On Saturday's schedule was a 2 hour 30 minute bike ride, plus an open water swim. This time we visited Sandy Point State Park, which is a lovely beach on the Chesapeake Bay with a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge, none of which I can show you because I forgot the camera. Use your imagination. After another talk by another coach, we tried a few mass starts. Except I always wait for everyone else to go. Which sorta DEFEATS the point of the practice.
Then we did some swimming along the shoreline, practicing sighting. One of my DC Tri club peeps, oh, let's call him IRONMAN SIMON, actually pulled me aside in the water to show me what I'm doing wrong. Apparently I am TOO POLITE while swimming. Instead of slicing/driving my hand through the water, I am gently tapping it, like I don't want to hurt its feelings.
The minute I got to work today I put in a call to a swim coach. The same coach who told my other DC Tri club peep, oh, let's call him CASEY, that she was going to SLIT HIS NECK in order to get him to put his head down. My kinda coach!
After the swim, we all jumped on our bikes for the EPIC 40-mile ride, and then? There were five of us. Led by the intrepid Eagle Scout DC Tri club leader, let's call him WILL.
We got to mile oh, let's say ONE, and Will signaled that he was stopping. Then he stopped. BECAUSE THERE WAS A STOP SIGN. And a big ol' truck a'comin'. And I stopped too! Yay me!
As I was going down, I screamed "help" and reached out and grabbed Will, cuz I guess I didn't want to eat pavement alone. Thankfully he stayed upright. My brain was screaming CLIP OUT CLIP OUT CLIP OUT but my body was not responding. I went down. He stayed up. I was fine, just a little scrape on the knee but enough blood and grit to make me look hardcore. As Will said, "Now you can join the ranks of those who are awaiting their next fall," having gotten the first one out of the way.
Onward! Soon there were two. Me, in last place, and Will, about 1,000 miles ahead of me. But Will waited at every turn, of which there were many, to make sure I knew where we were going.
It was a beautiful day. We rode along superhighways, and back country rodes, over bridges, up and down big ass hills, while various songs played in my head. (After passing "Revolution Road," the Beatles and I had a nice time together.) Past the Canine Fitness Center, and the Wine Festival. Past the roadside memorial to some poor soul.
I spent most of my time trying not to envision my own death by bike. I have really got to replace my mental imagery.
At one red light, I pulled up alongside Will to entertain him with some witty bon mot (my bad, stay in line on a giant highway!), and when the light changed the minivan alongside me knocked my left elbow so hard its passenger-side mirror got slammed toward the window. Did the driver stop? Hell no! For all she knew my arm coulda been hanging off that mirror.
At 30 miles we hit downtown Annapolis and rode up to the place where the whole group was going to meet for lunch, but unbeknownst to us, had decided to skip. No matter!
I had been longing for a Coke. I had to have a Coke. If I didn't get a Coke I was going to kill someone. Curiously, I don't even drink Coke. Nor do I ingest it in any of its forms. It's probably been 20 years since I had a Coke! (Let's see how many times I can say Coke.)
Then Will and I got down to business and ordered lunch. He wanted soup. I was like, "Will, it's 120F outside!" Mysteriously, the soup of the day was: Watermelon.
Please, before you leave this earth, ride 30 miles in the blazing hot sun, and then go sit and have yourself a bowl of watermelon soup. It was like sex in a bowl.
Soon enough we were back on the road, with Will encouraging me that "there's only ten miles left." Which after a few hundred more miles? I knew was a lie. We finally made it back to the park, where my poor friend—oh let's call her Sandy—with whom I had carpooled—was sitting and waiting all by herself for me to return. She'd been back for an hour. She waited for ONE HOUR. Which right there deserves some kinda medal.
The rest of the group had gone here for lunch, and had saved seats for us, because that's the kind of peeps I hang with.
I then had the best crabcake sandwich of my life.
(Is this post too hyperbolic? Ya think?)
To recap: open water swim with personal training from an Ironman, a 40-mile ride (in 3:30) with my own personal guide, a snack to die for, and crabcakes and hush puppies afterwards.
Tell me again: When does tri training get hard?