Pedal Clip Woes

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I finally managed to fall off my bike trying to unclip my pedals. I had literally almost stopped, but for some reason decided to try and stand up with the foot that was still clipped in. And down I went, just toppled right to the side. I can’t imagine how graceful that must have appeared to all of the traffic passing by. Alas, my knee is skinned and my ego bruised but other than that, I lived to tell the tale. I’m sure it won’t be the last time….

Introducing Scarlett

She’s finally here!!  My first proper triathlon bike! 

She’s not brand new, obviously, but she’s new to me and I couldn’t wait to get her put together as soon as she arrived this past weekend.  She’s a 2009 (I think…) Cervelo P2 that has been used in triathlons by her previous owner.  I took her out this morning for a quick half hour ride and she felt great.  So light and fast compared to the bikes I’ve been using recently, and I found that my easy “feel-it-out” ride actually had a better pace than a lot of my previous training rides where I was working hard. Her aerobars make me a bit (ok, a lot!) nervous right now, but I know soon they will feel completely normal.  
She’s named Scarlett due to her coloring (scarlet and gray being Ohio State colors, a shout out to my home state), but also because there has to be some kind of “Gone with the Wind” fast bike analogy out there that fits (right?!).  Not to mention she’s a southern bike now, so she needs a good southern name.  Apparently she’s performed in a number of 70.3 distance races with her previous owner, so maybe some of her experience will rub off on me in our future races.  Until then, we’ll just keep practicing our selfies!  ūüôā 

Bike Gadgets and My First Tire Change (Wooo!!)

One of the fun things about training for the Ironman 70.3 has been discovering all kinds of fun (and useful!) accessories.   My Amazon Prime subscription has been put to very good use over the last two months and the local UPS guy has become one of my new best friends. 

This week, my focus has been on bicycle accessories.  As I upped my mileage on the bike, I found that my upper body and hands were the source of my discomfort, as opposed to my legs (or butt) which is what I anticipated.  The pressure on my hands was prettty painful and would persist for a few days post-ride and my arms were very stiff from bracing myself against the handle bars.  So, I came up with two solutions- cycling gloves and aerobars. 

The cycling gloves are great and the gel padding really takes the pressure off the base of my thumbs.  Definitely worth the money, and I feel like they make me look kind of tough.

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Now, the aerobars were a little more complicated.  Luckily, my friend Red, an experianced triathlete himself, was willing to loan me a set of aerobars for time being to make sure I liked them before I rushed off and bought a pair. I’ve dubbed Red my official Ironman Bike Guy, as he set my aerobars up for me and made me ride up and down the street a few times so he could tweak the angles and length and make sure the fit was just right.  He also hooked me up with another water bottle cage, which is great because you can never have too much water on the bike.   Red also has clip-in pedals (and his wife has shoes) for me, but he wisely suggested that switching to aerobars and clip-in pedals all at once might be a bit much for me.  He’s a wise man (plus he knows I’m clumsy). 

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After the aerobar installation I headed out for a 30 mile bike ride.  The weather was gorgeous, I was feeling energized, and I had just enough time to test the new bars out before work.  I was on a roll for the first mile and half, and then I got my first flat tire.  Ugh!!! Luckily, Brian, my other bike guy, gave me an excellent tutorial on changing tires so I was able to perform my first successful tire change!  Woo hoo!!! Unfortunately, by the time I was finished, I realized that I didn’t have time to finish my ride before work, so I gave up for the day (training fail) and made a hamburger instead.  

Now I’m getting ready for my Ironman warm-up race this weekend, an Olympic distance triathlon that I’m doing with my friend Diane (Red’s wife). 

My bike ride may have been a fail, but I’ve had some good runs this week.  Here is a Pepper selfie after our (very hot!) 6 mile run on Tuesday. 

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Recap- Triathlon 2

This past weekend I completed my second sprint triathlon. ¬†I had honestly kind of forgotten this one was approaching, as I had been preoccupied with nursing exams and extra work the week leading up to the race, so when race day finally arrived I was feeling a little under-prepared. ¬†Luckily, I had managed to stay on track with my workout schedule for the most part over the past month, so at least my physical conditioning hadn’t slipped.

My friend Pam did the race with me again, which always makes it a lot more fun. ¬†She picked me up at O’ Dark Thirty on Sunday morning, we loaded up my bike, and off we went to the race site. ¬†I wasn’t nearly as stressed this time with the pre-race set up, as I now understood how the transition zone, number marking, and various other aspects of the race worked.

We self-seeded for the swim, as it was in an indoor pool, so I went and found the 4 minute section and lined up there. ¬†The swim was 300 meters for this race and the pool was set-up for long course (50 meter lengths). ¬†This made the swim much easier, as it was easier to pass people and less time was spent on the walls. ¬†Unfortunately, I had been slacking on my swimming recently (meaning, I hadn’t swam since my last triathlon) so I didn’t think my swim was as good as last time, but I managed just fine. ¬†Two people passed me during the swim, and I passed two others, so I don’t think my seed time was too far off (although the results suggest otherwise…).

When I got to transition to get my bike, it had actually begun to rain slightly.  The upside to this was that it kept the air temperature cool, but the downside was that the wind was whipping! The first 5 miles of the bike ride were great, because the wind was behind me.  However, as soon as I made the U-turn at the halfway mark the wind slammed into me like a never expected and the ride immediately became about 20 times harder.  Ugh!

The rain was just starting to let up when I re-racked my bike in transition and took off for a two- mile run. ¬†Again, I was running into the wind for the first mile of my run, but the second mile was nice having the wind at my back as I ran towards¬†the finish. ¬†My run didn’t feel very strong, but when I looked at my splits after the race I was pleasantly surprised to see that my pace was much faster than my first race.

Here are my overall splits:

Swim 300 meter Р 6:20 min (2.07 min/ 100 meter pace)*

Bike 10 miles – 38:54 min (15.4 mph pace)

Run 2 miles Р19:12 min  (9:36 min/ mile pace)

Overall Time:  1:09:05.

*I think my swim time is skewed to be longer than I actually swam, as the timing mats were way, way outside of the pool area.  This would have increased my swim time, but decreased my transition time, so it all comes out in the wash.

I was 15/61 in my age group and 91/351 overall, which sounds just fine to me.

I don’t have any other tris scheduled for the fall, but I do have a half marathon coming up at the end of November and I’m considering signing up for a slightly longer triathlon in the spring. ¬†Stay tuned for updates!