So I didn’t exactly get off to the best start in the 8-week YMCA triathlon. In week one I ran 14 miles and biked 3. This is what happens when you allow three days in a row to slip by without a workout.
It was frustrating, and I can’t blame any one thing – not even the weather or a hectic schedule, because while both were a factor there’s always a way if you’re willing to find an opening. For some reason it just wasn’t happening for me, and by the end of day three, when a couple of margaritas and a rare dinner out with my husband washed away my resolve, I decided maybe I’d just been in need of a short hiatus.
On Sunday I hit the “reset” button. Our laundry drain had frozen so I took a couple of loads to wash at my parents’ house. While I was there, I ran 3.25 miles on their treadmill and then rode 7 miles on their old stationary bike.
I really love that Schwinn for some reason – just familiarity, I guess — and it felt good to really pound those pedals and knock off three days’ worth of rust. The only problem is its speedometer cable is busted, so I had to gauge my distance by using a conservative time estimate based on my baseline ride at the Y earlier in the week.
The payoff came Monday. Colleen and I intended to go for a swim, but the Y was so crowded I was lucky to find an open bike – the pool and gym were packed and every freaking treadmill was in use. After struggling to complete 6 miles in a little over 31 minutes recently, this time I churned out the same distance in 22:42.
I’m not sure what exact speed that averages out to but it’s better than 15 mph, which isn’t bad for me given my limited amount of cycling in the past. What made the difference? I made sure I had the seat adjusted properly so I wasn’t wasting energy (thanks to a blogger friend’s suggestion), but honestly, I think it was mostly mental. Instead of just going through the motions this time I really accelerated the second half of every mile in a game of “beat the clock.”
It was fun. It also boosted my mileage totals to 18.25 miles* of running and 16 miles of cycling. Still a big fat zero on swimming miles, though. Now I need to figure out how to have fun swimming laps.
*Did 1 mile jog on treadmill after the bike.