Bike, Run, Swim?

This has been a crazy week of buying new running shoes -Yah!!!! An experience in itself, epic bike rides and finding out I’m not invincible. Not necessarily in that order.

So the race was cancelled and now the “training” has morphed back into “working out” I know, a real come down right? Well, we just can’t have this, so of course the quest for a new race is on. The problem is, I was training for this one, and I am not flexible. I wanted to bike, kayak and then run. I was pretty certain I could do it, but not one hundred percent. The other races I have seen feel either a little too much of a sure thing, or too much of a yeah not happening. For instance, swimming five hundred meters in open water. Hmmm, the length of the pool is twenty five meters and I struggle to make that. Although I was on swim team as a child, I was never a strong swimmer. Everyone was allowed to swim. And as my sisters and my brother were racking up medals, I was racking up DQ’s. I would always touch down before the wall. I don’t even know why, I just stood up to see where I was. By the time I was twelve I quit. Proof that athletics is not always genetic, because while I was touching down, my sister was taking the public league state championship, setting a record for her age group that held for almost twenty years.

So when I got into the pool and tried to actually swim with breathing and everything, it all came back, including the desire to touch down before I reached the wall. I don’t know why. I think it’s panic. I don’t think I can fix this in six weeks. Therefore, that race is out. For now. I am thinking about practicing over the year with some help, and trying to prepare for a real triathlon in the spring. But that is pretty far away. Oddly enough, what holds real interest for me in the immediate future are 5K’s and 10K’s. I know these are not “endurance” events,  six miles is pushing my endurance. I just want to try something a little more entry level, less splash and more geared towards my experience level. It all seems so oddly rational, I have to question my own motives.

I also want to work towards The Broad Street Run, so I am working on building up to ten miles. This isn’t until the spring, so I have some time. And I found another Century Bike Ride in the spring, about a month after the Broad Street, and I am excited to train for that.

One hundred miles on the bike, just seems like pure joy to me. Yesterday, I thought I would burst with happiness as I flew down Barron Hill Road. Not only did I bike up the hill that had previously defeated me, after a sharp right, there was another immediate hill that was even steeper. We wound our way from Wissahickon, through Andorra, over to Conshohocken and then turned to go back to Manayunk. Up from Manayunk back into Wissahickon. With a few stops for water, we made the ride in just under two hours. And we were not motoring. I can’t wait to do it again. I am already planning variations. I also need to share with great awe and respect that my mom’s friend, who has almost thirty years on me, was the guide on this ride. He does this same loop or a variation of it three times a week.  That’s seventy some years old. Proof that you don’t have to slow down.

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The running, well to be honest, ten miles does not seem like pure joy. But it is a huge accomplishment in my book. Not a marathon, but still a lot of miles. And now that I have my fancy new running shoes, I feel even more motivated – $120 more motivated to be exact – to take on this challenge. Christened those puppies today with six miles and they did feel great!!! Seriously enjoyed the whole experience of buying them, even though I found out I have transformed into big foot. My one foot is a whole size bigger than the other. So it really is big foot and not big feet. The young man that helped me at Jenkintown Running Company, said that people should have their feet checked every couple of years, because they change so much. He also said that runners should buy their shoes a half to a whole size larger so their feet have room to swell as they run. I have to admit the whole shoe shopping experience puffed out my ego. Talking about foot strike, walking around the store in seven different pairs of shoes, discussing arch size, distance and terrain. I felt – for a few minutes – like a serious athlete. It was so much fun. So, although they look like clodhoppers, they really feel amazing. And I had to pop for the socks -$11 a pair – because they also felt amazing. Just one pair, but they just felt so good. After wearing my old Filas for the past couple of months running, Brooks Ghost 7’s and the Feetures socks were just like happy, happy, joy, joy.

Soooooooo, who wants to form a team and ride one hundred miles on June 6?

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