The sexism in some parts of the world just boggles my mind and breaks my heart. It seems hopeless to me. Will it ever get better?
I competed in the Seafair Duathlon this morning. I survived, which is the main thing, but I’m definitely feeling a little worse for the wear.
The bike was 20 miles, with 750 ft of elevation gain according to RideWithGPS. Basically, it was not hilly, but not what you’d call pancake flat either. I figured 20 miles isn’t that bad; I rode 40 last weekend, right?
The race start was a little weird, as they started two people at a time. Naturally, I couldn’t get one of my feet clipped in. (I’d love to know why I have so much trouble clipping in my shoes. Lack of coordination? Some problem with the way they’re set up? Or with the shoes or pedals? Or lack of practice??) Once I got going, I just concentrated on keeping the pedals spinning and keeping a constant level of effort. I thought I must be going terribly fast, but at the end, my average speed was only 15.7 mph. I am getting faster – I think that’s my fastest average speed for a ride. But . . . I’m still not really very competitive. If there’s anything I’ve learned from doing endurance sports for 25 years, though, it’s that the body does respond to training, so hopefully if I stick with it, I’ll improve.
When I hit the run, I was just totally demoralized at the though of running 10Ks. I did something to my right leg on the bike, and the top of my hamstring was hurting, as well as the back of my knee. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete it. I was really not in a great mental place for the first three miles. I knew there was a hill we’d need to climb twice, and sure enough, it was brutal. However, once I got up to the top of it the first time, at 2.0 miles, I started feeling better. The second 3 miles was painful, but better mentally. I felt like I was going terribly slowly, but I finished the 10K in 52:05, or 8:23 per mile. If I did that on a regular run, I’d feel like I was seriously pushing it, but there’s something about the adrenaline of a race situation that helps me go faster. It probably also helps that the race was overall much flatter than my neighborhood.
In any case, I’m glad it’s over. Right now, I’m not sure I ever want to do another duathlon. All told, it took me more than 2 hours to complete. That’s a long race. You wouldn’t catch me running a half marathon at the moment, and yet I’m doing two hour multisport races. It’s not quite the same as two hours of running, but it’s no walk in the park.
I did my first open-water swim on Wednesday. I’ve been worried about this for some time. The local triathlon club has practice swims on Wednesdays, and I was hoping to go a couple weeks ago, but I was sick, and then H was out of town the following week, so I finally made it this week. I’ve read so many triathlon books about people having anxiety attacks when they swim in open water, and my co-worker had a panic attack only last week. Given my own issues with anxiety and panic, I was worried I’d freak out when I got in the water, despite the fact that I’m a pretty good swimmer, if not particularly fast, and I’ve spent a lot of time swimming lately.
However, all was well. Well, maybe not quite all, but I felt completely comfortable in the water. I wasn’t nervous or panicky, and I just felt good in the water. It was great. The only problem was that the sun was low and quite bright. It was hard to avoid looking at it while swimming, and I triggered an ocular migraine. I’ve purchased mirrored goggles, so hopefully that will help on my next outing. Interestingly, even the ocular migraine didn’t really make me nervous. It was just annoying. There was a coach there who’d planned a 2000 yd workout – more than I wanted to do anyway. I soldiered on for about 1000 yd (according to my watch), and then just swam in. The ocular migraine mostly had subsided, which is unusual. Usually they persist no matter what I do. But this one had mostly gone away, but I had a headache, and I just wanted to get out of the sun. Still, I feel really good about the swim portion of the “super sprint” tri I’m planning. It’ll be in the same lake and will only be 400m. I’m sure I’ll be nervous on race day, but I’ll get through it. It’s kind of a weight off my mind. I’d been quite worried about it.
This weekend, I’m planning a duathlon. I’ve already paid (and ‘athlons are expensive), but both my kids are sick, so fingers crossed I’ll stay healthy. It’s a 20 mile bike and a 10K run. I’m not really in shape for a race of that distance, but I should be able to make it through, perhaps slowly.
H went out of town last week, for four days. A year ago, that would have sent me into a paroxysm. In fairness, things used to be a lot harder. For example, it used to be so hard to get the kids to bed because L would freak out if I left her alone to get B to bed, and she made too much noise if I took her in with me. Nowadays, I put them to bed at the same time, in the same room, and everything typically goes very smoothly. It’s so much easier! My new TV after dinner when Daddy is out of town policy also makes things a heck of a lot easier. B loves Masha the Bear and L loves the movie First Position. In combination, I easily get 45 minutes of almost complete peace. In any event, I was basically not stressed or anxious on this trip at all. I feel like I’m 80 or 90% back to my normal self. I also feel like things could go south at any time, but i mostly feel like I’m getting my life back. Why this all happened to me, I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll struggle with on some level for the rest of my life. Life is good right now, though, and I’m not really thinking beyond that.
Sarah and her family visited last weekend. As she put it on FB, “Thank you universe for putting my sister and one of my best college friends only minutes apart.” Yes, thank you very much universe. I really appreciate it. It was great seeing Sarah and her whole family, and it was so cute watching the kids play together. Now all I have to do is get my act together and develop the pictures.
