36F weather is not the kind that begs to be ridden in. But alas my off season is over. I have been reading other triathletes’ blogs. They say things like “Coach told me not to train for 3 weeks, just do some non-structured activity during my off-season, and I am tearing my hair out!” My coach recently made a reference on his blog to his athletes who are so relieved to finally be back in training-mode…. He obviously is not talking about me. You know when you really don’t want to run, so you fold your laundry, do the dishes, finally get around to taking out the garbage, then re-do your ponytail 8 times so it is just perfect before you actually lace up your shoes and head out? But then once you are 5 minutes into the run, you’re glad you are out there? I think I am going through something like that, except instead of it being an issue of a particular run, its the whole concept of getting back in shape. I was in off-season mode for so long it started to feel normal and now its hard to get back into gear. Which brings us to this morning:
10:15 alarm goes off (I told you I am still in slacker mode!). Immediately press snooze
10:20 Get out of bed but only because phone rang. Who calls that early!??!
10:30 Have breakfast, coffee, check weather, do some dishes
11:00 Consult pile of maps, book “Short Bike Rides in RI” and cue sheet repository in search of new, interesting bike route. Decide in the end not to use any of them and to wing it.
11:20 Fold laundry that has been in basket for 3 days
11:25 Put away laundry from the drying rack
11:30 Decide legwarmers are torture and leggings over bike shorts are not appealing today. Feel it necessary to wear favorite Hind bike pants although they have had a hole in the left knee since crash in February. Must wear ripped pants, therefore must finally mend said pants, which have been in a pile near the sewing machine for 8 months. Sewing machine + spandex = annoying project.
11:50 Pants are done. Change out of pajama bottoms and into bike pants which means am 5% dressed for winter ride.
11:51 Decide to definitely take new tri bike. Gorgeous, light bike’s tiny frame has room for just one bottle cage. Plus, the aerobars are too far apart for the aerodrink to fit between them like it should. Realize that in order to have enough fluids for ride options are a) wear Camelback (not) or b) rid self of stupid good-for-nothing Profile Design drink holder attached to the rear of the saddle (although it is designed to hold 2 bottles, they invariably fall out. This product sucks. 2 weeks ago lost all flat-changing equipment going over a bump). Must attach new saddle bag from REI to carry stuff in case of flat, and figure out how to attach aerodrink.
11:52 Locate appropriate allen wrench. Remove god-awful Profile Design rear water bottle cages
11:55 Find screwdriver. Attach new REI saddle bag
12:00 Gather 2 650 tubes, CO2 charger, 2 CO2 cartridges and 1 tire lever and place them in
12:05 Decide it is too annoying to go on one more ride with malfunctioning computer. Futz with computer. Attempt to remove battery, but fail. Resign self to riding without information about speed, distance, or cadence for now and re-mount useless computer display on the handlebar.
12:10 Set to work on making the aerodrink usable. Start by wrapping electrical tape around it to widen its circumference. Do this about 30 times, then realize will need entire roll of tape for it to be effective. Acknowledge need to find different solution. Think hard about what household object will solve problem. Find those adhesive furry things you put on the bottom of furniture so it won’t scratch floors and attach one on either side of aerodrink. Go around with the tape a few more times. See if it fits. Add a few more sticky things and keep taping. See if it fits. Add one sticky on each side. Tape some more. Re-test. It works! Secure with rubber bands.
12:25 Mix up 3 quarts of lemon-lime gatorade. Pour into 24 oz water bottle. Pour water into aerodrink.
12:35 Check weather again. Dress top half of body.
12:40 Realize neoprene booties are meant to be worn with Speedplay cleats but am now using Look system, so cut out a bigger hole in the soles of the booties.
12:45 Put money, credit card, phone, eyedrops in ziplock bag. Realize license is MIA. Find it in jeans pocket and add to ziplock, then put it in jersey pocket along with a few gels and a hankercheif.
12:50 Pump up tires
12:52 Don earwarmer headband, helmet, sunglasses
12:53 Put on shoes, then booties, then change mind and take off booties, put on different shoes, then put booties back on.
12:55 Get outside, decide its too warm for long-sleeve base layer, so run back into apartment to change into a tank top to wear under zip-up jersey
I didn’t even want to go on this stupid ride but I was damned if I didn’t ride for at least the amount of time I spent preparing for it. I mean really, how can you justify spending nearly 3 hours getting out the door then only ride for 2 hours? Although it was supposed to be a 3 hour ride, I ended up getting home a little after 5. [Insert Gilligan’s Island theme here “A three hour tour… A three hour tour.”] What happened en route is a whole other story. Suffice it to say, I think being out of shape applies not only to actual fitness but also to all the crap that goes along with fitness. For example when I was in ironman shape, I would not have been caught dead dilly dallying around for 3 hours before a ride! The night before, my water bottles would have been filled up and waiting in the front of the fridge, my outfit would have been neatly folded on my dresser with my heart rate monitor and chamois cream on top, my ziplock bag complete with money and id would have been on the kitchen table. Sometimes I even filled my tires the night before. So right now I am just a little rusty, but that’s ok because I’m not supposed to peak until September anyway. If all goes well this season I will complete an Olympic distance triathlon in less time than it took me to get ready this morning.