Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pay It Forward

When I started training for my first triathlon in 2008, I didn't have a bike. I was unemployed and the thought of buying a bike was daunting. Plus, what if I hated biking?

In walks my pal Jason, who listened to my dilemma and said, "I have a bike you can use." And he gave me a bike. Flat out gave it to me to use for my training. Problem solved. Chuck the mountain bike served me well. He never got a flat and he never complained. Which isn't to say he was the perfect choice for a very hilly triathlon. But Chuck was free and available and I rolled into the cycle finish shoot grateful to have such wonderful friends.

When I signed up to do the Half Ironman, I knew that Chuck couldn't do it with me. Twice the hills would be too hard on Chuck. So I saved my pennies (pulled out my credit card) and with the help of a very patient coach, purchased Charlie, the road bike.

Poor Chuck watched as I headed out for rides on Charlie and gloated a little as I fixed two flats on the new bike. But there wasn't really room for both in my studio apartment. So, with the blessing of Jason, Chuck has found a new home.

The bike that made my first TNT Triathlon journey possible is now in the hands of Chantelle. I met Chantelle while she was training for the Marine Corps Marathon with TNT last fall. She's lovely and energetic and passionate and a part of my extended TNT family. And now Chuck has been re-gifted to her.

Pay it forward.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cycle gear :)

One of my cycle team members took this pic of me at the first team ride in NJ. Snow, rain, we got it all :)

7 weeks and icky weather

7 weeks from today it will be over. I will have completed 70.3 miles. I gotta admit, I'm a little terrified. I've kicked up my training over the past two weeks and am pretty proud of that (it's about time.) But the next few weeks are super busy and it's gonna be a challenge to keep at it - this week's training plan calls for a 3-4 hour (50-60 mile) bike ride! Yikes!

Speaking of bike's was a doozy. The rain the weathermen have been promising arrived and was pretty relentless. But I'm crazy and couldn't deal with setting up the trainer. kept promising a dry spell in the afternoon and I foolishly believed them. They lied.

But I did it anyway. The good news is that it wasn't cold. The bad news is that it was wet. Really wet. But it wasn't crowded at least. In fact I only saw 2 other cyclists as foolish as me. And one of them was smart enough to have a bike with a back fender. Because when you ride in the rain, everything you ride through spits up off your back tire and onto you and your bike. I don't even want to think about what all of the gunk was that ended up on Charlie and me. I just know that it took me twenty minutes to clean everything when I got home and I had to strip in the tub to avoid the dirt and gunk ending up all over the floor. Gross.

The best part about biking in the rain? Watching all of the runners. Tons of runners. All different types of runners. There was barefoot runner with his Vibrams in his hands. There was "I will not move my hands up from my sides" man who ran keeping his arms down at his sides the whole time. There was windmill girl - hands and feet akimbo with every step. There was "come with me" man who's right arm waved in such a way that he looked like he was beckoning you to follow him. There was shuffle man who did not fully lift either foot and sounded like he was doing a soft shoe as he moved along. And there were the folks running in sweats. Cotton sweats. In the rain. Ow.

The amazing part is that we were all out there getting it done. As my marathon coaches always said, "You never know what the weather is going to be on race day." I'm pretty certain it rains in triathlon world sometimes too. I'll be ready for it if it does.