With triathlon season in full blown training mode, Saturdays are brick days. Today I road 25 miles alone through the hilly country side by my home. I had two routes planned. The primary route was a bit more challenging and went past more farm land. I figure the scenery makes up for the hills. The second route was a bit “safer” but went mostly through a residential area. When I ride alone I tend to be more cautious because some drivers on the country roads think it is entertainment to pass cyclists driving fast and very close. It really stinks when it is a big landscaping truck pulling a big trailer like the one the almost clipped me today going up hill… Even with the automobile road hazards I took the more challenging route. I am very glad I did – I am noticing an improvement in my times each week and I am focusing on increasing my speed up hill. I also took my tri bike out today. Oh what a difference! I really enjoy that bike.
As I made the turn into my sub-division I made sure to get out of the saddle and stretch my legs a bit. I got to my house, made the change into my running shoes and headed out to run 3 three miles. The first thing I noticed what how much better my legs felt running off the bike. For those of you reading this who are on the fence about getting a tri bike or racing with a road bike with aerobars, my strong recommendation is to go for the tri bike if your budget allows. The past two bricks I have done were on my road bike. The geometry of the tri bike truly helps keep my legs fresh for the run. As I approached my first mile my mind played the “you have worked hard, let’s cut it short at two miles for the run” game. That is when my new mantra came in. Don’t be a sissy. So I went the three mile route. My legs still felt good, my heart rate was within my desired range, and my pace was right on target. As I headed back home after the two mile mark another dark thought came over me. This is the three mile route I always run. The one I ran on April 16th. The day I sprained my ankle. I have not run the route since that day. I started rationalizing that it would be fine to finish a different way and avoid the area where I injured my ankle. Don’t be a sissy. If I don’t face this fear now, it will own me. So I headed down the road I always have. Granted, I ran down the middle of the road staying far away from the rough pavement that did me in. But I did it. And when I passed the area I was smiling. I also was making sure to watch where I was going. At the end of my three miles I hit my watch and smiled even more. I ran that route faster than the day I sprained my ankle. By 40 seconds per mile. Nice come back.
So I wasn’t a sissy. I faced my fears head on and made it through. I do plan on riding long rides as much as possible with my training partner in the future. There is safety in numbers and I think riding with others helps improve speed to keep up with each other. But today I took the route I had concerns about and had a great ride. I also faced the run that set me back, and conquered it. Yes, today is a good day, and I ain’t no sissy.