer loop an extra time to get to 100 if I wanted. Well, by the time I started the outer loop for the first time, I’d already made up my mind that I was not going to make it to 100. My legs were just done. By the time I got to the assigned 2.5 hours, I was thinking that if Eric had been home from Hawaii, I just mayyy have called him to come get me.

So now, I’ll have to figure out how to fit in a second century to meet my goal of two per year. That Halloween ride is looking pretty tempting now.

Taking a step back (or maybe 17 steps forward), this week made my legs so tired, and for the first time…ever I didn’t want to ride my bike again the next day. And while hopefully I just learned NOT to extend the weekend long rides, I’m honestly a little more intimidated by my big dream of doing an Ironman (hopefully) next year. I rode 155.5 miles this week, but I don’t know how that compares to training for a full Ironman. I guess Ironman is the sort of thing you just have to dive right into and commit, and then take it day by day to put in the work. I hope that over the next year I can find more triathletes to train with. I love my running group and cycling group, but I feel like I have so much to learn about the sport of triathlon, and I can only get so much of it from blogs and the internet and grilling Eric about every small detail. I’m not sure whether to join a team (driving 40 minutes to group workouts isn’t appealing to me) or just find people somehow… I’m pretty clueless. But I’m putting it on my to do list to figure it out.

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