Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Making My Day

The finalists for the Mindset Triathlon essay contest were supposed to be announced on Monday, May 18. All day I waited anxiously for the email announcing I’d made the cut, but it never came. I was still hopeful I might hear something yesterday, but, again, nothing. By this morning, I’d accepted the fact that my essay had been rejected, and I was trying not to dwell on my disappointment. Then, in mid-morning, I received a congratulatory email from Staley at Mindset – yes, indeed, I was a finalist! My name should appear on the Mindset homepage tomorrow, and my essay will appear in a book to be published online June 1. I could even still qualify for a prize, which will be given to the top three. That would be especially exciting, although the prize is an underwater mp3 player, and I’m not sure I’d know what to do with it, if I did happen to win it. But for now, I’m thrilled to be a finalist.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rained Out at Rockett’s

Even though we knew rain was expected, we were hoping the forecast was wrong. It wasn’t raining at 6 a.m. when we set up our transition site, but the dark purple clouds on the horizon looked ominous. Our swimmer, an IM pro undaunted by bad weather, donned her wet suit and headed to the starting dock. As we waited for the race to begin, we could see the buoys in the river had been moved and then we learned the course had been shortened. Sheets of rain were coming down the river, and within minutes, we were drenched. The swimmers gathered at the new starting point, and the first wave (men 39 and under) took off. Our biker and I (the runner) went back to transition so she’d be ready to ride. It was raining steadily, the wind had picked up, and the air was getting chilly. We questioned why we were there. Then we saw a lot of pink and yellow caps walking toward transition. We were pretty sure they hadn’t had time to finish the swim. We soon found out the water had become too rough and the swim was cancelled, but no one seemed to know what was going to happen next. At that point, the thought of enduring several more hours of cold rain while biking and running was not at all appealing, so we “scrubbed the mission.” Later, as we warmed up over coffee, Biker and I decided we’d do our own “mini-tri” at the UR fitness center. We ran 2 miles on the indoor track, rode stationary bikes for 30 minutes, and swam 750 yards in the pool. And when we finished, it was still raining.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ready or Not

Tomorrow is my first tri of the season -- I'm doing the run as part of a relay. I'm not sure I'm really ready -- since last fall I haven't run more than 4 miles at a time, and I've only done that twice, and the last time was in early March. I know, barring some sort of disaster or injury, I can complete the 6.2 miles, but it will take me a while. I don't know that I'd be much faster even if I'd trained more, though, so "que sera, sera."

One Clip at a Time

Last Saturday I rode clipped in on the road for the first time in a long while. Granted, I only clipped in my right foot, but I wasn’t overcome by anxiety when I got on and I didn’t fall over when I got off, so I considered the ride a success. When I first switched to clipless pedals two years ago, I clipped in my right foot, but not my left because I’ve always had issues with falling off bikes when trying to stop and dismount and I didn’t want to make falling any easier than it already was. At my age, circumspection is the better part of valor. Last season I fell so many times trying to master clipping in both feet that just thinking about getting on my bike precipitated panic-induced paralysis. Finally, I quit trying, deciding that I needed to concentrate instead on simply feeling comfortable on my bike again

I hated being such a wimp, though, and I hadn’t fallen off my bike in a while, so I was determined to try again this year. There was a moment of trepidation as I heard my right foot click in, but I told myself “you can do this,” and kept pedaling. My ride was insignificantly faster, but the fact I did it at all was encouraging. One of these days, maybe I will be able to clip in both feet successfully.