July 10, 2008

Back to the Beginning

It was time to take a day off swimming to give my shoulder a rest. This created another opportunity for a ride, which was great for my Tour de France Challenge goal. I decided to ride north along the Hudson River Park and Riverside Park to 99th Street to get a look at the swim start for the NYC Tri. There were a few detours along the way and an incredible amount of human traffic that slowed the ride down, but it was well worth it to have a few moments of reflection at the place where I'll be jumping into the Hudson River in just 9 days.

The water was a little choppy because of the wind, but it looked relatively swimmable. Yet standing there safely behind a railing, it was still hard to imagine actually getting into that water. Everything will look different on race day and I'm sure I'll feel like I've never been there before. I didn't feel nervous, but rather slightly disconnected, as if the reality of the event hasn't entirely set in. I'm sure my full-fledged freak out will begin shortly. I'll just apologize to my friends and family in advance. I'm sure none of you will want to hear the word triathlon after next Sunday.

I rode south to the swim exit to get a sense of what that mile will look like. Not surprisingly, it looked really far. I just have to hope the current is everything it is said to be and that my training and preparation kicks in and carries me through.

After the site inspection, I rode across 72nd to Central Park to get in some quicker miles. I did about a loop and a half, and then a middle loop before heading south again along the Hudson. It was mid-day by then and the park was extremely crowded so it was nice to get in and out quickly. I was supposed to have a group training run tonight, but a series of unfortunate events precluded it. I left on time for once, but then waited for about 10 minutes for the 1 train. It was packed like a can of sardines so each stop was painfully slow. By the time we reached Penn Station, still four stops before my destination, it was already 6:30 and I figured it would take another 10 minutes. I got off at Penn and hopped on the Downtown train thinking I might run on my own. But after some calculations and reflection, I decided this was a good thing in disguise. I really shouldn't have been running today given the brick I have planned for tomorrow and a long run this weekend. I got off the train about a mile from my apartment figuring I would at least walk off the Espresso Hammer Gel I had in preparation for the run. It was a nice night and a nice walk.

My new Conti 4000 tires arrived to much excitement. It used to be that when a package arrived for me it would be from Bluefly, Zappos or Saks containing fun things like shoes and dresses. Now I'm overjoyed when the doorman gives me a box from BikeTiresDirect. I can't wait to ride on those tires tomorrow and see how they feel. That's assuming I can get them back onto the bike.

On another gear front, I headed back to Cadence Cycling to try on the Sidi T2 shoes they brought up from Philadelphia for me. To my dismay, they were way too big. It turns out the ones I tried on before were the right fit and of course, they were gone. The pair they had in my size had the full carbon sole with an extra $110 on the price tag. Definitely not worth it for a cyclist like me. So they got on the phone with the Philly store again and found me a pair. They will arrive at Cadence on Monday and be all mine. These shoes were definitely worth the wait. I just need to pick up a few more odds and ends and I'll be all set for the big race. Let the countdown begin.

Distance - 21.3 miles
Time - 1:19:56

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