Friday, February 12, 2010

"I am feeling very Olympic today, how about you?"

8:40am: Half a bagel, plain yogurt, and strawberries. Breakfast of champions? We’ll see.

9:40am: Out the door. I’ve never driven before a race and I’m realizing why. I’m distracted, punching the buttons on the radio.

9:55am: I check in at the sprint triathlon.

10:20am: My swimming heat is up. I check out the lanes and hedge my bets. I choose a lane – she doesn’t look too menacing – and slide into the pool. The whistle goes off and I start with a strong free stroke. But the quasi-bronchitis quasi-flu that wiped me out for all of January catches up with me quickly. I currently have the lung capacity of a 90 year-old asthmatic smoker and I have to slow down. I shift into breaststroke and I’m still moving at a good clip. But my lane partner hits a flip turn and sends a tsunami wave my way. I choke on pool water and slow down a bit. She is churning the water and it seems as though she is getting exponentially faster as I get more winded. Seriously, who is this chick? Another tsunami wave, then wave after wave, come my way and I’m starting to resent her. The fifteen minutes is up. I hoist myself out of the pool. And I hear that she is the race director. I sure do know how to pick them.

10:35am: I towel off quickly and pull on a black singlet, black shorts (a race day tradition), and my sneakers. I’m digging the all-black – Kind of like the matrix, right? It’s a step up from my Boston Marathon ensemble --- I was channeling a bumblebee, with a yellow singlet and black shorts. Yea, I think about these things.

10:40am: My bike heat starts. Back on dry land where I belong. I’m on a recumbent bike, all set up with a bottle of water, and I’m pedaling hard. At first, I’m keeping the RPM in the 110s, but then I realize I can hit the 120s just fine. I’m glad to have my iPod shuffle: I have the music playing so loud that I’m probably doing permanent damage to my eardrums, but it’s keeping me focused. I’m sweating and a volunteer offers me a towel – nah, I’m good. I’m consistently in the 130s in my last five minutes and wrap up at 4.30 miles.

10:55am: My quads are whining, so I use the transition time to stretch. I’m itching to get running.

11:00am: It’s treadmill time. I kick it off at 7.5mph. My legs strike the treadmill and they feel funny after the bike. Around minute 6, I find an easy rhythm. I keep pushing the speed up. There’s something about treadmills that I’ll never get to used to. Sure, they’re great when there’s a foot of snow outside. But the treadmill speed dictates how fast you go and I like the feeling of blowing it out on the track. Nonetheless, I can’t resist the temptation of the “up” button. 8mph at the 10 minute mark, 8.3 with one minute to go. I’m breathing hard and I go for 8.5mph. I’m relieved to hit stop when the fifteen minutes is up. 1.98 miles.

1:00pm: Chocolate ice cream.

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