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Thursday, October 3, 2013

More About the Bike

While she needs a better name than FUJI, my bike has been great so far.  Not enough miles to know that I nailed the selection, but I did not jump into this without a good amount of research.  By the way, researching anything extensively makes one want that thing extensively.  Well, I guess that wouldn't be true of all things.  Cancer comes immediately to mind.  Remind me never to research cancer.

It is a Fuji Sportif 1.3C.  Which basically means it is not the cheapest Sportif (1.7) or the most expensive (1.1).  Still in the starter category due to price and geometry (that has to do with angles and length as I recall from 5th grade).

I chose the Sportif because of the geometry (a little goofy according to the bike shop).  It has a longer Head Tube.  That is the post between the front Fork and handlebars.  By being longer, it means that I will be riding in a more upright position (comfort) rather than bent way over (less comfort).  Coming from a hybrid (sit nearly straight up) and/or no real biking at all, this made a lot of sense for me.  Sacrifice speed for comfort and safety.

Price was also a biggie.  After watching Craig's List for almost a month, finding a decent bike that was my size seemed impossible.  Plus, I didn't want to “settle” for something since I know that would just result in buying yet another bike.  Fuji came on sale so I went for it.  The dealer had to order it in my size so the payoff took a week.

At this point, well worth the it.  This bike should last me awhile...or at least until I need a lighter faster one!

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Triathlon Entry...Check!

It’s official.  I have registered for my first sprint triathlon.  I really had no choice given the investment I’ve made over the past six weeks.  Not only have my finances taken a sizable hit, I have put a lot of hours in at the pool and on the bike during that time.  Not following through after all that would be silly.  Through I was tripped up by being forced to become a USA Triathlon member.  Seems like this should be reserved for people who actually consider themselves triathletes.

With just under four weeks to go until race day, I already have a reasonable level of anxiety.  The swim is going to be a mess.  I’m doing much better in the pool, but I just know I’ll freak out and struggle to get into any type of rhythm to keep my breathing in check.  This will mean my heart rate will be off the charts as I exit the pool.  From there, I will need to settle down before I even consider pushing hard on the bike.  It is going to be difficult to throttle back I know.

Part of this anxiety might be due to the fact that I’m already playing out the race in my head.  After running for so many races, I normally develop my race strategy for a half marathon the morning of the race based on my training and how I’m feeling.  Marathons get more attention, but I no longer have butterflies as I belIeve I have experienced most possible scenarios and know what to do in each case.  This, I’m afraid, is something different.

After pushing myself to 27 miles on the bike this past Saturday, I was totally spent.  It was an eye opener.  When I started my training, I assumed my running background gave me enough lower body strength to make cycling extremely easy.  I was wrong.  My body hurt all over for two days.

The longest bike ride of my life was a wake-up call.  I realized that I have been suffering from over confidence.  The individual distances of each discipline are really short and completely doable.  I guess deep down I thought I’d just muscle through it.

 So now I’m left with only about 2.5 weeks of training to gain confidence and improve technique before I taper for race day.  While I’m feeling a little burned out (hey, I’ve been burning white hot with enthusiasm since mid-August), I’m really excited to finish up the training and jumping in the water.  I need to simply remember that I’m preparing to do something that I never thought I would be able to do.  That will be extremely fulfilling.  Let’s just be sure to pray that I live through the darn thing.

          Run in Peace, Rest in Grace