I drove the bike course for the tri today. You know, in my car. By the time I finished I was completely intimidated. I felt weak and scared. I stewed about it for awhile. You see, there is this killer hill around mile 6. The ride as a whole felt really long.
So tonight I followed the training plan and headed out after a small dinner. My goal: 20 miles, any speed. The temperature was in the high 80s and so very humid. I was well hydrated and pumped up. I should definitely mention that during dinner my family was training, too. They practiced over and over again how they would cheer for me during the race. Over and over. So, I rode out of the driveway to a loud cheer and then I tackled some nice hills. I felt like I hit the first 14 miles harder than the the last 6- when I checked it turned out I averaged a pretty slow 12.9 mph. I was a little surprised it wasn't faster. It felt like it should have been faster. Keeping in mind the heat and the distance I decided to lighten up a little and simply complete the last 6 miles. 20 miles at an average speed of 12 mph. I'll happily take that. Oh and killer? Bring it on. (ok, I'm talking large here, but my plan is to climb that hill in a training ride next week. I. won't. walk.) So, I drove into the driveway and popped out of the saddle and did a lap around our little block. It stunk. Like, um, a dead skunk buried in a pile of cow shit. I'm totally cool with that. It still felt good to finish.
Sidebar: My bike seat offers a whole new view of the streets of Maine. In a word: roadkill. I really have to thank the powers that be that I am sitting here blogging and not dead in a gully. With every bump over a squirrel's skeleton or a raccoon's tail or *shudder* the other stuff, I squeezed my eyes as tight as could be... and just drove on. So, yeah, I am pretty dang lucky.
I was also scheduled for a swim today and I did it. It was uneventful. I have been thinking about where I want to be in the start. I don't want to get in other people's way, but I don't want to be boxed in either. Hmmm... It seems a lot of triathletes are intimidated by the swim. I don't mind the open water or the distance (the distance is so much more managable when you remove those pesky pool walls and ditch all of those turns). I get caught up a little when I remember the crowd and how I felt to be swimming so close to so many other people. Kicking others and being kicked. Not having any space to get around a slower swimmer but feeling the person behind me swimming up my butt. I have another swim tomorrow night.
Any thoughts on deciding on your proper starting position?
PS: During tonight's ride I mooed at some cows that I passed and baaed at some sheep. I really was glad to be out there.