Saturday, May 03, 2008

So Much Fun It Should Be Illegal

How come no one ever told me how much FUN triathlons are? HOW COME? I want answers.

D.C. Tri held a "brick-nic" today, at Centennial Park in Columbia, Maryland.

What's a brick, you ask? (Remember, there are No Dumb Questions.)

What's a "brick" and why is it named so?

* Bike-Run-ICK!
* That's how your legs feel for the first part of the run.
* Named by Mark Sisson and Scott Zagarino one day in 1988 after they completed a Bike-Run workout -- "Just another brick in the wall".
The "nic" part--well, that's from picNIC. Get it?

The regular part of the club was there, riding and running the course in preparation for the upcoming Columbia Triathlon . The new triathletes were riding the Irongirl course, with a 10-minute run afterwards. A brick.

I have to admit I did NOT want to go. I even called Number One Daughter (OK, R, we'll rename her D1), to whine about it. I hadn't signed up for it, I was nervous about it (It was Far Away! There were Serious Triathletes there! People I don't know!) and she told me to HTFU and go and do it.

So I did.

I carefully printed out the "cue" sheet (Why is it called that? I have no idea. It's also known as a "map" or "route") and then after feeling very smug for having printed it out, whereas some Other People Did Not, I promptly left it in the portapotty at the meet-up site.

Which wouldn't matter so much if I was going to be say, riding with Other People. And not 100 miles behind.

After much hemming and hawing about "Do I wear the jacket...or not? Will I get hot? But what if it rains. Then I'll be cold," everyone got sick of hearing me and we all left.

We were on some major roads with some major traffic and an itty-bitty shoulder.

I took this while driving the course afterwards. I'm not crazy enough to take pictures while riding! Only while driving.

I felt good and confident. Right up until I reached for the map in my 27 pockets and could find it nowhere.


That got my heart rate up. Especially because one of the tri-club peeps had said about 100 times before we left, "You will get lost without this map."

Somehow I kept catching people at red lights, or whose bikes had broken, or whatever, and got enough directions to keep me on the right path.

Just for the record, I'd like to state that I have NEVER RIDDEN HILLS before. Or run them. Or even seen them. The course was rolling, long, rolling, looooong endless hills. Like this:
Again, afterwards, in the car.

And this:
This was called something like Mount Kill Me Now Road

Which is where I dropped the chain, or it dropped me. Whatever. It fell off is what happened. Luckily, there was another slow-ish woman in front of me, riding with her AWESOME triathlete brother. I yelled (or cried) and this fellow came back and got my chain back on.

I was instantly smitten.

But that was nothing.

John and his sister Barbara took off up the hill and I soldiered on. Only I noticed a high-pitched whining noise, that got faster as I got faster. It was ANNOYING, and it was coming from my bike.

When I got here:
You don't see THAT in Bethesda!

I caught up with them and said "Do you hear something?" as I passed by. Um yeah. They did.

They both stopped and John pretty much took my bike apart. The bike wheel was misaligned or something.

It was VERY interesting:
You seeing what I 'm seeing?

And that's how John SAVED MY LIFE.

Soon it was time to turnaround. I cut my ride short by 3 miles so that I wouldn't keep people waiting.

14.5 miles in 1:30, a whopping 9.67 miles / hour.

It. Was. Awesome.

It was the most fun thing I've ever done in my life.

And the run? Was. Cake.


Not the usual I-can't-feel-my-legs thing.

And then we had a big picnic, and the next time I get married, I'm doing it in the middle of a triathlon.

A bike store exploded.

A gear store exploded.

L-R, New friends, Lindsey and Sandy, and moi.

The whole group.

And to top off this very long tale, when I got home I discovered a check for $600 in my mailbox, something about an "escrow overpayment."

Now if I were smart and clever, I would totally put that money in my teensy little savings account.

Or if I were smart and clever and spoke Latin, maybe I would say carpe diem, I gotta buy me a lighter bike.


Nancy Toby said...


Date: May 3, 2008
From: The Nancinator
To: The Dark Side
Re: All is in order

We've got her now.

LBTEPA said...


(mutters to self - it's not fair, I want a fun training group too)

Melissa said...

Sounds like an awesome day!

Dori said...

Watching the road while you're driving is so over-rated these days.

Way to HTFU! I'm very impressed. I bought a new bike today with clipless pedals and fell down in my driveway. Now I'm afraid to ride. Do you have clipless pedals? How did you get used to them? I guess I need to HTFU.

21stCenturyMom said...

Woo Hoo! Welcome to the Crack House, Baby!

Anne said...

Seems I hear this a lot: runners who take up triathlons (or apparently participate in brick-nics) ace the run part. It sounds like a wonderful group you've got there, and I love the photos. So pastoral.

Thomas said...

What a cool day. I wish I had a few of those (I could really do with a cheque like that!)

Susan said...

WOW! Whatta day! I am jealous. My ride today wasn't nearly that eventful.

Now I want cake.

Melissa said...

Back for a double-dip comment. You've been tagged. :)


1) Write your own six word memoir.
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Ana said...

I think you do speak Latin.

zandria said...

That looks like such a fun day! (Well, except for the chain-thing, of course.) Glad you made it through okay. :)

Lindsey said...

I did a little stalking and found your blog...I love it!! What an accurate account of the day :) It was fun! Hope to see you at the du on Sunday!

Rainmaker said...

I wish I could ahve gone to this one. I went to the last one in October, had a great time! Looks like you did as well.

Triseverance said...

Mount kill me now road, lmao.

Pretty place, I am happy you had a great time. :)

eileen said...

Would you please find an open water swim clinic for me and a bric-nic out in EH....or, maybe if I could just be you for a while. I LOVE YOUR LIFE, KIDDO!!

Lesser is More said...

I was out there riding the Columbia course too, got lost many times, and wow were those roads full of triathletes! I felt like I was at a triathlon. I was there a bit earlier than the DC Tri folks, but saw a lot of them on my 2nd loop. Did you run into the thousands of random people walking/running around the lake? It made running a bit of a challenge, so I packed it in and left earlier than planned. Although I am not in DC Tri, I was thinking of hanging around, but I was done by 12, so I made the voyage back home where there are no cows and horses along the sides of the road.

David said...

I hate those sissies who can coast going down hills. They really should HTFU.

Vickie said...

I'd go with the bike. While you can.

Runner Susan said...

I hear smart and cleaver people take their escrow money to Nordstroms and buy pretty, pretty things.

Rae said...

Too fun!!! I love all the pics and the story of your day!!! Great job!

Running Jayhawk said...

Brick-nic!? That's brilliant. I want to go to one!

Looks like you had a fabulous day. I wish I had that type of group 'round these parts!

Juls said...

Sounds like a whole lot of fun. I thought Bricknic was EAT & DRINK. It shows what I know.

SuperSnail said...

I'm so mad I missed this.

I was so hung over...

Jade Lady said...

Wow, what a great day! Thank goodness for John too. I'd be smitten too. Sounds like you met some really nice folks . I'll have to see if they have such things in my neck of the woods.