I went cycling with a co-worker this weekend, a guy I’ve known for longer than a decade. Ironically, I used to give him a hard time about cycling in the rain. How times change. We seemed to be quite well-matched in speed and general ride preferences, so it went quite well. It was great, actually. He hasn’t been cycling much, and I suspect if he were to cycle frequently, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him, but for now, we’re in a similar place. I had to push to keep up with him on the flats, and he had to push to keep up with me on the hills. Overall, we went a good bit faster than I would have alone (though still slow by any reasonable standard.)
The STP was this weekend. It’s a 200+ mile from Seattle to Portland. A colleague of mine at work did it . . . in one day. It took him 11 hours. Crazy! Part of me is thinking maybe I could do it next year. Right now I can cycle 40 miles, and I figure I could do 60 if I had to. I need to get to a place where I could cycle 100 – and then do it again the next day. Honestly, my legs are usually in pretty good shape after 40 miles, but I’m still dealing with, ahem, chafing issues. We’ll see. I guess I should focus on getting through a triathlon this summer and then worry about next summer.
At the end of last year, I laid out the following events tentatively for the year:
1.) 1/29 FFV 5K – Done, New PR!
2.) 2/26 FFV 5K #2 (Didn’t do – on vacation)
3.) 3/18 Magnuson Duathlon – Done, brutal!
4.) 4/30 Mt. Rainier Duathlon – Done
5.) 6/3 Lake Wilderness Triathlon – Decided to skip due to cold water temperatures
6.) 7/9 See Jane Run women’s 5K – Now planning to skip due to $75 registration fee
7.) 8/12 Lake Meridian Triathlon – Still planned
Now that the year is half over, it’s time to re-visit the plan for the rest of the year. Here are my thoughts right now:
7/23: Seafair Duathlon
8/12: Lake Meridian Triathlon
9/10: Lake Stevens Triathlon (a big maybe – if Lake Meridian is fun)
9/24: Kitsap Color Classic cycle
10/7: Fall City 10K
10/26: Snohomish River Run 10K/Half Marathon
11/4: Lake Washington Half Marathon
11/26: Seattle Half Marathon
~12/18: 12Ks of Christmas
I’m sure I won’t end up doing all of these; I certainly won’t do two half marathons, but I am thinking maybe I’ll do one. It’s not that hard to run 13 miles, right?
I ended up staying home sick today. I’m feeling much better now, but earlier my cold had turned into one of those colds that make you feel like you’re drowning.
I didn’t run today, so here’s my latest on running – and now general exercise – attire.
I try to avoid sleeveless running tops if I can just because it’s that much more sun exposure. The ideal running shirt, in my opinion, goes just to the waist, so that it’s just long enough to not expose skin at rest. It’s loose-ish, not so loose that it’s flapping around, but loose enough for plenty of airflow. Tops of this description are surprisingly rare – the Nike top above checks all the boxes.
I splurged on this one as a reward for meeting some kind of athletic milestone or other. It works best when the weather is a bit cooler. I usually run in the morning, so it’s often in the low to mid 50s, and this top is a good option.
I only own the one jersey, and I like it. it’s comfy and flattering and basically a win.
Cycling shorts. Any ideas, anyone? i can’t find a pair of shorts that doesn’t start to seriously chafe after about 20 miles. Actually I don’t know if it’s the shorts or the seat or what, but something is not working for me.
Adidas Performance Women’s Grete Shorts. They don’t appear to sell them anymore, though perhaps these are similar.
I still like my Champion sports bras and my Balega socks.
These days, I’m running in Asics Kayano shoes. They’re Asics most cushiony supportive shoe, and so far, they seems to be helping my feet a little bit.
I went cycling again on Sunday, this time with a co-worker. I’m on the hunt for a cycling buddy, preferably another woman, but really, a guy would be fine, too. We had a nice ride at what I think was a good pace for both of us. However, when I got back, I found my front window smashed and my purse stolen from my car. I’d put it under the front seat, but clearly I hadn’t concealed it carefully enough. Also, clearly, I should have left it at home. Oh well. Lesson learned the hard way I guess. The thief spent $1000 on my credit card before I could cancel it, but fortunately, Chase Visa offers excellent fraud protection. Thank goodness for that!
Monday was a quiet day at the office, and then today, I woke up with a cold. So did L and H. B was already sick. We are all kind of miserable today. I was up with L last night, and H is out with the kids now. I’m not really looking forward to this evening all that much at this point. We’ve been lucky. We’ve had a super long stretch of everyone being mostly healthy, so I guess it was bound to end.
I signed up for the cycling subscription on NBC Sports Gold (online), and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching the Tour de France. Obviously, it’s much to long to watch all of it, but they have a nice interface that makes it possible to skip through to the more interesting bits. There are very few Americans in the race, but there are a couple young ones that are interesting.
I’d been planning to run a 5K this Sunday, but I guess we’ll see. At this point, I don’t feel like doing much of anything.