Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Tri: Swim, Bike, Eat

I temporarily re-joined the New Triathlete's Program for the traditional three sports with which to celebrate Memorial Day: swim/bike/eat throwdown at Sandy Point Park, just outside of Annapolis.

(I apparently need to actually buy a camera, because Someone decided she wants her own camera back. Sheesh. Kids.)

Maybe you've heard? Swimming isn't my strong suit? I kind of sort of actually hate and detest it? Maybe I haven't actually blogged about swimming. I think maybe I only FaceBooked about the hate-on I have for swimming. Well, to make a long story short: I have this swim coach, she's great, she kicks my ass, I'm tossing up a lung in her workouts, I almost quit, I didn't, things got better, and well, we'll see.

I mean, I want to be challenged in my swimming. But there's challenging and then there's impossible. It's as though my track coach just suddenly told me to run 7 min miles. That's a fine goal, but you know, I'm not going to get there for a long, long (REALLY LONG) while. So I explained all of this to my coach, and voila, or viola, at last week's swim lesson I got to wear flippers. (And those things rock.) So, we'll see.

Anywho, I had to FORCE myself to do this open water swim thing, as usual. We had some nice OLDTP-ers on hand to guide us (thanks Ed and Simon!) and they gave some great pointers. I worked hard on sighting and on swimming, and on swimming, you know—near other people. Like REALLY close. We practiced Mass Starts, which I have successfully avoided up til now. It wasn't so horrible as I thought. We did variations of swimming from this buoy to that one over and over, gradually increasing distance, culminating in a nice long 800 m swim in the lovely Chesapeake Bay.

As usual, it was awesome. I didn't drown (my latest new terror? That I'll be the one who has the heart attack in the water that you read about at every triathlon. It's always something, isn't it?), and I kept a decent pace. It's possible that the wetsuit helped.

After all of that fun, we had a leisurely transition and hit the bikes for another FANTASTIC ride. We did about 16 miles, headed towards Annapolis. Beautiful day, birds singing, the smell of honeysuckle, cut grass, and barbecue in the air. What made this ride fun and different? Well, I kept up, for one thing. And we rode in a pace line for another. These are monumental things in my puny little life. I remember this trip last year, when a 40-mile-bike ride pretty much broke me. So great to see progress. Plus? The New New Triathletes were terrific.

On the way back, one of the NTP-ers got a flat and a few of us stopped to help her fix it. I provided the tube, Simon provided the brawn. And the skill. (Although I could have done it. Eventually.)

Anyway, the point of this little story is, I fell behind everyone, but I was determined to catch up, and catch up I did.

After a mile or so, I met up with Simon, who was nicely waiting for me and then?

It. Was. On.

It. Was. So. On.

(Simon is half my age and an Ironman. So yeah. It wasn't really on.)

Simon at New Jersey Tri last year. Sorry big guy.

I needed to catch a few people. I needed to SHOW a few people how to do this thing. (Heh.)

Apparently I started riding. After a bit Simon pulled up to me and said, "You know you're doing about 18 mph?"

What? Exsqueeze me?? This thing only goes 15 mph. (And no, I don't have a bike computer. On purpose. Why depress myself more?)

I kept going. It felt great!! Simon told me later I hit 20mph (and if he was lying, I don't want to know). Ed even told me I had a nice cadence! (Some women like to be told they're beautiful. Then, there's the rest of us.)

I say it over and over: It's the little things in life, people.

These little victories and people telling me I'm getting better just mean the world to me. I mean, I was high after hearing that!

I just hope I remember to do the same for others.

Afterwards, we headed to Cantlers for the traditional crabcake feast

Me, Ed, last year at Cantler's. Yum.

No better way to spend a Memorial Day.

14 comments:

Runner Susan said...

Oh Jeanne, why not have both? You're beautiful AND fast!

Catharine said...

Hilarious post, Jeanne.

My first thought when I saw that familiar pic: Geez, Jeanne takes every opportunity she can get to hug Simon...and get photographed doing it.

You MUST get a bike computer. Here's why. First, it is cool to see how fast you're going. Just this morning I was peddling along at an easy pace when I looked down and saw I was going 17 mph without breaking a sweat. I remember going about half that speed at this time last year. Such an ego boost when you see how much you've improved.

Second, if you get one with a cadence meter, it will really help you determine well, your cadence. You want to shoot for 80-100 rpm, and you probably know that if you do that you are better off for the run. It has really helped me. So go shopping. Now.

21stCenturyMom said...

I get every word of this post. Keeping up is everything!

21stCenturyMom said...

Also - what Catharine said is true. Having a bike computer really helps because you can force yourself to do intervals and stuff.

Jank said...

Avoid the bike computer! Why know?

And the crab cakes? Genius. I need to make sure I start ending rides at lobster shacks...

Kahnee said...

I love your blog. It's so inspirational. I want to do a triathlon one day, but I'm so scared of the swim part. ---

Black Knight said...

Annapolis, there is the Navi Academy, isn't it? I miss the Navy.

Calyx Meredith said...

20 mph? SO COOL! You need to have a bike computer so you can see that for yourself! And boy, oh boy, do I love MD crabcakes!! My favorite part of college was the food.

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Gott a get the bike computer! I love seeing that I was going fast a few times during a ride! Soon we will conquer the Thursday hills with such speed......

Gina said...

That sounds like a great day, Jeanne! Your posts always crack me up - I love your sense of...humor! Really! And keep up with the swimming, too.

Petraruns said...

See - isn't it good you didn't give up on that stupid swimming? You're going to BEAT it.

Look at you on that bike - zooming along like Lance Armstrong. Even thinking you can change tires now..

That post-workout meal looks sooo good. A nice hug with a nice man in tights is also gooood. Well done Jeanne - you lead by example..

Jade Lady said...

I'm not big on swimming either...Tried flippers, and wish I could wear them for a race!

Sounds like you had a great MemDay!

Rainmaker said...

I'm glad to see you incorporate the most important sport (eating) into the day. Cause otherwise the whole tri thing is just kinda wasted calories burned. :)

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