I knew that training for a Half Ironman would be challenging. There’s the strength and distance stuff in the swimming, biking and running. Then there’s the time to fit it all in… the 20 weeks or so, especially in New England from March – July.
(I must admit here that I have done very little training since my Half Marathon 3 weeks ago. Well, very, very little, since I have run 3 short distances since then. So now my training is down to just about 16 weeks and I haven’t been in the pool or on a bike. At all. Not once. Ouch.)
OUCH. I am getting nervous about the strength, distances and time.
The equipment is a whole other ball game. (Or Tour de France, so to speak.) I already have a couple of bathing suits and goggles. Check. I know what wet suit I’m going to purchase when the weather gets a bit warmer and I can practice open swims in the ocean. Check.
I have a bicycle. Can you hear the “WHAT?” from Barry, my kids and my co-IronMen? Yes, last summer I completed a sprint triathlon with my wicked-witch-of-the-west bicycle… but this race is different. I will be training to cycle 56 miles, smack in-between the 1.2 mile ocean swim and 13.1 mile run. “NO WAY” is the resounding cry from the crew regarding my old bike. The IronFamily Crew, by the way, is comprised of Jane, her boyfriend Brian, Keith & Nicole and Matthew. We’re all registered and, um… ready to go!? (That “um” and question mark is for me.)
So back to the bike. I needed a tri bike. This scares me because these bikes look so different from my wicked-witch bike. Tri bikes are sleek and light and have all kinds of gadgets and gears that make my legs… and my head… spin. This past week was my bike-testing week. Barry and I headed to a bike shop in Providence where we would be fitted properly for bikes. (Barry is not going to Half IronMan it with us because he says he doesn’t know how to swim. C’mon, Honey. What’s 1.2 miles of ocean swim? Geesh!) Anyway, Barry is going to train with me in the cycling department, so new bikes for both of us!
I wasn’t quite sure what getting fitted for a bicycle entails. I do now. Aside from height, weight, arm span and things like that… I stood on a little platform while the technician, Joe (I love being on a first-name basis with a guy who does this particular measurement), explained that he would now be “making contact with the apex of my anatomy.” Translation: Standing against a measurement device, I spread my legs slightly as Joe slid a horizontal measurement bar up to my crotch area until it made slight contact… at which time I said, “That’s good.”
Then Barry and I looked at dozens of bikes with Joe, who guided us to the ones that perfectly fit our measurements. We each test rode our bikes along a sandy, bumpy trail and into a large parking lot. We were looking for things like comfort, maneuverability, stability and, well, perfect fit. At one point in my test ride with one of the bikes I hit a little patch of sand and slid ever so slightly… not falling off the bike sliding, but the kind that makes you pause… pause with “holy top tube measurements, Bike-Man”… ‘cuz if those apex measurements weren’t accurate, I would now have my crotch up around my chin. I told Joe as much when I returned from my test drive and he smiled with an unstated YEP!
Barry and I found our new bikes. We fell in love with them. My favorite bike turned out to be available only in this particular color without special order. See photo below! Lime green. As in LIME GREEN. Can you see me coming, or what!?
But I LOVE it. I love my new bike. I can’t wait to get out and ride it. Train on it. Ride with Barry on the open road.
Preparing for my Half IronMan with my IronFamily. I am giddy. I am LIME GREEN giddy. And I’m giddy with the excitement of cycling with my wonderful Barry… who is the epitome of awesome even if he says he can’t swim. (But he does have a shiny new red bike.)