June 15, 2008

Little Bricks

Today was my first-ever brick workout, with my twice-weekly JackRabbit training group. We met bright and early (emphasis on early) this morning at 7, instead of 8, to avoid the Father's Day race in the park. That means I had to get up at - gasp - 5:30 to have time for the appropriate number of Eggos and coffee before my ride up to the park.

The air was wet this morning, but it wasn't yet warm. It was a particularly disgusting brand of humidity that makes you wish summer was over and fall was on the way. I arrived on time and was ready for the day's challenge. We proceeded to set up a transition area with our running shoes and assorted accessories, then took off for a loop ride. If we weren't stopped after one loop, that meant to ride on for a second loop before the run. I wasn't stopped so I did two loops, 12.04 miles. I rode well, but not nearly as well as last week's time trial. There were a couple people in the group that I tried to keep up with, but my legs failed me and they continued to pull away. There was one girl that I tried to follow the entire way and I was elated to blast past her on the second time up Harlem Hill, but she still managed to dust me on the straightaway. Clearly, I need to work on my speed.

I rode into transition, which was only about 1.5-2 minutes total, slipped off my bike shoes, pulled on my running shoes, ditched the helmet, put on my running hat and off I went. It's no wonder they call the workout a brick because that's what your legs feel like. I had ridden 16 miles total with the trip up to the park, so nothing too crazy. But I was asking my body to fire totally different muscles, and it seemed to take forever for those muscles to kick in. I felt like I was running in slow motion, yet my heart rate was sky high. All of this subsided after about a mile. Too bad I was only running 1.7 miles! As I reached the one-mile mark, I realized the guy right in front of me must be in my group (what other guy is running in Central Park in bike shorts?). I gained on him, we chatted a bit, and to my delight, I passed him. He had started before me and I comfortably overcame him. While I'm not competing with my training mates, I'm competing with myself and my running has been disappointing lately so this made me feel great. I finished strong and felt really good.

I had a nice, short four-mile ride home and was able to hit the local diner before most people even rolled out of bed for the day. Getting up so early has made today feel like two days instead of one, which is most certainly a great reason for early rising (although not likely to motivate many repeats).

I registered today for the Flat as a Pancake Sprint triathlon on June 28 on Staten Island. I think I need the warm-up in advance of the NYC Triathlon. I don't want to be experiencing a world of "firsts" that day and am hoping this Sprint will let me work through the unknowns and anxieties of race day. And, best of all, they serve pancakes. What more could you ask for?

Sport - Brick (Biking, Running)
Distance - Biking: 19.42 miles total; Running: 1.7 miles
Time - Biking: 1:22:19 total; Running: 14:05

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