Monday, May 30, 2011

Hill Thrill

On Sunday morning I rode my bike near Osborne Landing. A friend and I discovered this ride two years ago, as part of it is the same as the Rockett’s Landing triathlon course. We like the route because it has less traffic than West Creek and more variety. Sunday’s ride was the first for this year, and my goal was to do better than last year at keeping up with my friend, who is a good rider, even when she doesn’t train much.

So, as we started, I was pleased that I could almost match her pace. Last year she waited patiently at intersections for me to catch up. This year, I was close enough she didn’t have to wait as long. But after a few miles, suddenly, she was a red dot in the distance – just like last year. I pedaled hard to catch up. When I found her again, and commented on her burst of speed, she said she’d had some trouble at the beginning of the ride getting into her big chain ring. For the next several miles, we stayed within shouting distance, as long as I went nearly as fast as I could and she did not.

Then we came to a hill – not a particularly big hill, but one that was difficult for me last year. And an amazing thing happened – I passed my friend on the way to the top. Of course, she soon flew by me again, but I’d had my tiny moment of glory. Hurray for that hill!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma’m

These days my mailbox is filled with information about applying for Medicare – a not so cheerful reminder that in a mere few months I’ll be eligible. I had thought I’d mark that “milestone” by doing an Olympic distance triathlon, but as the tri season has begun and I’ve not registered for any event, it seems less likely I’ll do that race. The fact is that even though my swimming and biking have improved, and my running is starting to get better, I’m just not fast enough to finish an Olympic race in the time the organizers have allotted. If I did each segment in my best possible time, I might finish within seconds of the 4-hour limit, but a perfect race is not likely to happen. And I don’t want to pay for the disappointment of a DNF, which would only remind me how old I am. I plan to keep training, though, and maybe I’ll still go for it. But the fact is, I may stay a “sprinter,” and I can mark moving into my new age group by a PR for that distance.