Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Bike Thing.

Yeah, so I think the first thing I need to do to prepare my bike for my upcoming triathlon is to take the baby seat off the back.

The triathlon I signed up for, then told my husband I wasn't going to do anymore because I needed to simplify my life, then decided was back on because I already paid for it, and at least twice a week decide I don't have time to train for is in about a month, give or take a few sinus infections. At this point, I've turned it into an experiment to see what happens when someone just shows up for a triathlon with no preparation whatsoever and decides to compete. And you know, I'm okay with that.

But then it occurred to me that they probably have some kind of maximum time allowance for these things, and the people volunteering on the course are likely not that interested in spending their entire Saturday waiting on some girl on a Huffy to haul her butt over the finish line. And also my son has a birthday party to attend that afternoon. So I figured I should probably train a little just to be on the safe side.

On Sunday I headed out for a little challenge - ride 15 miles on my bike, then jump off and run three miles. I got my bike out of the shed and tried to take off the baby seat. It was pretty complicated and I hadn't had any coffee so I decided to just go with it. I mean, it was just practice, right?

The little foot rests fell off as I turned the first corner.

So thanks to a handy little site called MapMyRun, which I have used in the past to chart out runs in new cities or just confirm that what I thought was six miles really was six miles, I had a route planned out, which basically involved riding a loop around my neighborhood a couple of times. I had my iPod stashed in the mailbox to put on when I returned and ran along my normal 3.1 mile route. Easy peasy. I checked my watch and took off.

And then I realized I forgot my gloves. Damn it. Luckily I remembered reading an article about how muttering obscenities under your breath helps relieve pain and created some new vocabulary for the books.

Riding out in the cold and solitude of a Sunday morning was really nice. There was little traffic, I got to see some gorgeous wildlife (15 deer!) and if I could clench my teeth hard enough to ignore my frozen hands, I could feel spring coming.

But it was pretty clear that my Giant Sedona wasn't going to cut it in the triathlon locally known as the "Revenge of the Hills." I found myself enjoying my ride, but spending more time trying to peer over fences to see what kind of patio furniture my neighbors had than focusing on my time or technique.

So I got home and did a little research on what kind of bike I should be riding. You know, just in case I change my mind and decide I actually do care about my triathlon performance. I found this article about choosing a bike for a beginner triathlete. It gave me some good ideas of things to consider when shopping, and inspired me to at least start looking in the classifieds for something used that I can tool around on.

I may not have as much time to train for this event as I need or would like, but I still want to feel like I am somewhat prepared and ready to compete, and I am fairly certain that I will give it another go when my life is more suited to focus on training. So I'm open to advice from you vets out there - what do you recommend for a beginner triathlete?

Until then, I'm pretty sure I'll be the only one lined up with a basket and a bell. :)


'Drea said...

LOL, I did my first sprint triathlon last year. Not being much of a runner or swimmer, I was the last person to cross the line.

The volunteers were super nice and walked with me across the finish line. One, in particular, made sure that I got my little ribbon.

Good luck with your training.

Jon H said...

I'm a newbie Triathlon too, the bike thing blows my mind especially as the only one in my garage is barbie with stabilizers! I've gone to small bike shops and they're really helpful on new or recycled (haha) but going to cost a fair few £, I'm going new with as much carbon as possible - good luck to us both!

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Thanks for the comments guys! I think I have found a bike from a friend that I can use...and if this becomes a regular thing, I'll buy something used. And then when I become a triathlon super star, I'll spring for the real deal. :)