Monthly Archives: March 2017

cold run bike run

IMG_8884I found this video of a midair skydive rescue inspirational.  I guess if you’re skydiving, the chances you might have to be a hero are higher than normal, but you really just never know when you’re living your normal life and you’ll be called upon to act and make decisions that will have permanent implications for your self and/or others.

I’ve gone cycling three days in a row.  Day 1 was the Magnuson Duathlon.  I picked this as my first multisport race because I figured it would be easy.  3 miles run and 10 mile cycle – what could go wrong, right?  Ha.  Well, being Seattle, the obvious thing that could go wrong did – an unrelenting downpour.  I decided to go in large part because I’d told two friends I’d be there, and I didn’t want to stand them up.  In any case, it was in the low 40s and just pouring.  I huddled in my car until a few minutes before the start and then did the run.  I haven’t seen the results yet, but I did the run (2.5 mi) at about 8 minute pace.  I was a bit chilly and damp, but I felt more or less fine, and not too tired.  Then, I got to transition and found my stuff completely soaked.  I’d forgotten to bring a plastic bag and figured the soft-sided bag I’d brought might provide some protection.  Nope.  The extra layer I’d planned to don was extremely wet.  I decided not to put it on, which in retrospect I think was a mistake.  The course had a lot of puddles, so my feet were utterly soaked.  I put on my wet gloves, and switched out my soaking Gore-tex jacket for my precip jacket which was damp but not soaked, thanks to having been on the bottom of the bag.  That was also a mistake – the precip jacket is water “resistant” and it resisted the pouring rain for all of about a quarter mile.  100 feet into the cycle I knew I was in trouble.  I was just so cold.  The whole thing was very tough.  I knew cycling 10 miles should take only 40 or 50 minutes, but it felt very long.  One of my friends cycled with me the whole time, which was nice.

After the cycle, I got off my bike.  I guess I’d heard about the brick thing where your legs feel like bricks, but what I wasn’t prepare for was my feet to be completely numb.  My feet were so numb from cold that I could barely walk / run on them.  Fortunately, the second run was only half a mile.  I’m not sure I could have made it much farther.  I ran straight from the finish line to my car where I cranked up the heat and changed clothes, to the skin, into some warm clothes I had brought with me (my only smart move of the day).  Then I drove home, which took about 35 minutes.  I literally could not stop shaking from cold the entire time.  I wasn’t really able to warm up until I got into a hot shower when I got home.  That was HEAVEN.  After the hot shower, I took a hot bath.  Then I went and sat in front of the fire.  So. Nice.

I’m not sure what lesson to take from all of this.  Don’t do duathlons in the rain?  Invest in more Gore-tex?  It really makes me not want to do a triathlon featuring cold water.  I had been considering doing a tri in early June which would feature water at about 60 degrees.  I’m now thinking maybe I should wait until later in the season.

There were only 23 people crazy enough to do the duathlon.  11 of them were women, and I was the third female finisher.  There were no awards, but my friend from work was kind enough to pick up a finisher’s medal for me.  (I was too cold to notice or care that they had such items at the finish line.)


L graduated from level 1 of swim lessons.  It’s been a long road, and I’m frankly just delighted.  It seems like a small thing, and she was beginning to tower over the other kids in her class.  It had just become obvious to me that swimming would be a challenge for her.  However, I have derived an enormous amount of joy from swimming and being in the water through the years, from just playing at the pool in the summer to swim team to being confident in deep water at Smith Mountain Lake and pool parties and on and on.  As an adult, I really feel water aerobics and my weekly swim were incredibly important to my mental and physical health, and I met one of my best friends in Seattle at water aerobics class.  Anyway, I’ve watched L gradually gain confidence and comfort in the water, and I see a clear path towards her becoming a confident swimmer over the next several years.  (A path paved with bribes and sparkly swimsuits, no doubt.)  Now, B is getting old enough to start swim lessons!

I myself have been swimming once a week.  I absolutely detest getting in the pool and swimming that first half lap.  It’s just torture!  After that, however, it’s quite pleasurable.  I always preferred breaststroke, but I’ve been swimming freestyle with an eye towards triathlon, and I’ve become so much more comfortable with freestyle.  I even tried some flip turns at my last session.  They went . . . ok.  I ended up with a nose full of water during one of them, and I basically found them exhausting.  But it was kind of fun to realize I can still do one, more or less.

My parents are visiting, and H is out of town.  My loyal readers will know that the latter has caused me a great deal of anxiety in past.  Today, I’m doing fine.  A friend told me to try and celebrate the small achievements, and so I’m going to celebrate how today has gone.  We’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

My week in swimbikerunning #6


  • 4 and 5 mile runs
  • 6 mile run with 20 minute tempo
  • 8 mile long run
  • 2000 my swim
  • Go for a 20 mile+ bike ride


  • Monday: Easy, 4.7 miles
  • Tuesday: Easy, 6.2 miles
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 4 miles with 15 minute tempo run in the middle
  • Friday: Bike 23 miles
  • Saturday: Swim 2000m
  • Sunday: Long run 8 miles

All in all, this was a very good week for exercise.  We headed to Whidbey Island for the weekend, so I did my bike ride on Friday afternoon, through Seattle along the Western edge of Lake Washington.  The traffic was hairy, but I guess what do you expect when you’r riding through a city?  I shifted the temp run to my 4 mile run.  I have to do my longer runs on Monday and Tuesday when I stay home and don’t lose time to commuting, though as the daylight hours increase, I’ll be able to just get up earlier if I want.  (Ha.)  Usually I’m exhausted Monday and Tuesday from my weekend long run and cycle, so doing a tempo run in the middle is more than I can fathom.

Finally, I managed 2000m in the pool.  It felt good.  I’m definitely getting there as far as pool workouts go.  When I think about doing a tri, open water swimming in cold (or very cold) water is what makes me most nervous.  The best way to alleviate that would probably be to swim more – at least twice a week.  As summer approaches I may sacrifice a run in favor of an extra swim.  We’ll see.  Tri season in Seattle doesn’t start until June, and races then feature water in the low 60s.  I’m not sure that’s going to work for me, so I may wait until July or even August to try a race, when the water is warmer.