So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

If You Can Hear Me Shrieking, You're Too Close

Sometimes there are things in life that are more fun than sport. Not much, but they do exist. Sitting on a porch with a cup of coffee and a book, letting the breeze blow your bookmark down the block as you relax from your first real workout in a month...beat shrieking at my state of (un-)fitness, in my humble opinion.

I pulled my mountain bicycle out this morning and went down to the beach so I could participate in the Mere Mortals (triathlon) workout. I was not certain whether getting on a bike this soon, four weeks after taking that stupid topple, was a good idea. Ah, but it did feel so good to get out on the least when the wind was at my back.

At the five mile mark, we could not go any further east. We knew this was going to happen. It was planned to turn at that point and come back to the parking lot, then tack on another three-to-six miles. I saw the flags whipping on the poles at the parking lot; their direction told me the return trip was going to be entertaining, at best. I pulled up for a few seconds to see how far back the rest of the fat tire group were...quite a distance back. At that point, two road bikes came by, and I heard one rider say something about getting in (drafting). I got behind the second road bike and drafted for a while, until I realized we were not going to get in the first bike's draft. I made a quick pass and tucked in behind the first rider, flipped my hands the other direction on the handlebars in order to tuck my arms close to my body. I drafted for a solid five minutes, then sat up, because I knew it was going to be a bad morning if I tried to stay on any longer.

I only got passed by one or two road bikes after that point, and rolled up another fat-tire before the three-mile tack-on. The last 2500 meters...sweet joy! Let the spinnaker loose, we're going to sail home.

Of course, after that I had to get out and run 5,000 meters. It was not pretty in the slightest, especially the first extended run after a month of no real training. I ran a solid 7:00/mile pace for the first eight or nine minutes. I walked for a minute in order to ease the fatigue, then started up again. I stopped again two minutes later, where I made the decision to continue the workout as a 2:00 run, 1:00 walk. Not a bad idea. I got in a little more than 3.5 miles in 30:00. It's enough to make a racer like me shriek obscenities at my slow, fat self.


It's an inevitable part of taking time off. When you begin to train again it's inevitable that you will compare your present "fresh off transition period" self to the sharp, race-ready self you had just a month ago. Best thing you can do is keep things in perspective...wear a heart rate monitor...and resist the temptation to race for at least a month.

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