Monday, June 14, 2010

The Hills... and I don't mean that mindless MTV show

Well here we are; another race week. With all the training and everything else that's been going on, it doesn't seem like the last one was that long ago. This time it's the Minuteman Sprint Triathlon in East Freetown, MA. The race is Saturday morning at 7 and about an hour from home, so we're going to spend Friday night out by the race.

I had a really good weekend of training to lead into the week. I decided to take my rest day Friday instead of Sunday, and went to see the A-Team. It was REALLY good, and though it got it's ass kicked by The Karate Kid, it's still worth seeing. I waited on Karate Kid to see if I could talk Rach into going with me. If not, I'll see it sometime this week. 

Saturday was the big training day this weekend. Our triathlon team president Sunny sent out an email for a late morning group ride. I hadn't done a ride with any of the team members yet, and Sunny said this would be a ride at about my pace so I figured this was a good starting point.Sadly, the other folks who were to join us begged off due to potentially inclement weather, so it was just Sunny and I.

We met in North Cambridge and made our way out to the area around Belmont Wheelworks, the shop that sponsors our team.That's where the hills start. There are a couple on the way there, but only one of them is serious. It's actually the first place that Sunny had to stop to wait for me. She wasn't going too fast for me, she merely was able to get up the hill with a lot less effort than I was.

Sunny competed the Season Opener tri with Rach and I, and was in the Athena division. She's more the conventional style of Athena, tall and built as opposed to overweight. She actually won the Athena division that day for those who didn't swim, and I'm guessing would have won her division if she swam too. Sunny was pretty patient with me throughout the ride. I knew some of the roads we took, but not all of them, and I struggled a few times with the hills. 

The hills. It feels like I've forgotten how to ride a bike when I get on hills. Either I am in a gear that too hard feels like I won't be able to push my way up, or I'm in a gear that's too easy and I wind up maxing out my heart rate and breathing because I am spinning the pedals too much. And every hill ride starts that way. It isn't until I've been riding for a while that I start to feel better trying to climb. Sadly, that's just about the time my legs have started to go.

Sunny pointed us towards an interesting section of road. It's a very nice stretch of smooth road with a couple rolling hills before a larger hill that leads past the abandoned Waltham City Hall and up to a large apartment complex. The complex has a nice looping driveway that leads back around the other side of the hill and down to the main road. We made our way down the main road further to a turnaround prior to a rather nasty looking hill that I was in no shape to attempt at the time.

We worked our way back to the start of our deserted road track, and with the weather threatening to get worse I left Sunny to get in some faster laps without me. Good thing, too. It started pouring about 20 minutes from home. I made it through the hilly part of the trip before the skies opened, so I was happy to be done. I wound up around 28 miles give or take.

When I got back, I cleaned up and hopped on the scale. I'd gone all out for a couple hours, and it showed. My weight was 308.8. A lot of that was water weight loss, but it was nice to see I'm getting close. I woke up this morning at 312, but I'm headed the right direction. Even if the hills are still a lot for work for me.


- Rach is back home and we have good workouts early this week before we taper down before the race this weekend. It was a challenging week getting through all those workouts without my primary motivator but I'm proud I was able to do it. And up until a welcome home dinner for her last night, I watched what I ate too.

- Should be getting my USA Triathlon prize pack this week, hopefully in time for the race. I'm really excited to make use of the new gear. We've bought a couple of smaller items for Rach as well so she is prepared for flats and other occurrences during a race.

- It still looks and feels like September here today, but that's supposed to change tomorrow, at least for a few days. Hopefully we can avoid the rain on race day.


  1. Great job on the ride! Enjoy the nice weather while you have it. Been mid 80s and very muggy here. Nothing like looking up weather and seeing 86 degrees but feels like 97. Definitely has made running more of a challenge. Good luck in the race this coming weekend.

  2. Thanks Barb! It's been a challenge to have good weather long enough to get in that kind of ride. And we still have a lot longer rides to get through. i want to have done a few 50 mile rides before the race to prepare for the distance.